The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” — Maria Montessori
Toddler Room: Chickadee
The Toddler Community is designed for twelve children ages 15 months to three years. This setting provides a place where children are allowed to explore their own movements and culture by being active participants in those activities that mirror what the child sees in the world around him/her. Everything in this specially prepared environment is designed to meet the specific needs of very young children in terms of the development of receptive and expressive language and communication skills, gross and fine motor skills, toileting and independence. The children have the freedom to make choices for themselves regarding their activity within this enriching environment.
The children are free to learn at their own pace, processing information through their senses and their actions while developing a sense of trust and autonomy. This is an environment that supports the child’s need for exploration and large motor activities; a place that fosters their internal sense of order as well as their growing linguistic skills. This is also an environment that nurtures the beginnings of social interaction through parallel play with an emphasis on mutual respect.
Most of the day is spent in free-choice activities, either in the classroom or outside rather than in adult-directed activities. The toddler environment is prepared with low shelves and a modest number of clearly displayed materials.
A big part of being a toddler involves learning to care for oneself. We place a lot of emphasis on independence, assisting the children in learning to dress themselves, wipe their own noses, wash their hands and faces, use the toilet and to keep track of their personal belongings. This takes up quite a bit of time during the child’s day and it is definitely a very important part of our curriculum.
7:30 – 8:30 Children arrive and choose activities from a wide variety available to them.
8:30 – 10:00 much of the time is spent in individual work cycles of activity. The lead Montessori teacher gives individual and small group lessons focusing on language and communication skills, movement and practical life; washing dishes, watering plants, sweeping, mopping, feeding the animals, taking care of the environment, food preparation, etc.
10:00 – 11:15 The children either head outside for a nature walk or playground. Incase of inclement weather head to the large motor area downstairs to practice running, climbing, playing with carts and buggies, the use of balls, climbing stairs, sliding, etc.
11:20 – 12:30 Lunch. The children set out their food on plates, on placemats and eat together. This is a social time to practice the common graces and courtesies of the culture.
12:30 – 2:00 Nap
2:00 – 3:30 Snack and Outdoor Play
3:30 – 5:30 Aftercare
Toileting is done on an ongoing/as-needed basis. Adult/Child ratio is 1:6. Enrollment in this program is on a twelve month basis.