Toddler Curriculum


The Toddler Program serves children 18 months to 3 years old. With safety at the forefront, the environment is prepared to foster the toddler’s innate drive towards independence; caring for themselves they learn many foundational skills for their future academic and social success. One might think, upon entering a Montessori classroom, that it looks like a miniature home or world in which these amazing little people can master themselves.

Toddlers are in, what Dr. Maria Montessori would call, the “Sensitive Periods” for language, movement, and order. Toddlers are natural explorers. Our classroom is set up for these young children to discover materials that allow them to practice skills related to these Sensitive Periods. There are language materials, manipulatives, various sensory based activities, a large motor structure, and activities to explore fine motor skills as well. The shelves are low with all materials and activities accessible for the children to choose independently. 

During independent work, children are free to move about the room and explore whatever interests them. They learn the ground rules and are wonderful at taking care of the classroom environment, themselves and one another. 

The whole program is child centered, diverse in its sensorial experiences, and respects the developing independence of these young children. In addition, our program prepares toddlers for the foundations of academic skills to come, and reflects the development and movement of the children.

Areas of focus include:

Practical Life. This area of learning helps children develop skills to care for the self and the environment. Fine Motor activities can be found in this area; scooping, sweeping, sponges, pouring, mirror washing, tongs, snack preparation. These skills lead to the ability to write, create, use manipulatives, develop executive functioning, and master life skills.

Sensorial. Children practice organizing, integrating, and understanding the senses. Some examples of materials in this area are: sensory bin, art supplies, color tablets, knobbed cylinders, fabric tablets, musical instruments, and shapes and sorting activities. They also experience the basic, concrete physical forms of more abstract mathematical skills.

Language. The Montessori environment is a language rich environment filled with puzzles, sorting objects, counting, books, animal identification, etc. We use language in a manner that encourages respectful communication, critical thinking skills, and the development of a large vocabulary.

Math. This area of the curriculum fosters the child’s curiosity of counting, building, size, and shape. There are blocks, sorting activities, nesting objects, stacking, counting materials and building materials in this area. All of these materials create a physical experience of more abstract math activities that come later on in the curriculum.

Movement. The prepared classroom environment promotes purposeful movement. Toddler’s love to move and they move about the environment as if they are on a nature walk finding beautiful and curious treasures along the way. In addition, there is a large motor structure and daily excursions outside to the garden and play area. 

All art and cultural activities are interwoven throughout all curriculum areas; including; circle time, yoga, painting, building, making connections with materials and books, etc.

“Any unnecessary help is a hindrance {to the child’s development}” - Dr. Maria Montessori

 

A day at Montessori Community School of RI includes:

• Child-directed choice: some examples are: manipulatives, baking, hand washing, scooping, pouring, sorting, building, counting, and more!

• Individual and group lessons 

• Circle time: singing, spanish, movement, yoga, food tasting, read alouds, instruments, rhyming

• Outdoor time for development oflarge motor skills and nature explorations

• Nature and science activities

• Art exploration

• Community lunch

• Roots and Wings-after school arts and nature based program