A Montessori toddler program in Snellville, GA is a class in which children ages 15 months to 3 years are given the opportunity to learn using real-life experiences.
Our toddler classroom provides a warm, 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, where each child feels like a valued member.
What sets a Montessori Toddler Community Apart?
Our toddler community has 1 Guide, 2 assistants and generally 12 to 14 children aged 15 to 36 months. Each classroom is a specially prepared environment designed to meet the needs of children this age allowing them to become independent and engaged learners. Young children go through sensitive periods of order and language so our Toddler Community is designed with this in mind to allow movement, exploration and socialization. Toddlers have a large capacity for mental absorption and are encouraged to quietly and intently explore and discover.
Education is a natural process carried out by the child & is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
-Dr. Maria Montessori
When Will My Child be Ready for the Toddler Community?
The main signs 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. It 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.
Typical Toddler Day
During our work period from 9:00 to 11:00am, each child will work with many different activities such as polishing, watering plants, learning to sew, collage, food preparation, washing dishes or baking bread. With each choice children practice movement, concentration and develop self-confidence. We gather every morning for a community snack, prepared by the children with the guidance of an adult. The table is set with flowers, place mats, cloth napkins and everyone practices manners.
During the morning we engage in music, poetry and songs, and art materials are always available. There is joy and excitement each day as the child’s personality unfolds and blossoms, revealing the person he or she will become.
How do we Approach Toilet Training?
Once a child begins walking stably, we recommend 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.
- First, puts them on a path of independence in toileting.
- 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 done consistently in the classroom and at home, it generally results in children becoming toilet trained much faster.
How do Meal Times Work?
Each parent will pack a lunch containing food from each of the five food groups 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.
What are the Important Components of a Toddler Environment?
When children are young, they absorb the entire world around them through their five senses. Our Young Children’s Community (YCC) caters to their senses by offering an environment rich in Sensorial Experiences.
- 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. We allow 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. 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 we foster in the earliest years. Children learn to keep the environment clean, orderly and well-maintained. By doing this for themselves, they learn to respect and take ownership and responsibility of the space around them, both indoors and outdoors.