Toddler Program: 1½ – 3 yrs old
Our play is not child’s play. We’re building blocks of learning.
“The first six years of the child are the foundation of all the characteristics, attitudes, and abilities of his adulthood constructed in such a manner that it lasts throughout his whole life.” ~ Dr. Maria Montessori
Children learn through play. A child’s natural path to knowledge follows the whims of curiosity and wonder. At Foundations Christian Montessori Academy, our Toddler Program sets children ages 18 months to three years old on a lifelong path of exploration, in a world created especially for the heart and mind of a young child. In this sensorial environment of order and simplicity, all aspects have been tuned to the rhythm of a child. The lights and sounds, the size of tables and chairs, the structure of a child’s day, have all been carefully planned to fulfill Toddlers’ needs, while empowering their sense of self-worth and optimum development. Toddlers are happiest in a constant state of motion. Toddlers have newfound abilities and a strong desire to “do it by myself,” yet they seek an ever-ready avenue for retreat and reassurance as their intellectual, physical, and social skills blossom.
Our Toddler Program provides a safe, nurturing atmosphere, allowing for a child’s freedom of movement and learning directed by a child’s interest. Children experience cognitive and motor development by hands-on activities at an unhurried pace. They are given time to become captivated by a concept, and encouraged to develop their potential in their own time.
When children learn at their natural pace, it is often by leaps and bounds. When learning is its own reward, the need for artificial rewards and punishment disappears. When children are guided by an adult sensitive to their needs, yet left free to explore, children gain self-confidence and self-discipline, creating a strong foundation for all future learning.
Because your child is unique, our program is uniquely designed.
Designed to nurture a child’s mental and physical streams of energy in harmony, a child’s day encompasses indoor and outdoor, individualized and social toddler activities. As children gain an increasing sense of order, coordination, concentration and independence, they naturally progress from the Toddler to Preschool and Elementary Programs.
What To Expect in the Toddler Program
Toilet Training We will assist with toilet learning habits.
Parent Support Your concerns and suggestions are of utmost importance to us. Conferences throughout the year assist in bridging the gap between home and school environments.
Toddler Activities The Toddler environment, both indoors and out, consists of developmentally appropriate activities, which involve movement appropriate to this sensitive period of the child’s life. Manipulative, “practical life” exercises, such as dish washing, sensorial activities for sensory development, gross motor tasks, vocabulary-building, and habits of grace and courtesy form the foundation of the “curriculum.”
At the beginning of the year, activities available are those the children can perform successfully on their own in order to facilitate a successful transition from home to the Children’s House. As the year progresses, additional, more complex activities are made available; the many steps involved in food preparation, for example, help develop the Toddler’s growing sense of order, coordination, concentration, and independence.
Social Interaction Children play and social interaction flows freely. Free play is facilitated by age-appropriate equipment designed for learning and play experiences. Grace and courtesy are taught and practiced as children learn to respect their playmates, the adult, and themselves.
Movement and Physical Coordination Coordination of movements are developmentally planned. Dr. Montessori said that we have two streams of energy, mental and physical. When these two streams are working in harmony, the personality develops positively. The vestibular stimulation board is important in development, as well as fun activities with art materials, sand, water, ball-play, and climbing equipment on the playground.
Music Quality music is part of the background of sound in the Children’s House. Children also learn to listen, move their hands, clap, and move their body to the music.
Creative Thought It is important to understand that children are learning all the time because Dr. Montessori told us that the child has an “absorbent mind.” Every child is constantly absorbing the knowledge and all the feelings provided incidentally or deliberately from every experience in life. Therefore, the heart and mind are one in this nurturing atmosphere, moving their body to the music.
Language Development How very necessary it is for us to understand what our young ones need. Until they develop language to be able to tell us what they need and how they feel (communication skills), there needs to be a sensitive adult to help, to guide, and to direct the child. Children who enter class speaking a language other than English absorb English and are supported in feeling comfortable.
Dr. Montessori said, “Language is truly the expression of a kind of super-intelligence… It is the central point of difference between the human species and all others. Language is an instrument of thought… Language can separate and it can unite people.”