Our Toddler Program welcomes children between 15 and 36 months of age. After the age of 30 months, a child may transition to the Early Childhood program if readiness is observed and space is available. The school day begins at 8:30 am and ends at 11:30 am for the half-day program, or 3:30 pm for the full-day program. Extended Day options are also available from 7:30–8:30 am and 3:30–4:30.
We follow AMS accreditation standards, which promote large group size rather than low student-teacher ratios, allowing children to be more independent and develop intrinsic motivation. We have 1:7 ratio, with no more than 14 students in a classroom. There are two teachers in each classroom, one Montessori credentialed teacher and a teacher assistant.
Each of our toddler environments is prepared with developmentally appropriate materials and activities that support the child’s natural development. The two main areas of focus in this program are the development of language and learning the skills for independence and social interaction.
Language development occurs through singing songs, listening to stories, classifying objects, and meaningful conversation.
Toddlers are driven to be independent so we offer them daily practice with preparing snack, washing dishes, watering plants, pouring, and dressing themselves.
We help toddlers with problem-solving and identifying their emotions and feelings. They also learn to take care of their environment by putting away their own belongings and returning work materials to the shelf.
We provide many opportunities for toddlers to move their bodies through dancing, running, jumping, and climbing.
Some young children may not be ready, emotionally, developmentally, or otherwise, to participate effectively and successfully in our program. To provide the best environment for children, we consider the first three weeks of enrollment in the Toddler program as a trial basis.
Our toddlers enjoyed planting herbs and vegetables in the outdoor garden. The students begin with sensory exploration, smelling the plants before using their fine motor skills to dig the holes. As they are planting, their literacy skills are engaged as each plant was discussed, learning about how they grow. Finally, they can feel and smell the dirt as they are in the final stage of planting. They will be caring for these plants and watching them grow, continuing their learning for months to come.
How to Montessori at Home
Many parents are home with children and wondering, “What do I do with them all day, every day?” Here is some guidance on how to Montessori at home.
The children love our new sensory walk on the playground. Some children are more comfortable than others exploring without shoes. It is a place where they can take off their shoes and feel the textures beneath their feet. The feet are one of the most sensitive areas on the body and where we get much of our information. It is important that children have opportunities to go barefoot to learn about the environment. This activity also requires them to work on taking off and putting on their shoes when finished with the activity which, in turn, provides more opportunities for learning this skill.
This toddler student is developing his fine motor skills by removing the bolt with the nut driver and using his fingers to screw it back into the nut embedded in the board. This work captivates the children because it is a real-world material and they see it as a challenge. Some of the children see items similar to this in their homes and enjoy working with real materials.
This toddler student is working at the table with the triangle puzzle. While she cannot yet finish the puzzle, she works on placing and removing the small triangles to make the larger one. This activity is great for acquiring hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, and knowledge about the physical properties of a triangle.
Back to Basics
This is a beautiful example of a community of learners at various levels exploring and gaining a greater knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world. They are building upon the understanding that they have already absorbed. As you are watching think about what it was like when you were a child.