Montessori Toddler Program
The Montessori toddler curriculum is a unique classroom environment, beautifully designed to appeal to the child’s natural curiosity and meet the diverse and special development needs of children aged 18 months to two and half years. It is a period characterized by the need to explore everything, move and develop large motor coordination and strength. We believe at this age there is huge expansion into language. They develop a capacity to create symbols, images and concepts and become aware of him/herself as a separate and independent person. This classroom experience is often a very delicate time for the child as well as the parent. Therefore, patience, observation, and gentle encouragement are provided to make this transitional step into Montessori.
The first three years of a child’s life are the most formative. During this period, children absorb innumerable impressions from their surroundings as their inner development takes place. They thrive on routine, external order, encouragement and respect for their individuality. Our toddler program is a harmonious community that allows each child to reach his or her full potential. The teachers gently guide the children through each successive level of development and achievement, always encouraging and supportive. Socialization, toileting, separation, waiting one’s turn, sharing and patience are all important lessons that each child learns.
- Entry at age 18 months – 2.5 years, at the child’s time of readiness
- walking securely
- developmentally ready, as assessed through an interview
- IMA is able to enroll 2 children under 18months who meet the above criteria
A Gradual Phasing-In Period Ensures Comfort, Confidence and Happiness
Toddlers routinely join the program throughout the year when they reach the age of 18 months. It is paramount to ensure each child’s feelings of well-being as they join the class. To ensure that the separation of a parent and child is gradual and gentle, we encourage a few short visits (1 hour), followed by some half days before the child joins us for their full day program. Both parents and teachers will work together in determining when the child is ready to make that transition. IMA teachers understand that the child must feel secure and ensure this by allowing the child to explore the classroom environment with the parent present to provide emotional support.
Children In Toddler And Children’s House Programs Benefit Greatly From Programs That Are Five Days A Week.
The consistency of a five day a week program allows students to experience the order and predictability necessary to empower a high degree of learning. In addition, we know that the concentration, confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding developed in the Toddler and Children’s House classrooms provide essential support for all aspects of a student’s educational experience in elementary school, high school and beyond
Practical Life Fosters Independence
Practical Life activities include many of the everyday tasks children observe their parents doing at home. Young children enjoy and take pride in caring for their environment, themselves and each other. These skill developing activities are specially designed to fit in a toddler’s hand and allow the child to spoon, sweep, button and wash. Each task allows the child to gain independence and to develop a sense of order, responsibility and coordination of movement.
Children between birth and three years are in a critical period for the development of language. By providing an environment rich in oral language, each child has the opportunity to increase their receptive and expressive language. Formal language lessons are given each day using vocabulary cards, classified objects, books, poems, songs and finger play activities. Informal language lessons are an integral part of our program throughout the day’s lessons and activities. Children learn pronunciation, inflection, grammar and vocabulary from interacting with the individuals around them. The children delight in the acquisition of language and thrive in this vocabulary-rich environment.
Sensory- Fine Motor Development
Children learn by interacting with the world around them. The classrooms contain a full complement of manipulative activities for fine motor development including exercises such as bead stringing, cutting, puzzles, sewing and sorting. These activities assist the child in refining eye-hand coordination, using both hands together, strengthening the muscles of the hand and refining the pincer grasp, laying the foundation for later motor skills that require this strength when writing with a pencil. Through repetition the child develops the capacity to concentrate for longer periods of time.
Gross Motor Development; a Solid Base for a Healthy and Active Life
Development of coordination, balance and strength is an important component of our Toddler Program. The toddler classroom invites children to explore and delight while developing control of their bodies. The classroom contains a sandbox, climbing equipment, water play, balls, hoops and beanbags. At IMA we believe that young children need to explore the outside world in order to develop their innate connection with nature. Our students go outside to our playground each morning and afternoon where they further develop and refine their gross motor skills.