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The Toddler Program serves children between the ages of 18 months and three years, a transitional time when abilities can be developed to their fullest in a Montessori environment. The toddler classroom has 12 children, one certified Montessori teacher and a trained Assistant. Toddlers attend school five days a week from 8:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Toddlers between the ages of 18 months to three years are still very new to the world of sights, sounds and movements. They are in awe of the wonders and objects of the world, while at the same time their immature senses can be over stimulated. This toddler must orient his or herself in an unfamiliar setting and establish a sense of trust in others and in the environment. The purpose of the Toddler class is to assist the child in accomplishing this task.
The Toddler environment is a warm, nurturing environment where children develop social skills such as cooperation through practice and learn to use words to express the emotions they are feeling and the emotions being experienced by others. The teachers and adults are strong role models for grace, courtesy and sincere consideration for others. Children develop a true love of learning that evolves naturally from their individual exploration and action in this specially prepared environment.
The Toddler classroom is specifically designed to address the interests and abilities of children from 18 months to three years of age. The environment fosters the development of order, concentration, coordination, and independence in a gentle atmosphere of respect, accomplished through providing work that is developmentally appropriate. As the student’s interest and abilities evolve, work is chosen based on the teacher’s observations of the child. Throughout the year, early materials are replaced with more complex and challenging ones.
The environment is rich with materials that stimulate conversation and the development of language, sensory exploration, manipulatives, pre-math materials, science and nature exploration, and activities that continue to develop fine and gross motor movement. Children are also able to experience art and music from other cultures as well as plenty of opportunity for creative expression. Practical life skills relate to care of self and care of the environment; this area of the classroom is the foundation of the Montessori Philosophy and plays an important role in both toddler and primary environments.