Unconscious Learners – Learning through absorbent mind
The toddler environment is set up to encourage children ages 1.8 to 2.4 years old develop the skills they need to succeed in everyday life. The Toddlers Classroom is not just a classroom. It is a nurturing environment where very young children for the first time experience structured contact with other children. The Toddler materials may look simple, but based on years of observation, experiment and study they are precisely designed. The materials are developmentally appropriate for the children and have been designed to meet the intellectual and social needs of children, in the particular age group. We foster basic motor coordination, independence and acquisition of language along with social and emotional development. We believe that even very small children can be responsible for the care of themselves and their own environments.
Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Montessori materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. With patience, warmth, and encouragement, our teachers guide each child in his or her own personal growth. Children are free to choose their work, and work becomes a cherished activity. Independence is encouraged at a gradual pace according to child’s ability.Contact us
This area includes learning to take care of basic needs as well as becoming able to take care of needs most adults take control of but toddlers are more than able to accomplish. Toilet learning is a main focus in the toddler environment; we have a bathroom fitted with a child-sized toilet. Eating is another area we focus on in the toddler community. We eat as a group at lunch time using real utensils, plates and glasses. The adults eat along with the children to model behaviour and the children follow along cleaning up after themselves when they are finished. We also have lessons in wiping one’s nose, hair care and washing hands.
One of the first things you will notice when entering the environment is that it is totally and completely arranged for the size of small children. Because of this the children feel more comfortable and responsible for taking care of the things in their environment. We have materials for dish washing, table washing, plant care, sweeping and wood polishing. Children at this age love to imitate what the adults around them are doing and we give them the opportunity to do this using materials sized for them and without interrupting or “redoing” what they have accomplished. The children are given lessons on the materials, so they can see what each lesson entails, and then are given the opportunity to work with the materials for as long as they want, repeating the steps as many times as they need to feel accomplished.
For children of this age, exposure to well-spoken language is key to developing the ability to communicate. We are very careful with the words we use, not using too many, speaking clearly and getting down to the children’s level to speak to them. We have many books on a beautiful bookshelf, objects to name and match and language cards to explore. We follow the children’s interest, so a variety subjects are covered on any given day. Through conversation, manipulating objects and contact with others, children are exposed to new vocabulary and modes of expression.
Since toddlers are learning to refine these types of movement, the use of these skills can be found everywhere in the environment. Some specific materials we use to refine these skills are; puzzles, stringing beads, turning and twisting knobs, using instruments and using the Montessori dressing frames. Many of these skills are also used outside, for example; climbing, sliding, gardening, kicking and throwing balls and swinging. The outdoor environment gives children the opportunity to use their senses. It allows them to form a relation with nature, to enjoy it and take care of it.
We all learn through our senses, and this is especially true of very young children who are at the beginning of taking in and understanding the world around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating, learning about their sensory input while refining fine motor development and fostering concentration.
Art is more than expression, it is also a way to form intelligence; it provides movement, control, organization, order and language. Art in the Toddler Montessori community is process oriented and does not focus on the product, on the end result. We strive to create an environment in which the development of the child’s art can occur and the child’s art work is always respect and appreciated.