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The Toddlers Community is specifically designed for children 14 months to 2.5/3 years and takes advantage of the toddler’s natural drive to act independently. The toddlers can learn from and help each other under the careful guidance of AMI trained teacher and assistant. This classroom, as in all Montessori classes, provides a carefully prepared environment where children experience living in a community and participating in activities that support age appropriate development. Activities in the classroom foster independence and support speech, language, motor development and development of “I can” positive self-image. In an environment that offers these appropriately sized challenges, children are expected to take on greater responsibility for taking care of themselves and others.
Dr. Maria Montessori
The exercises of practical life include care of the environment – both indoor and outdoor, care of self and grace and courtesy. Practical life activities assist the child in his quest for independence, and include self-care skills such as dressing, feeding, and toileting. The order and routine is highly important because give opportunity the child to adjust to the environment, understand the world and establish a sense of self and later on – an internal order. Children develop a wide range of motor control and eye-hand coordination through the use of attractive, scientifically designed materials. Special attention is paid to the development of the hand and proper pincer grip.
Nothing is processed through the intellect that does not come through the senses. Patterns and repetition tendency play significant role for stimulating the brain cells development. Training the senses has to start during the most formative years for being excelled later through education of specific skills. The toddler is given opportunities to explore their independence and connection to the world using their extraordinary capacity for learning.
New language is learned through the use of stories, books, songs, picture cards, and conversations with other children and adults. Both Dr. Montessori’s observations and today’s brain imaging show that the young child’s brain has enormous potential and promise. Within their first six years, children develop from having no verbal language to fluency in their native language. The toddler environment supports this tremendous growth through the use of language nomenclature cards, books and spoken vocabulary enrichment exercises. Child absorbs the surrounding and spontaneously can learn to speak more than one language.
This is a time that the child is absorbed in the control and refinement of movement and with the development of language. The environment should be designed to meet his needs for love, order and as much independence as he can handle at any given time. It responds to the children’s physical needs and their love of movement. The sensitive period for movement occurs before the birth and is of great importance for maturation of the biological system for coordination and control. The movement is an innate need of the children, they master with a lot of practice and repetition – running, jumping, kicking, striking, throwing, balancing and catching. Reaching its perfection, the skill becomes unconscious. Gross and fine motor skills develop competence, self-esteem and independence.
Art is hung at child level on the walls and shelves make materials easy to reach. Art activities give children opportunities to learn how to express themselves, explore, increases attention span and have fun. Art and play are actually a language where children learn how to set boundaries, develop relationships, learn sequences and consequences.