The toddler community offers space for the young child to naturally move from a physical/emotional stage of development to the more cognitive phase of learning. Through movement and exploration, the child is exposed to a broader world where parallel play becomes interactive play, where words become tools to communicate needs and desires, and where the boundaries of possibility expand alongside the developing mind. This classroom provides activities that teach the care of oneself and the environment, foster gross and fine motor skills and provide structure and organization for pre-academic learning. The most vital component of the class is the dynamic social and linguistic experiences where each child is immersed into the more ordered world of communication and learning.
A primary focus of the Toddler Community is to instill self-confidence through support of the child’s innate curiosity while maintaining a keen balance with the developing skills required for respectful social interactions. This is a stage of rapid development of the child. Our staff is committed to supporting and guiding this in the most loving, respectful and professional manner possible.
- The toddler classrooms have 15 children each ranging in age from 16 to 36 months old.
- The teacher to child ratio is 1:5 with one Montessori Certified Lead and two assistants.
- In the Toddler Community one of the major areas of focus is toilet training. The teacher and parents will partner together to determine when your child is showing readiness to toilet train. When your child begins toilet training, you will be asked to provide ample amounts of underwear and extra clothes. The children wear underwear throughout the day in order to begin to understand their own bodily functions.
- The children have numerous opportunities for group and individual toileting throughout the day.
- It is of the utmost importance at this age that the children be provided with clothing that allows them independence. This means that they are able to put on and remove every article of clothing on their bodies with little to no assistance from an adult. Parents are encouraged to refrain from dressing their children in items such as overalls, tie-shoes, belts, and button up shirts.
- Language development is essential at this age. Teachers do many lessons involving language and they are always encouraging the children to “use their words” to communicate their needs and feelings.
- At this age, the children will begin participating in “group time.” This is a time of day when all of the children gather with the lead teacher and enjoy doing the calendar, singing songs, and reading stories as a group.
- Children will participate in the Exercises of Practical Life that will encourage them to take responsibility for caring for themselves and their classroom environment.
- Parents will drop children off at the classroom door, allowing them to put their lunch away and start their work cycle independently.
LUNCH & SNACKS
- The parents are responsible for providing a lunch for their child every day. This lunch MUST be nut-free. Your child will bring her lunchbox into the classroom independently and put it in the refrigerator.
- Families pay a monthly snack fee, and all snacks (and lunch vegetable) are provided through Mile High Organics (an all-organic food delivery service).
- It is the responsibility of the parents to provide healthy, organic foods that meet USDA nutritional guidelines for toddlers.
AREAS OF INTEREST
- The cubbies are an essential part of the Toddler Community. This is where all of the children’s extra clothing is stored. The cubbies are the first stop in the morning. This is where the child changes from outdoor shoes into slippers. Parents are encouraged to facilitate independence by allowing the child to undress himself and put his slippers on with little to no adult interference.
- It is important for parents to ensure that their children have plenty of extra clothes and that their cubby is neat and orderly.
- The Toddler Community room is a Montessori influenced, play-based environment. The children use this space during the afterschool program as well as on days when bad weather prohibits outdoor play.
THE ART ROOM
- TC students have Art once a week during the morning work cycle for 30 minutes.
- Specials begin promptly at 9:00.
- The projects in the Art class are of a larger scale than the children can produce in their classrooms. They are introduced to various mediums for exploration.
THE MUSIC ROOM
- TC students have music once a week for 30 minutes.
- Specials begin promptly at 9:00.
- The children are able to learn new songs and experiment with various instruments while in music class.
- All books are donated by parents and staff. It is of the utmost importance that all books contain beautiful artwork and realistic themes but avoid fantasy and commercialism. We request that parents avoid donating books that are religious or based on a TV show or movie.
- Children take responsibility for choosing and putting away the books in the library.