"The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the
first one, the period from birth to the age of six."
The first few years of a child's life are crucial to his personality and
intellectual development. Toddlers need not only love and emotional
nurturance in a healthy, physical environment, but also an environment that
promotes a very real need to learn.
The purpose of the Toddler Cottage at West End
Montessori School is to encourage, and assist the development of each child in
preparation for the Early Childhood Program. The prepared environment helps each child foster his basic
needs for independence, exploration and the building of trust. The class size is
small and inviting to make it feel like home for the youngest child.
Support in potty training is also provided.
The toddler classroom is filled with Montessori sensorial materials which aid in
the development of visual, tactile, auditory discrimination while also giving
the child an opportunity to expand and enhance vocabulary. A
foundation for mathematical concepts is also found in these materials as the
toddlers work at sequencing and building activities.
"Mental development must be connected
with movement and be dependent on it."
Through song, dance and freedom of choice, the toddlers have access to a
variety of large muscle activities that offer them opportunities to jump, climb,
balance, crawl, and skip. Fine motor skills are increased through work
with small manipulatives in the classroom. This freedom in a safe place is
crucial to the toddler program. However, it is tempered by two important limits
that will be beneficial for a lifetime-respect for others and respect for the
Toddlers absorb language from the time they are born and during the second year
they begin to speak and demand to know the vocabulary for everything in their
environment. It is important during this period to give proper vocabulary to
everything the child may come in to contact with. In the toddler classroom
we are constantly providing vocabulary for each item or concept the children
experience. Stories and songs also increase this skill in the toddlers.
"The most favorable time for
a child to learn is when she wants to do it herself."
Toddlers thrive on independence. We want to foster a sense of self
confidence and independence by "helping them help themselves". The
children will care for their environment by learning many practical life skills
such as sweeping, rolling a mat, watering a plant and wiping a table. They
will also gain the skills needed to care for themselves such as dressing and
undressing, wiping noses, washing hands etc. Grace and Courtesy is also an
important part of the toddler curriculum. The children learn table
manners, saying "thank you", "please" and other kind words.
Like our Early Childhood and Elementary programs we encourage appreciation and
understanding of other cultures and people. The children will be given a brief
introduction to the continents through songs, pictures and artwork. To
give the children an appreciation of the world around them we also study
animals, plants and other parts of nature.
As part of their enrichment, The toddlers enjoy Music Together®
class on Tuesdays and