Each child is embraced in love and warmth of our staff and the children are treated with care and respect. The classroom functions as a family and the children enjoy working, playing, dining and napping together. Our staff nurtures each child's development through organized monthly themes and playful educational activities.
A "toddler" is a child in transition - a child with particular needs and abilities. The age of children is from approximately 16 months to 2,5 years. The child is still very new to the world of sights, sounds and movements. He is in awe from the wonders of the world and exhilarated from the growing independence, sense of self and freedom. As a child in transition, he has conflicting feelings. His immature senses can be overburdened or overlooked. The transition is quite different from the preschool child, who is inner-directed and interested in refining his senses and controlling his own movements.
It's a difficult task, since the child has no experience in the values and expectations of those around him. He needs the environment, which focuses and responds to the rapid and conflicting changes of this age. Toddler is experiencing unusual and unique motoric attractions, set in the motion by nature to propel his attention and activity. The purpose of the toddler class environment is to assist the child in this process. Our Toddler classroom provides a colorful, safe and tender atmosphere for the very young child to grow to his full potential. The room contains child sized furniture and activities that match the children's physical proportions and their stage of development.
The curriculum of our Montessori Toddler classroom, focused on independence and self awareness, includes:
Toddlers absorb the ideas from the world around them through their sense of sight, sound and touch. They have opportunities to explore and learn about themselves and their environment.
Children choose activities of interest from the prepared indoor and outdoor environments. They go through their work period (e.g. learning to name colors, count objects etc.) and develop fine and gross motor skills. Children can use the materials with the minimum of adult assistance and they are allowed to complete the tasks without interruption or interference. In this way children build up their attention span.
They enjoy circle time where they learn how to listen, follow directions, sing songs, and enjoy story time. Ultimately, the child will find his own voice; define his own world, needs and personal space in harmony with the environment.
All children will be respected and their individuality recognized, valued and nurtured. They will be given appropriate opportunities to explore, acknowledge and value similarities and differences between themselves and others.
The child will begin with the simplest exercises based on activities, which he or she is drawn to. The materials and equipment used will help to develop concentration, coordination, independence and sense of order.
Classroom is designed to take advantage of a child's sensitive years between the ages of 2,5 to 6, when the child best absorbs information from an enriched environment. Careful preparation of the environment is an essential for the successful development of children.
Children choose activities from every day living: polishing shoes, using tools (hammer, screw driver etc.) wet/dry pouring, flower arranging, tying laces etc.
These activities help children to be more independent and develop small muscle coordination, excellent preparation for writing skills and improve fine motor skills.
Children choose from activities that use their five senses, such as color sorting, matching sounds/smells/textures/weight, grading objects by size etc. Materials give the children the ability to increasingly refine each of their senses.
These sensorial exercises are preparation for intellectual and logical mind and also provide a foundation for later math and language work.
Some of the activities included in this area are metal insets, object/picture matching, classification of objects (i.e. put all the flying things in one pile), rhyming words, opposites, letter recognition, and letter sound recognition.
One child has mastered alphabet, he begins to compose/build words in steps that enhance oral language and set the foundation for reading and writing.
We introduce, through child's senses, quantity and number symbols. We then put quantity and symbol together in a variety of exercises. Using beads and symbols cards, concrete experiences with the mathematic operation (additions etc.).
These operations provide deep understanding of how numbers function.
Children gain an appreciation of biology, geography, science and history. They learn easily not only the simple, but also the technical names of the new things they were introduced to.
Children are allowed to be individuals, free to express feelings and emotions and free to enjoy worlds of movement, sounds, colors and sensation. They have an opportunity to work creatively using a variety of materials to create an expressive piece of art, including gluing, painting, scissors, tape, stamps, stencils etc.
This is when children work on the development of their large muscles, building coordination and strength. This is also a time when they can practice social skills.
Children are involved in dancing, singing and playing instruments. Music is a wonderful way for children to be exposed to and practice using language.