12 months – 24 months
FloMont World School is pleased to be one of the few Montessori schools offering an Infant/Young Toddler program. We refer to this program as The Nido. In Italian Nido means “nest”. Our Nido is designed to be comfortable and welcoming, so that you and your child will feel at home here. The Nido environment allows parents to experience the beauty of Montessori with their little ones, playing a crucial role in their development. Therefore, an infant must be accompanied with a parent/ guardian to school everyday.
The Nido Philosophy
The first three years of life are the most critical period in your child’s life. It is our goal to nurture your child’s abilities, and to help her develop habits that will help her throughout her life. Thus as your infant grows, we will help her follow a daily routine, be kind to others, and to love learning.
In this phase of life she is constantly learning, absorbing everything in her environment. We recognize that the child will develop mentally, physically, and emotionally when she is free to explore her world. So we create “a prepared environment, in which the child, set free from undue adult intervention, can live her life according to the laws of development” (Maria Montessori).
The Nido Environment
All Montessori environments are prepared by the teacher in order to create a space for the child to explore without undue adult intervention. The environment should offer “freedom within limits” – a safe space, child sized furniture, and materials that have a clear and useful purpose. Because of the carefully designed space, the child learns to respect the materials and the people with whom he spends his day. One of the teacher’s primary responsibilities is to help the child learn to use the “work” on the shelves.
This Nido environment is divided into five distinct areas: Sleeping, Movement, Language, Sensorial, and Practical Life.The sleeping area is separated from the rest of the space so that infants can sleep at any time of the day. Infants sleep in a crib. Mobile children rest on a floor mat so they can go to their space without help from an adult. Older children begin to have a regular sleep schedule.
The movement area has two components, one for precrawling babies, and one for mobile children. The first has a soft mat, mirrors, mobiles and other activities that encourage children to explore safely. The second has tunnels, stairs, ramps and other activities that encourage crawling, walking, climbing, and jumping.
The language area is filled with books, sequencing and matching activities, and vocabulary development work. Language truly encompasses the entire classroom, as all areas prepare children for speaking, writing, and reading. The music and art areas are an extension of the language area, encouraging self-expression and auditory and visual development.
The sensorial area is filled with materials that encourage infants to touch, grasp, listen, mouth, and smell. This is also the area of the classroom for toddlers to seek out manipulative. These materials encourage children to notice patterns and shapes.
The practical life area is “the heart of the Montessori classroom” and offers all of the developmental benefits of movement and language. Children practice sequencing and matching, refine gross and fine motor skills, and extend their concentration. The activities range from stringing beads to self feeding and toilet training. Food preparation is a favorite of young children, and even the youngest infant can enjoy the smell of a freshly sliced apple.
Because of the opportunities for “me to do it”, the child becomes a confident, joyful learner, happy to explore and practice new skills.