Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future. – Dr. Montessori

The first three years of life are the most fundamental in the development of the human being. Maria Montessori refers to the child at this period as the “spiritual embryo”. During that time, the child’s personality and intelligence are formed, and the child acquires the culture and language into which he/she is born. The Montessori Toddler program is specifically designed to meet the needs and natural curiosity of children from 18 months to 2 ½ years-old, and to foster independence, development, and language acquisition during this special period.

Our Toddler environment is being conducted by a Montessori-trained directress with special qualifications for the Toddler level, and teacher’s assistants help with classroom management. The adults in the classroom gently guide and support the toddlers in a manner which enhance their innate love of learning, sense of order and of independence. Since this is an age of very strong imitation, the teachers constantly model appropriate social skills, good manners and consideration for others. The teachers also observe the children each day and monitor their development and readiness.

Children in the Toddler community choose activities, explore, and experiment at their own pace, in an environment which is carefully prepared to meet each child’s individual needs. This nurturing, joyful, secure, social environment offers the child many opportunities for self-confidence, self-expression, movement, cognitive development, language and social skills. In the Toddler community, all furniture is toddler-sized in order to allow maximum independence, the carefully designed Montessori materials are inviting, and the various activities are purposeful.

The Toddler program offers young children a unique year of self-development in an atmosphere of respect, understanding, and support. In this setting, the children come to feel that the classroom is their own special space, where they play a meaningful role in their own care and the care of their environment.

Parkdale Montessori Toddler program creates a very gentle and gradual separation for each child from his/her parents. As the toddlers gradually become comfortable in their new environment, they learn to trust the teachers and the other children around them.
Toddlers have their own distinct playground with appropriate play equipment. Each day (unless the weather is inclement), the children go for short walks together, play outside or go to our nearby park. Hot lunch is provided every day to the children.

Parents have the option to enroll their child all year-round in the Toddler program.

Curriculum

Each day, toddlers are given time and opportunity to engage either individually or in small groups in various activities, which are integral of the Montessori toddler program. Many of the activities in the Toddler program highlight the self-help skills that lead to independence rather than saying “I can’t.”

Practical Life:

Through these real life activities, the children learn to care for themselves, for each other, and the environment. Real life tasks include washing hands, using the toilet, dressing and undressing, mopping, dusting, polishing shoes, flower arranging, planting, window washing, and many more. Through these activities, toddlers learn to gain independence and to develop responsibility.

Food Preparation:

The children are heavily involved in setting up the table, washing and drying dishes, serving snack for themselves and their peers, and preparing food (such as slicing apples, hulling strawberries, peeling and slicing eggs, slicing bananas, etc.)

Psycho-Sensory-Motor Manipulatives:

These materials offer the toddlers experiences with different wrist and hand motions, help developing eye-hand coordination and practice with different finger grasps. Through the use of Montessori manipulatives, toddlers also develop visual, tactile and stereognostic senses.

Language:

Through the language activities, the toddlers expand their growing vocabulary, learn to name and categorize, answer questions in sentences, listen to stories, among many other aspects. To expand their vocabulary, children work with many different nomenclature objects and vocabulary matching cards. To help smooth their initial social interactions, the toddlers also learn to use words for the feelings they experience in themselves and others.

Art and Music:

These activities are designed to help the toddlers with creativity, self-expression and communication. Children express themselves through different artistic mediums such as scribbling with crayons, clay, easel-paint, easel-chalk, gluing, cutting and sewing. Children are also exposed to singing, finger-plays, dancing, different types of music and instruments.

Movement:

Movement is essential to learning. The toddlers have access to a variety of large motor activities which help them to develop coordination, strength, and control of movement.

Grace and Courtesy:

These are practiced daily to help the children learn to treat everything and everyone in the environment with respect, and to create a healthy community. Children practice to wait for their turn in conversations, not interrupt others, take turns when engaging with the materials, etc.

Schedule

Morning
8:45 Morning arrival.
8:45 to 11:45 Morning cycle, snack time, and outdoor play time.
Afternoon 
11:45 to 12:45 Preparation for lunch and lunch.
12:45 to 2:45 Preparation for nap time and nap time (Toddlers awake on their own and are able to naturally go back to their activities in the classroom).
2:45 to 3:15 Snack time and preparation for dismissal.
3:15 Toddlers gather their belongings and go home or to aftercare.

Testimonials

“Our son has thrived in the toddler program at Parkdale Montessori. It is a stimulating and loving environment with outstanding care provided by the head teacher and her assistants – it is very much our son’s second family.” – Johnna and Ted

“The toddler staff provides a secure, loving, supportive, and stimulating environment for the toddlers. We really appreciate the fact that we never have to guess how our daughter is doing. There is consistent communication with parents through the daily log, notes, phone calls, and when necessary, face to face meetings.” – Mala and Mark

“Our son is in the toddler program and has been attending it since he was 18 months of age. Since that time, we have been impressed with the positive changes we have seen in him and continue to see in him. We are lucky to have found a school with qualified, professional, attentive and caring staff, that provides a wonderful environment for our son to grow and learn in.” – Presho and Matt

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