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Our Toddler House Community

Environment

One Lead Teacher and one Assistant Teacher work with up to 10 children in the Toddler House each day. Toddlers begin anytime after 16 months of age and will typically transition to the Children's House somewhere between 33-38 months of age. 

 

Because social and emotional development is an important goal, we teach respect and empathy in our mixed-age classrooms. This classroom model helps build positive relationships by providing the youngest children with older role models. Then, as these children become older, they become role models in the classroom. The older toddlers help guide and nurture the younger children, which in turn helps the older toddlers build confidence and self-esteem and learn independence as well. 

The Toddler Program seeks to enhance the social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical domains of its young students. As in the Montessori primary environment, toddlers are encouraged to develop their unique potentials by allowing their own interests to be the starting points for their learning. The goal is to make learning both interesting and fun for the child, without the use of strict formal teaching guidelines. Emphasis is on developing important independence skills, in addition to working with other children.  

 

The Toddler House environment provides a comfortable and inviting place for children to grow, explore, and interact through play. The child-initiated environment facilitates children’s creative development by allowing them to experiment with materials of their choosing. Children are encouraged to exercise choice in the classroom, building on and supporting their inherent desire to learn, their growing independence and their self-esteem. Open shelves and designated play centers are provided to encourage active learning, helping them create individually meaningful learning experiences. 

The Toddler Experience

We provide fine motor activities that expand and enhance the physical capabilities and coordination of the arms, hands, and fingers – including manipulative activities, block building, painting, coloring, and sensory play. Children also build their gross motor skills through daily indoor and outdoor play that includes activities such as running, walking, jumping, throwing, dancing, spinning, climbing, and balancing.  The following activities are typically provided each day in the toddler environment:

Music & Movement

Children engage in daily music and movement activities that include singing and dancing. Teachers incorporate musical instruments, scarves, parachutes, and other various materials and practices to fully engross each child in these activities.

Free Choice

This is a block of time for the children to freely move about the environment, exploring and working on what motivates them. This can include: building in the block area; doing puzzles; experimenting with a variety of art, reading books in the library; engaging in dramatic play; and practicing an assortment of manipulative, cognitive, and sensorial activities inspired by the Montessori method.

Large Group Gathering

The toddlers gather together daily to work on basic concepts such as vocabulary, counting, colors, shapes, self-concepts, seasons, and time. We incorporate these concepts into songs, rhymes, stories, and finger play to create an engaging and enjoyable group learning experience.

Art & Sensory

Our Toddler House teachers vary these activities daily and offer children the choice of engaging in different individual and group activities such as water play, sand play, play-doh, shaving cream, painting, coloring and drawing.

Large Motor

Time is set aside each day to focus on developing the children’s large muscle groups. In dry weather, the children enjoy time on Sunshine's playground where they are able to run, climb, slide, jump, kick, throw, and dig. The toddlers also often go for walks around the neighborhood. If the weather is poor, we spend time in the Undercroft, our spacious indoor area in which children can exercise large muscle movements while running, climbing, riding tricycles, and playing with balls.