(18 MONTHS TO 3 YEARS-OLD)
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 children acquire the culture and language into which they are born. Our Montessori Toddler program is specifically designed to meet the needs and natural curiosity of children from 18 months to 3 years-old, and to foster independence, development and language acquisition during this special period.
Our Toddler environment is being conducted by a Montessori-trained teacher 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.
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, secure, social environment offers the child many opportunities for self-confidence, self-expression, movement, cognitive development, language and social skills. In the Toddler community, furniture is toddler-sized in order to allow maximum independence, and the various activities are purposeful in order to engage children.
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.
Toddlers have access to a garden and a playground with appropriate play equipment. Each day (unless the weather is inclement), the children play outside. Hot lunch and milk/water are provided.
Many of the activities in the Toddler program highlight the self-help skills that lead to independence and the child saying “I did it myself!”.
Through these real life activities, the children learn to care for themselves, for each other, and for the environment. Real life tasks include washing hands, using the toilet, dressing and undressing, mopping, dusting, flower arranging, planting, window washing, and many more. Through these activities, toddlers learn to gain independence and to develop responsibility.
The children are involved in setting up the table, washing and drying dishes, serving snack for themselves, and preparing food for themselves (such as slicing fruits and vegetables).
These materials help develop eye-hand coordination and practice with different finger grasps. Through the use of Montessori manipulatives, toddlers also develop visual, tactile and stereognostic senses.
Through the language activities, the toddlers expand their growing vocabulary, and they learn to name, categorize, answer questions in sentences, listen to stories, etc. 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, etc. Children are also exposed to singing, finger-plays, dancing, as well as different types of music and instruments.
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.
|8:45 to 11:30
||Morning cycle, snack time, and outdoor play time.
|11:30 to 12:30
||Preparation for lunch.
|12:30 to 2:30
||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).
|2:30 to 3:15
||Snack time and preparation for dismissal.
||Toddlers gather their belongings and go home or to aftercare.
“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