Half Day | 8:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | Age: 18 – 36 months
The Toddler classroom is a safe and nurturing environment consisting of appropriate shelving and activities geared toward 18-36 month old children. During the Sensitive period (birth to six years), the Toddler begins to learn independence, self reliance, fine and gross motor skills, grace and courtesy, cognitive skills in this prepared environment. This prepares them for the next step in the Montessori classrooms, the Primary classroom.
Children in the Toddler program are introduced to the multi-age classroom. With the multi-age setting, they learn from and help each other on a daily basis. The classroom is filled with appropriate sized furniture and shelving so the child can choose and access work independently. In this prepared setting, the child will explore their world by walking, talking, and interacting with other children. Through movement and hands on learning, the child absorbs and learns from this environment.
Activities for control of movement such as spooning, pouring, sorting, stringing beads, walking a line, helps the child gain powers of focus and concentration along with fine and gross motor skills. Activities for care of the person such as dressing frames, folding, scrubbing and washing hands, helps the child grow toward independence. Activities for the care of the environment such as sweeping, mopping, polishing, dusting, watering plants, washing dishes and tables, helps the child to learn and respect the classroom.
Every person learns through their five senses and this is especially true for the Toddler. The Sensitive period for a child when they are like a sponge, soaking everything up, is from birth to age six. During the first three years of life, children go through the sensitive period for language, order, movement, and attraction to small objects. The prepared environment helps meet the needs of the Toddler during this time. Tasks such as learning about order, organizing and visual perception for dimension is there for the Toddler to explore using their senses. Some of the Sensorial materials include, Knobbed Cylinders, Pink Tower, Red Rods, Color Tablets, Rough and Smooth Boards, Sorting, Puzzles and Shapes.
The Toddler is exposed to math concepts on a daily basis through counting activities, finger plays, songs, and concrete objects. A "hands on" learning method helps the Toddler be introduced to math concepts using materials such as Number Rods, Spindle Box, etc. These materials are there when the Toddler is ready to explore and learn, but no pressure is put on the child at this age to perform
There is an explosion of speech development around the age of two with the Toddler. It starts with words and is soon followed by sentences. To help them expand their language, they will learn good listening skills through stories, poems, nursery rhymes, songs, and spoken conversation daily. Activities include books, puzzles, naming objects and animals, matching pictures and beginning phonetic sound games.
Science in the Toddler classroom means activities where the child directly observes and has hands on experiences. This is done with inside and outside activities. They will learn about weather, animals, plants, and the world around them. They will have opportunities to care for (feed and water) small animals and plants. They will learn about living and non-living things and be introduced to life cycles.