The Toddler program serves children ages 2.5 to 3.5 years and, through Montessori method, is designed to foster exploration, independence and facilitate the transition from a home to school environment. Two- ,three- and five day options are available. The program operates on a school year schedule.
The Toddler program environment is designed for the child aged 30 to 35 months and who is ready to leave their parents for a short period of time. The child will have opportunities to master a variety of tasks including: coordination, independence, sensorial discrimination, and respect for self and others in a social setting.
The focus of the program is on independence and building self esteem. As a child matures and advances, presentations are given with Montessori materials as well as pre-reading, math, and sensorial activities. Every material must serve as a stimulus in the process of the development of the child. The Montessori Method is based on observation. The teacher observes, reflects, and analyses and then determines what materials are appropriate to stimulate a child’s fine motor and gross motor skills as well as develop his attention span.
To enable the toddler to make the transition from his home to the Toddler classroom, the room has been designed to have a home-like atmosphere. The tables, chairs, and shelves are toddler size. Wooden and natural activities and materials have been placed in baskets and on trays. Ecology prevails as the child uses a cloth to wipe up spills or to dry his hands after washing the baby doll with a natural sponge.
The children become self motivated as they select an activity and take it to a table or rug. When the activity has been completed, the item is returned to its original space by the child.
Toddlers have the ability to concentrate for significant periods of time if movement is introduced. As an example, the Pink Tower consists of ten cubes. The child unrolls a rug in anticipation of building with the cubes. He carries one cube at a time to the rug. After making a total of twenty trips with cubes, he sits and begins to build. Due to movement the child has the possibility of concentration and building with the cubes for a longer period of time. Afterwards the process is reversed as the child returns the cubes. Studies confirm that the movement of the body and the fingers stimulate brain development.
Westshore Montessori School’s Toddler Program operates during the school year. Children are enrolled in either a two-day or three day session, from 9:15 AM to 11:30 AM.