The Toddler Community

Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori built her vision and philosophy of education on the theory that human development from birth until maturity at age 24 encompasses four planes of development. Early Childhood, from birth through age 6, is the first of these developmental planes. Toddlers are part of the beginning half of this plane where, as Montessori explained it, children have "an absorbent mind." From birth until age 3 the children are, without any effort, soaking up everything about their world like little sponges; this is the unconscious, absorbent mind.

Based on the prepared environment and respect for the child, the Montessori Academy Toddler Community nurtures the absorbent mind of growing, active, and curious children. Materials and activities are tailored to skills that are valuable to toddler development and help enable children to care for themselves, the environment, and each other. While attending the toddler program, children have the chance to develop relationships with other children and adults while engaging in stimulating individual and group activities. Children in the Toddler Community attend Montessori Academy a minimum of five half days per week with the option to attend two, three, or five full days per week.

Parents may choose from the following Toddler Program Options:
  • Morning classes - 8:30 – Noon
  • Full day sessions - 8:30 – 3:00

Children enrolled in our Toddler Program will have the opportunity to work in the following areas:

Practical life

Materials in this area of the classroom allow children to practice self-help skills including buttoning, zipping, spooning, pouring, lacing, opening and closing containers, table setting, and dish washing. Children learn to care for the environment as they practice watering plants, using a broom, and dusting. Through the practical life activities, children begin to develop positive work habits, independence, self-control, and the ability to concentrate. Materials in this area promote the development of fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and serve as the foundation for future work in all other academic areas.

Sensorial

The sensorial materials offer children the opportunity to refine their senses. Children are able to explore colors, discriminate sizes and shapes, experience textures such as water, sand, dirt, clay, and play-dough, smell scents from fruits, flowers, and spices and identify and match a variety of sounds. Our weekly tasting activities further expose each child to a variety of new tastes and textures in food with which they may not yet be familiar. These sensorial experiences help children to make sense of their world.

Math

Mathematical concepts are presented to children in a simple, concrete, and hands-on way that makes learning fun. Toddlers enjoy being introduced to numbers in books, music and finger plays. Basic counting, number recognition, number matching, and object counting are presented in a variety of activities for children to choose. Toddlers will be given opportunities to recognize and name geometric shapes.

Language

Our language materials offer children many opportunities for conversational speech and vocabulary enrichment as they learn the names of items within their world. Children enjoy joining in conversations, listening to stories, singing songs, and learning finger plays that will nurture their budding language skills. Children also engage with materials that help them to recognize phonetic sounds and to develop their pre-reading and pre-writing skills.

Gross Motor

The children participate daily in a variety of large muscle activities that provide them the opportunities to run, jump, climb, balance, crawl and skip. Indoor gross motor materials are available for children to use throughout the day. Our outdoor environment is a fenced safe space, which offers the children plenty of room and equipment to further build these important skills.

Art, Music, and Movement

The Art area includes gluing, painting, stamping, coloring with crayons, tearing and cutting paper, and Play-Doh rolling and shaping. Children are given the opportunity to participate in individual and group creative art activities that are specifically created for toddlers. Music and Movement experiences are provided daily. Children are invited to sing, listen to music, participate in finger plays, and take part in whole group motor activities such as marching, following the leader, and walking in a line.

Grace and Courtesy

The Art area includes gluing, painting, stamping, coloring with crayons, tearing and cutting paper, and Play-Doh rolling and shaping. Children are given the opportunity to participate in individual and group creative art activities that are specifically created for toddlers. Music and Movement experiences are provided daily. Children are invited to sing, listen to music, participate in finger plays, and take part in whole group motor activities such as marching, following the leader, and walking in a line.

Toddler Childcare

Montessori Academy offers before school childcare from 7:00 AM and after school childcare until 5:30 PM for an additional charge.

To learn more about Montessori Academy’s Toddler Program or to schedule a tour, please call us today at 717-261-1110 or contact us at info@montacad.org