For children between the ages of two and three years, the Peace Montessori School Toddler House program utilizes the toddler’s natural drive to act independently. Learning to care for him/herself and to do it self-sufficiently is an important part of the toddler’s work. In this language-rich environment, teachers support and guide toddlers as they freely explore curriculum areas, repeat lessons to gain skill, concentration, and confidence, and progress through stages of play.
In the Toddler House, the teachers do not begin the day with a group lesson or expect the toddlers to do the same activity at the same time. Instead, the low teacher-to-child ratio (1:5), allow the teachers, who are trained observers, to notice which toddler needs a lesson, redirection, or help with personal care. The teachers interact with children as they ask for and require our care.
Toddler lessons and activities recognize that children of this age learn by doing and repeating. Classroom materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a toddler’s success. The lessons are changed regularly in response to toddler’s need for variety and challenge as they develop. The safe yet stimulating environment lets the toddlers know that this is their place learn.
Each curriculum area in a Montessori classroom emphasizes specific skills. However, there is a dynamic interplay among different areas. Thus, the toddler’s natural learning process is enhanced.
Practical Life activities form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the toddler for all other areas. The emphasis is on the process rather than the product. Through repetition of activities, children develop and refine basic skills, such as pouring liquid, spooning, and tonging, that will serve them all their lives. These activities are aimed at enhancing the toddler’s development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration, and independence.
Around age two, toddler’s speech development experiences an explosion of words and word combinations. The language materials in Toddler House encourage refinement and enrichment of language as first steps on the road to writing and reading. Early language materials include oral exercises like naming objects, matching images, storytelling and reading, singing, and beginning sound activities. The environment is designed to support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language.
Sensorial activities assist toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating, and learning about their sensory input. 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 materials include smelling bottles, color paddles, tactile pillows, sound cylinders, musical instruments, and knobbed cylinders.
To help prepare the mathematical mind, toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through various games and materials. These exercises encourage the development of pre-math skills, such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting, and one-to-one correspondence. Toddler math activities include stacking and nesting blocks, number blocks, puzzles, and sorting and counting materials.
GRACE AND COURTESY
Treating others with respect, or grace and courtesy, is an important part of Toddler House. Through lessons, modeling, and role-playing, we teach taking turns, waiting, shaking hands, saying polite words, and respecting others’ work & space. We encourage showing kindness and being empathic toward one another.
Check out our toddler photo gallery to see the kinds of activities that engage the mind, body and spirit, as well as providing a caring, nurturing learning environment for our toddlers.