A nurturing space for children ages 2 through Elementary
For Information Call 434-244-2471

Pre-Primary (Toddler) Program

The Toddler Community is a place for children between two and three years of age, designed specifically for the needs of your child at this developmental stage. The Toddler Community allows your child to fulfill his or her physical needs as well as psychological needs. The main goals of the Toddler Community are to help your child develop independence, concentration, and gross and fine motor coordination. Your child will learn to use the toilet and no longer need diapers after leaving the Toddler Community.

Your toddler child needs the freedom to do individual work because he or she is constructing his or her individuality at this age. The environment also welcomes group work, so your child learns how to relate with others. For both individual and group work, the environment offers repetition and concentration. The space is clean, simple, and organized with age-appropriate Montessori materials. In many ways, it looks similar to your child’s home environment. There are places for your child to work on low tables or on rugs, comfortable chairs in which to look at books, and shelves for holding materials.

The daily schedule in the Toddler Community begins with a greeting at arrival, then proceeds to a morning period for individual “work”, community circle, snack, outside time, lunch, nap, afternoon snack, afternoon outside time, an afternoon period for work, and a goodbye at day’s end. Diaper changes occur as necessary and during transitional times of the day.

Click Here For Toddler Daily Schedule

Toddler Education

As with all aspects of Montessori education, the environment for the toddler is the most critical aspect of the program. First of all, it consists of natural materials. We purposely minimize the use of plastics in the classroom to help your child attune to the natural order of things. This helps develop peacefulness in your child. The physical environment cannot be too big or too small; your child can get lost in a big space and get overwhelmed if the space is too small. The environment must adapt to the proportions of your child’s body, meaning that the chairs, tables, and shelves will fit his or her size. Everything in the environment is set up in a logical way. The environment is clean, orderly, and hygienic, and as you well know as a parent, your young child yearns for this kind of external order. For example, your child wants a regular schedule for the day, lines up his or her little objects in a row, and gets anxious when things are disrupted. To meet his or her needs, there are a limited number of objects in the classroom, and every single object has an intelligent purpose. The objects in the environment, which we call Montessori materials, are placed in a logical order, from easy to difficult. Every activity or material is self-contained so your child can independently choose it, work with it until satisfied, and then put it away before easily moving on to the next material. This unique set-up facilitates learning at your child’s specific level and reinforces your child’s drive for independence.

We provide your child with a safe environment, yet at the same time allow for the right amount of challenge to support your child’s drive for independence. Being safe is not just a physical need, but it also relates to psychological safety. Your child will be in a loving environment where he or she is accepted, feels secure, and trusts that all his or her needs will be fulfilled.

The activities and materials in the Toddler Community allow your child to develop to his or her full potential. These activities follow each unique “sensitive period” in which your child learns. The interests of your child are followed throughout the day, allowing him or her to be in control of the activity he or she is doing. We prepare the environment in such a way that the activities are purposeful and satisfy each of your child’s unique developmental needs. Yet, the Toddler Community is the first opportunity your child will have to feel that he or she is part of a community, and we support your child’s growth into becoming a productive member of that community through an understanding and exercise of grace and courtesy.

Toddler Curriculum

The toddler environment is divided into three areas: practical life, language (including music and art) and manipulatives.

Practical Life: This first area includes cooking, washing, and other tasks that your child sees you do at home and satisfies his or her yearning to mimic you. The practical life exercises include care of the environment (indoor and outdoor), care of the person, grace and courtesy, and movement. The general purpose and aim of the practical life area is to help your child grow in independence and coordinate his or her movements. These lay the foundation for an integrated personality of intelligence, will, movement, and action. All practical life activities have two levels. A child is led to the activities by his or her interest. This requires a certain amount of freedom for your child: the freedom to choose work, freedom to choose a place to work, the freedom to move, the freedom to repeat, and the freedom to concentrate, which the adult assists only by making sure no one interrupts the child. We want to build concentration and focus in your child – lifelong skills that will translate into success in life. Concentration occurs when your child’s interest is attached to an activity or material, and he or she is allowed to work with it as long as possible. This freedom, embodied in the work itself, allows and assists your child in beginning to organize his or her concepts. The practical life materials also organize the sensory information your child takes in. The child develops happiness because of the joy of work, the emotional satisfaction of completing it independently, and the sense of intellectual fulfillment and emotional enrichment.

Language: The language area includes music and art. The child is learning how to speak and learning several words of vocabulary every day so there is a great variety of language material to allow your child to enrich his or her vocabulary. The emphasis in language is first on spoken language, especially the beginning and ending sounds. Next, we help your child begin to associate things with past experiences in his or her memory, which is the foundation of vocabulary acquisition and enrichment. Finally, your child attains an understanding of the context of language. Music and art are considered part of the language area because of the opportunities they provide for self-expression. There is group music time every day, and the children begin learning basic rhythm patterns. We also begin music appreciation, focusing on the classical genres. These activities allow your child to begin developing an “ear” for music. In art, there are opportunities to use an easel every day and to learn to work with different media, from crayons and watercolor to fabrics and clay.

Manipulatives: The purpose of the manipulative materials is to help your child understand the form and nature of objects by the sense of touch, develop fine-motor movement as well as manual dexterity and pincer movement, and refine muscle memory. As with other areas of the toddler classroom, the child will draw on language and concentration to achieve a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

Click Here For Toddler Scope & Sequence

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