To complement the innate curiosity, creativity and intelligence of children, the Montessori curriculum is highly enriched and challenging to cultivate human potential, nurture spontaneous curiosity, and inspire a sense of wonder.
The Montessori Toddler environment is carefully prepared to aid the toddler in achieving independence. Children who are now comfortably walking leave the nest and move to a space that fits their growing physical needs. There is minimal furniture, maximum natural life, selected art placed low on the walls, and defined spaces to challenge the coordination of movement. A toddler toileting area encourages beginning training and bathroom independence.
We strive in the Toddler environment to encourage social interaction with other children, enhance the development of language and practical life skills, and music and movement activities. The curriculum also includes activities that allow the young child to develop fine and gross motor coordination and visual discrimination through the senses and learning materials.
The structure of the Toddler program supports developing confidence as each child learns to hang up their own coat, pour their own water, and clean up their own spills. An emerging conviction of “I can do it” grows within the child as they explore their learning environment and engage with a wide range of educational materials designed just for them.
Toddlers are exposed to math materials that help the children develop an awareness of numbers, counting and basic math operations. At this stage the children also have access to a special language area with materials to develop the preliminary skills for writing and reading. Specially-crafted materials in the Toddler room serve to give the children a sense of satisfaction and become more independent in their learning.
The Toddler program is an environment prepared to meet the developmental needs and high energy levels of children who are transitioning from toddler to preschooler. Of particular importance in this program is preparation of children for the larger works of the Early Childhood classroom with a focus on self-care including grace and courtesy, internal self-discipline and the ability to make choices in the classroom.
Practical life activities encourage the child to take care of the environment with size-appropriate tools. The children care for the outside environment through gardening activities and for the inside environment through dusting, mopping, sweeping and washing dishes. The toddler is also directed to take care of himself by washing hands, hanging up clothing, managing personal items and toileting.
The toddler is encouraged to explore books and perform various jobs that ultimately increase his ability to concentrate and work independently while creating foundations for learning.
The toddler is refining both fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are heightened through practical life activities such as pouring, sorting, etc. Gross motor skills are heightened in physical activities like rhythm/music movement and outdoor play.
Language activities are developing at a rapid rate during the toddler years. Sandpaper letters help the child learn the phonetics of the alphabet. Naming cards and matching introduce foundations for alphabet and language. Stories, finger plays, singing, and spontaneous conversation time encourage both social and language skills.
The toddler uses hands-on materials for learning concrete math concepts. The toddler begins to understand number concepts, both quantity and symbol, and the meaning of zero. The child also begins to understand language used in performing simple single-digit addition.
The toddler is able to discover and explore the world around her through her five senses.
The toddler learns about the environment through the use of “trial and error.”
Lessons in geography introduce the concept of a globe and create a framework for whole-world to self-world learning.
The toddler is able to use various materials to express creativity and to enhance fine motor skills. Language skills are further reinforced through the child’s description of the art and its personal meaning. Social skills particular to gift-giving are introduced and coordinated with traditional holidays.
The use of sign language in the toddler program helps the child express needs in a non-verbal manner. This can help reduce the frustration level of the child who is in the earliest stages of verbal expression.