In a special environment made for the child …
Toddler Community hours Monday – Thursday 8:20 – 11:30 a.m.
Children 16 months through 3 years are eager to learn about the world outside their family. The Toddler Community is a small class of children guided by a specially trained Montessori teacher and a classroom assistant. Here, for a few hours a day, children participate in activities of practical life – learning how to care for their home-like environment, their friends, and their own physical needs.Child-sized furniture, cleaning tools, and cooking utensils entice toddlers to manipulate and create. By working with real tools and performing real work, children enjoy a sense of competence and self-confidence. Lessons in grace and courtesy help toddlers develop empathy and consideration for others in age-appropriate ways:
- Feeding the classroom pet, watering the plants, mopping a spill, and chopping vegetables for the lunchtime soup are ways that toddlers learn that “hands are for helping.”
- When children finish an activity, they make it “beautiful for the next person” and put it back where it belongs – lessons in cooperation and appreciation absorbed over time.
- The careful order in the classroom and consistent routines provide the organization and security toddlers need to positively direct their energies and deepen concentration.
Beautiful models and language cards, as well as the practical work in the community, promote language acquisition and positive social relationships. Parent education nights, parent/teacher conferences, and class journals keep parents well informed of their children’s progress.
“Therefore, it is clear that we must not carry the child about, but let him walk, and if his hand wishes to work we must provide him with things on which he can exercise an intelligent activity. His own actions are what take the little one along the road to independence.”
– Dr. Maria Montessori