Montessori Toddler Curriculum (ages 18 months to three years)
In the toddler classroom, children are introduced to the Montessori program through a variety of hands-on activities in a prepared environment.
Practical life activities encourage the child to take care of the environment with size-appropriate tools. The children care for the outside environment through gardening activities and for the inside environment through dusting, mopping, sweeping and washing dishes. The toddler is also directed to take care of himself by washing hands, hanging up clothing, managing personal items and toileting.
The toddler is encouraged to explore books and perform various jobs that ultimately increase his ability to concentrate and work independently while creating foundations for learning.
The toddler is refining both fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Fine motor skills are heightened through practical life activities such as pouring, sorting, etc. Gross motor skills are heightened in physical activities like rhythm/music movement and outdoor play.
Language activities are developing at a rapid rate during the toddler years. Sandpaper letters help the child learn the phonetics of the alphabet. Naming cards and matching introduce foundations for alphabet and language. Stories, finger plays, singing, and spontaneous conversation time encourage both social and language skills.
The toddler uses hands-on materials for learning concrete math concepts. The toddler begins to understand number concepts, both quantity and symbol, and the meaning of zero. The child also begins to understand language used in performing simple single-digit addition.
The toddler is able to discover and explore the world around her through her five senses.
The toddler learns about the environment through the use of “trial and error.”
Lessons in geography introduce the concept of a globe and create a framework for whole-world to self-world learning.
The toddler is able to use various materials to express creativity and to enhance fine motor skills. Language skills are further reinforced through the child’s description of the art and its personal meaning. Social skills particular to gift-giving are introduced and coordinated with traditional holidays.
The use of sign language in the toddler program helps the child express needs in a non-verbal manner. This can help reduce the frustration level of the child who is in the earliest stages of verbal expression.