The Toddler Community

Our Toddler Community serves children 12 months (stable walkers) to 3 years, in a small and intimate group of ten to twelve children with a trained teacher and an assistant.  Two program options are available, either half-day (8:00am- 11:45am) or extended-day (8:00am-3:15pm).  The Toddler Community provides a rich learning environment that is appropriate to the young child’s needs for movement, communication, independence and self-discipline.

Cylinder work

The toddler classroom is beautiful and welcoming, with lots of natural light, art work placed at the child’s height, child-size furniture and bathroom fixtures, and direct access to a private outdoor space for gardening and play.

Because this is such an important stage in a child’s development of communication, the environment is bursting with language!  The more words a child hears, the more words she will learn.  The language area includes miniature objects, language nomenclature cards (parts of the body, family members, pets, components of the neighborhood, the school, and the home), books (fiction, poetry, nonfiction), spoken vocabulary enrichment exercises, and other activities including art and music experiences.  Adults model respectful communication and there are many opportunities throughout the day to practice the art of conversation.

Independence is the ability to do things for ourselves and think for ourselves.  Children become independent through their own activity. By being included in simple daily activities of the environment, they begin to understand routines, their role in the community and their own abilities.  When we offer choices at the right times and only lend a hand when needed, we are saying “I know you can do this by yourself”.  Children gain skills, confidence and an “I can do it” attitude which they will take with them throughout life.  Practical life activities include sweeping, food preparation, setting the table, caring for plants and animals, using the bathroom and much more.

Through full participation in the life of the community, and daily opportunities to make choices and make mistakes within a safe environment with clear limits, a child will gradually develop awareness of his behavior and the self-discipline he needs to develop to his full potential.

Please visit these excellent links for more in-depth information about Montessori education for the young child:

www.aidtolife.org

http://www.michaelolaf.com/JCcontents.html

http://www.exponentialeducation.info/Human_Potential_at_Birth.html