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All the toddlers attend five days a week 8:15 to 12:15 (with the option of extending to 2:30 once they turn 2+ and are potty trained).The toddler classroom is carefully prepared to meet the unique needs of this age (18-36 months). All furniture is a size that allows maximum independence and the toddler materials are designed to be attractive and inviting to the children.Social interaction with other children, development of language skills, care of oneself and the environment, food preparation, music and movement activities are integral to the Montessori toddler experience.Through careful observation of the children, the teacher is able to link each child to whatever aspect of the environment will enhance the child’s physical, psychological and social development at any given time. The teacher is always looking out for the “sensitive periods” when the child demonstrates an almost obsessive interest in a particular activity that is essential to his or her growth.The adults in the environment are the children’s models. They conduct themselves in the way they expect the children to conduct themselves. Children at this age learn not only through individual lessons and independent practice, but also through their attention to what the adults in their lives do.An open, supportive relationship between teachers and parents is essential to providing optimal conditions for the toddler in the Montessori classroom. Daily communication, formal conferences and parent education classes contribute to an atmosphere in which each child can realize his or her full potential.

 

A Place for Everything and Everything in it’s Place

From the Joyful Child by Susan and Jim Stephenson

Ideally, whenever a toy or tool is brought into a home the family decides exactly where it will be kept. Any great artist, or car mechanic, knows the value of being able to find his tools ready for use exactly when he needs them. Children are the same, and their sense of order is far more intense at this age because they are constructing themselves through work.In our home for many years we had to show guests where the dishes were kept because they were all in low cupboards, within reach of the children. Dangerous cleaning supplies of course were kept out of reach, but everything else in the house was kept within reach of the children and their friends.

Toddler Curriculum

General Equipment:

  • Long, low shelves
  • Small table and chairs
  • Table mats (placemats) and small rugs
  • Plants, artwork, and a pet to care for
  • Age-appropriate books, musical instruments, and art supplies

Practical Life:

  •  Control of Movement
    a. Pouring, Scooping, & Spooning work
    b. Transferring work (both for whole hand and fingers)
    c. Sorting (colors, shapes, sizes)
    d. Stringing Beads & Lacing Cards
  • Care of Person
    a. Dressing Frames
    b. Folding (napkin, washcloth)
    c. Scrubbing and Washing

  • Care of Environment
    a. Sweeping and Mopping
    b. Polishing
    c. Dusting

Sensorial:

  • Pink Tower
  • Small Cylinder Block Set
  • Color Tablets Box 1

Language:

  • Wooden Puzzles of all kinds
  • Watching Work (picture/picture, object/picture, etc)
  • Picture Sequencing
  • Sandpaper Letters
  • Classification Materials

Math:

  • Sandpaper Numbers
  • Stacking and Nesting Cubes
  • Number blocks and puzzles
  • Sorting and Counting Materials

Practical Life for Daily Living

Practical Life activities form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. The emphasis is on process rather than on product. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop and refine the basic skills that will serve them all their lives. The Toddler classroom offers the early Practical Life exercises, such as:

  • Pouring,Mopping
  • Opening and Closing,
  • Spooning, Bead Stringing,
  • Polishing
  • Large Water Activities.

These activities are aimed at enhancing the child’s development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration and independence.

Language
Around the age of two, children’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the refinement and enrichment of language as the first steps on the road to writing and finally reading. Early Language materials and oral exercises like storytelling and reading aloud support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language. Activities include:

  • books,
  • puzzles,
  • naming objects like fruits, vegetables and animals.
  • beginning sound games.

Sensorial

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We all learn through our senses, and this is especially true of very young children who are at the beginning of taking in and understanding the world around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating and learning about their sensory input. Sensorial materials include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, Color Paddles, tactile exercises like Rough and Smooth, Musical Equipment, Sorting and Shapes.

Numbers and Counting

To help prepare the mathematical mind, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and concrete materials. These exercises encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as:

  • order,
  • sequence,
  • visual discrimination,
  • sorting,
  • one-to-one correspondence
  • directionality.

Toddler Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, and sorting and counting materials.

Musical Arts

Toddlers enjoy learning music concepts such as:

  • beat,
  • meter,
  • rhythm.

At an early age they learn to move their bodies with the rhythm of the music.

Physical Exercise

Toddlers participate in regular gross motor activities during the day. At playtime they:

  • ride trikes,
  • pull wagons,
  • dig in sand boxes,
  • climb,
  • slide,
  • crawl and
  • run.

They practice moving their bodies and developing their physical skills.

Introduction to Books and Literature

Our curriculum supports introduction of boos for toddlers. Our students learn to respect and handle books properly. They enjoy listening to a variety of stories and storytelling activities.

Social Arts

The beginning of “Grace and Courtesy”, They begin practicing manners and kindness. Children learn about responsibility to their school community by picking up after themselves, putting an activity away where it belongs, in good order, so the next child can find it, folding cloths that are used in the classroom, tucking in their chair so no one trips. They learn from their experiences with their older peers from MCDC who occasionally come to help them. They participate in the “Can Drive” during the Holidays.