The Montessori Toddler Program is for children around 18 months old (and who are steady on their feet) through the age of 3 years. Children will be admitted to the program up to 29 months of age. After that it is advisable to wait until they are old enough for entry into the Primary classroom.
The environment conforms to the physical needs of the children, both in the size of the furnishings and in the opportunities for motor development, guided by one trained staff person and two assistants. There is miniature furniture, tiled and carpeted floors, maximum natural light, selected art placed low on the walls, and defined spaces to challenge coordination of movement.
The Toddler Room’s goal is to promote the successful growth of the whole child in the areas of social awareness, emotional adjustment, intellectual potential and physical coordination.
The Toddler Community has three distinct areas:
- The movement area includes stairs and a platform; movement mat; push cart; materials for eye-hand coordination such as threading, bead stringing, cubes on pegs, spheres on horizontal pegs, puzzles, folding; and various practical life exercises.
- The practical life area includes materials necessary for preparing and serving a snack, setting and clearing the table, sweeping, caring for plants and animals, dish washing, clothes washing, ironing, polishing, hand washing, window cleaning, flower arranging, and so on.
- The language area includes miniature objects, language nomenclature cards (parts of the body, family members, pets, components of the neighborhood, the school, and the home), books (fiction, poetry, non-fiction), spoken vocabulary enrichment exercises, and other activities including art and music experiences.