18 months to 3 years
Our uniquely prepared toddler environment meets the young child’s many physical and emotional needs. The classroom is beautifully designed to appeal to the child’s curiosity. Furniture is custom-sized to allow for maximum exploration and development of the senses.
Classroom exercises include sensorial work, and instruction in math and language. As the child grows emotionally, physically, and intellectually, the activities in the classroom continue to change to meet his needs.
In many instances, this is the first experience the child has of being a member of his own “society.” The child is encouraged to be a functioning member of this society, thus leading him to a feeling of pride and dignity. Waiting one’s turn, sharing, and patience are important lessons that each child learns.
The Montessori teacher offers the tenderness, warmth and patience so essential at this age. An emphasis on the importance of a peaceful environment, along with the necessary nurturing and caring, are characteristics of this program.
Practical Life exercises use familiar objects drawn from experiences in the home. Children learn to care for the environment with activities such as dusting, sweeping, folding napkins, watering plants and feeding animals. Caring for oneself includes managing a coat, washing hands and taking off and putting on shoes. Specially designed “dressing frames” teach the child how to zip and button. Food preparation is explored through pouring and spooning activities, washing various objects, and setting a table.
The child discovers the world around him through the use of his senses. In the Montessori method, sensorial activities help the child explore the world through all five senses. Activities include bead stringing, matching color tablets, matching smelling boxes, working on puzzles, and comparing smooth and rough objects of different sizes.
Language activities in the Pre-primary Program build on the foundation established in the first two years of life. An assortment of objects and pictures are matched to Dr. Montessori’s “sandpaper letters,” helping the child learn the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. Lots of singing, finger plays, stories, and “conversation time” make language learning fun.
Toddlers need a “hands on” environment for learning concrete math concepts. Many learning opportunities for manipulating objects help the child begin to understand number concepts, both quantity and symbol. A variety of materials are available, and change with the season to keep the child’s interest high. Apples or bears are counted and matched to the number, spindle boxes teach the concept of “zero,” and sandpaper numbers let the child feel the number symbols.