Toddler Program

 

The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.

What is a Toddler Community?

A Montessori toddler environment is a class in which children ages 15 months-3 years are given the opportunity to learn using real life experiences. Our toddler classroom provides a warm and peaceful atmosphere where young children develop meaningful skills and play an active role in their own care as well as the care of the classroom environment. This creates a community of respect and special understanding which each child feels he is a valued member.

What sets a Montessori Toddler Community apart?

toddler8A Montessori toddler environment offers a unique beginning to self development in which a child learns by doing. With proper support of a guide and an assistant, they are provided with the necessary skills and materials to take care of themselves and their environment independently. It is through these practical life experiences that they learn self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-reliance as well as control of movement and appreciation and respect of their environment. They are given a child sized environment, prepared just for them, in which they can operate independently and freely according to their own will and desires. They are learning what it means to have a love of learning!

How do we approach toilet training?

Once a child begins walking stably, we recommend that children wear cloth training pants which they can pull up and down independently. We will then have them sit on the toilet for very short periods of time at regular intervals throughout the day. This serves two purposes. The first is that it allows them to begin on a path of independence in toileting and second, it helps them to experience and feel those bodily functions which allows them to make connections between what they are feeling and sitting on the toilet. When this is consistently done both in the classroom and at home, it generally results in children becoming toilet trained much faster.

How do meal times work?

toddler1Each parent will pack a lunch containing food from each of the five food groups that your child is able to eat independently. With support and training from the guide and assistant, they will set their place at the table, pour their own milk, clean their space up once they are finished, and wash their own plates and silverware. They will also participate in food preparation regularly including apple slicing, orange juicing, and bread baking which is then shared with the group at snack time.

When will my child be ready for the toddler community?

The main signs that we look for are being able to walk stable and independently, taking one afternoon nap a day, and the ability to drink out of a glass. Once these milestones have been met, they are ready for introduction into the toddler environment. If your child is not yet ready for the toddler environment, please check into our Nido Program which works closely with our Toddler Environment in preparing a child for transition.

toddler3It offers unique beginning to self development in which a child learns by doing. With proper support of a guide and an assistant, they are provided with the necessary skills and materials to take care of themselves and their environment independently. It is through these practical life experiences that they learn self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-reliance as well as control of movement and appreciation and respect of their environment. They are given a child sized environment, prepared just for them, in which they can operate independently and freely according to their own will and desires. They are learning what it means to have a love of learning!

What are some of the important components of a toddler environment?

 

  • When children are young, they absorb the entire world around them through their five senses. Our YCC caters to their senses by offering an environment rich in Sensorial Experiences.
  • In the the YCC here at Meadowbrook, we not only focus on the intellectual development, but seek to also support their Social and Emotional Development. A child who has been supported both socially and emotionally with responsive individualized attention will learn easily, manage frustration, and react positively to their environment. This will result in a happy, well-rounded child.
  • The first 3 years of a child’s life are critical to their Language Development. We strive to offer a language rich environment in which we intertwine various language activities and vocabulary into all that we do- including snack time, outside time, and group time activities. We also offer multiple direct language lessons in which children are exposed to many language growth opportunities.
  • Practical Life experiences and activities are a big dynamic in the toddler class. Children participate daily in activities such as window washing, dish washing, wood polishing, and baking. By contributing to the community environment in this way, they learn they are a valued and respected member of the group.
  • Children in the toddler environment are given complete Freedom of Movement. In the Nido, we allow the children to move freely in an inviting environment prepared just for them at their stage of development. In order to develop their movement skills in the toddler environment, the room is designed for them, to carry table and chairs independently, and to practice practical movement skills such as setting the table and washing their hands.
  • Many children are used to having things done for them. Someone gets them dressed, wipes their nose, and even feeds them. In the Nido program, we begin to Help the child to Help Himself. We want to see a child enjoy their independence and find satisfaction in doing things for themselves. Once in the toddler environment, we encourage children to learn the essentials of Care of Self. We show them the basic skills of getting yourself dressed, washing your hands, wiping your nose, etc. and empower them to take pride in doing things for themselves.
  • Learning to Care for the Environment around you is a vital life skill that we foster in the earliest years. Children learn to keep the environment clean and orderly, as well as maintained. By doing this for themselves, they learn to respect and take ownership and responsibility of the space around them, both indoors and outdoors.