“The human hand, so delicate and so complicated, not only allows the mind to reveal itself but it enables the whole being to enter into a special relationship with its environment.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori, The Secret of Childhood
As toddlers children begin to be aware of their discernment and insight, as well as actions that allow them to hone in on what is going on around them. They begin to speak what they’re thinking, hold on to and build events that are happening in their environment. Children become familiar with order, language, sensory skills, movement, and social skills that guide a child’s spontaneous activity, and serve to make the best of a situation or activity. During play time toddlers want to move, exercise, run, jump and skip. Children want to touch everything from the smallest to the largest for coordination and sensory perception. At this age children love repetition, and even order, and can be disturbed by unexpected change in routine or familiar places.
Speech and language development are of great importance in toddler years as each child develops their vocabulary. Written words prod the curious and stimulate a child’s interest in learning how to write the words they see. And speech, the spoken word, encourages curiosity and energizes a child’s learning for how to write words. As a child learns to write words it increases their ability to speak the words, leading to creating social interactions with their peers, family, and teachers. The self-esteem and self-confidence of a child then grows as they are able to test their own skills.
The toddler environment is intentionally designed to be more like a home environment. Classrooms are clean and orderly. Children are given space to prepare and store food, along with resting areas created for reading, resting, or just being. All equipment is within a child’s reach so each child can experience the room. Children are encouraged to explore their space, and have freedom to choose activities. The freedom to choose is also accompanied with the freedom to work with activities as much as they’d like and gain the responsibility for replacing activities as they find them.
Throughout the day our toddlers will participate in the following activities:
Practical Life - Toddlers will learn how to prepare food, share stories, care for themselves and their environment. Toddlers will also learn courtesy, welcoming guests, how to serve others and and social customs. Our young children will also begin to explore the reality of community and feel included.
Language - For toddlers, exposure to well-spoken language is key to developing the ability to communicate. Through many different methods like working with manipulatives, conversation, poetry, singing, rhyming and dramatic play, toddlers will begin to flourish into communicators. Introduction to new vocabulary will help toddlers during daily routines, classifying, comparing, and finding relationships with things through the day. Toddlers develop expressive and receptive language through routines and read aloud.
Sensorial- Everyone begins learning through their senses. Toddlers will begin to understand their environment with the help of sensorial activities shaped to help with exercise, of organizing, combining, learning about their sensory input while developing fine motor skills and focus.
Math- Toddlers learn mathematical thinking by working with sequencing activities and their senses. Consistent daily routines help with the introduction of time. Sorting and classifying introduce numeracy and mathematical sets. Daily activities help with number recognitions, stacking, sorting and counting.
Physical Education- Toddlers are always on the move. The environment is designed to allow free movement with ass little restriction as possible. Toddlers are guided to movements including yoga, dance, exercise, obstacles courses and more with the intention of gaining independence through movement.
Art- Art is not only about physical expression. It also lays the groundwork for writing. Toddlers are introduced to a variety of forms of hands-on, interactive art to inspire sensorial and physical exploration.
Spanish- Toddlers learn Spanish through songs, images, activities and dance. Toddlers become familiar with Spanish through conversation in Spanish and learning numbers, body parts, colors, etc in Spanish.
Community Services- Toddlers learn community service as they learn to share, serve guests, and experiences with others. The entire school works on community service projects throughout the year.