Dr. Maria Montessori studied the developing child and identified that during the period from birth to age 3 is when your child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time, and more learning takes place than at any other stage of development. We recognize this power and have created a space that allows your child to fulfil their potential in the most harmonious way possible.
14 to 36 months
The classroom is a community that offers respect to every child. The environment has child-sized furniture and developmentally appropriate materials that the children can access by themselves. Our materials are designed to foster concentration and problem solving, the children come away from their work with a sense of achievement. Children select the material that interests them, they use it for as long as they would like, clean up after themselves (with assistance when needed), and make another choice. These materials are designed to support the development of gross and fine motor skills, self-confidence, concentration, and critical thinking skills.
- Dr. Maria Montessori
“A child who has become master of his acts through long and repeated exercises, and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline.”
The adults in the environment are consistent, calm, and their understanding of the Montessori philosophy gives them a deep sense of respect for the young, developing human they work with. They demonstrate this to the children through their actions and their words. They offer rich language and aren’t afraid to use the appropriate nomenclature, and extensive vocabulary which children must be exposed to, to be able to develop a broad vocabulary.
The adults also support toddlers to build appropriate social skills by communicating with each other and using grace and courtesy. A range of language materials, and books allows children to explore on their own or read aloud with an adult. Based on daily observations, the adults introduce new materials and activities that ignite their curiosity and stimulate learning.
What They Learn
Learning objectives for your child at this age include developing skills such as language, concentration, problem solving, visual discrimination, and physical coordination. Our self-care objectives fosters toilet awareness and independence in maintaining personal hygiene.
Our care of environment objectives offer gross motor activities to help children coordinate their movements, and low tables that enable them to help prepare, serve, eat, and clean up their snacks and meals. Toddlers like doing things that serve a purpose, serving their environment not only allows them to contribute to their community and build independence, but also helps develop their gross motor movements through meaningful activity.
A Typical Day for Toddlers
1. Social Skills: Toddlers want to make their adaptation into larger society, as Montessori put it - the purpose of childhood is adaptation. These Early experiences are deeply impressionistic and set the stage determining (to a great capacity) the kind of children/adults they grow into.
Our environments support this need and natural tendency by offering the appropriate experiences to develop “Grace And Courtesy”, social intelligence, and empathy. Working in a “Mixed Age” community plays a huge role in the development of social skills
2. Gross Motor Skills: To develop the large muscles of the body, it’s important to reach gross motor milestones - such as walking, running, jumping and climbing. Sound Gross motor development builds intelligence, boosts confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to assess risk. We provide many activities that build muscle memory and motor planning.
3. Fine Motor Skills & Hand-Eye Coordination: Infants enjoy purposeful activities, they like to contribute towards their environment and self. This is a wonderful opportunity for the school to guide the development of their fine (coordinated small muscle movements in the hands, wrists, and fingers) and hand-eye coordination (the use of the eyes to guide movements), through “Practical Life Activities”.
Actions that involve grasping, reaching and releasing an object, and turning the wrist allow children to participate in their world. The action of picking up objects with small tongs or tweezers develops a child’s pincer grip, which is a necessary precursor for learning how to write later on.
4. Care of Environment & Self: Infants in our environment are developing skills such as language, concentration, problem solving, visual discrimination, physical coordination, and motor development through “Practical Life Activities”.
These can be divided for your understanding into: a. self-care objectives like developing toilet awareness, and independence in maintaining personal hygiene. (Our infants grow to wash their hands, eat independently, cooperate with the adult for toileting by communicating and start to dress themselves etc.) b. Care of Environment objectives employ gross motor activities that allow children to contribute towards their environment. Eg, Dusting plants, they clean up after meals by drying the table, serve the community by putting their work back.
5. Language: The development of language is one of the primary objectives at this stage. All their work in the environment caters to this. The adult offers vocabulary at every step of the way. Attaching meaning to the words becomes easy when the children are holistically involved in the process.