Toddler Program (ages 18 months to 3.5 years)
Welcome to Stonecreek Montessori Academy’s Toddler Program. Our class is a unique, hands-on environment carefully prepared to meet the needs of children 18 months to 3.5 years old. Understanding, trust, and respect are the foundations of our class. In our program, we use the philosophy of Maria Montessori and the science of human development to assist each toddler in becoming the best individual that he or she can be.
We believe each child forms himself by taking what he needs from the environment. The teacherʼs goal is to observe each child and provide the appropriate materials and support for optimal development. The classroom is divided into areas of language, math/sensorimotor, sensorial, art, and practical life.
The toddler has several important needs that we are very careful to support. Listed below are the toddlerʼs most important educational and developmental needs and ways we can help each child meet them.
Need for Independence
Toddlers have a very strong need to be independent. A toddler is in the process of learning that she is her own person, which we call gaining “selfhood.” By learning to become independent, toddlers are growing both physically and psychologically. Working together, we can aid them in their quest for independence.
Need for Order
Toddlers and young children have a great need for order and routine. Only by experiencing external order are they fully able to develop internal order. Our toddlers take ownership in their class environment and its care.
Need for Movement
Toddlers need to move. They need to experience the environment with all their senses in order to absorb it all. Maria Montessori understood that one of our most important learning tools is the hands. She said, “The hand is the instrument of the intelligence.” The child at Stoncreek’s toddler program has plenty of opportunities to move while performing our many practical life activities and while exploring our beautiful outdoor areas.
Need for Reality
The young child has difﬁculty distinguishing fantasy from reality. We try to bring as much of real life into the classroom as possible. When we study fruits and vegetables, we make sure we are using the real thing. We use photos and realistic illustrations in the classroom whenever possible. Rather than just pretending with play food and a toy oven, children want to do real “grown up” activities, such as cooking, gardening, and cleaning. Opportunities abound at Stonecreek for toddlers to engage in real activities like these.
Need for Communication
A toddler is learning to express herself and is also learning about the world through language. The language used in the classroom will always reﬂect the respect we have for each child. We will make sure our environment is full of rich language that the child will absorb.
Need for Limits
By setting reasonable, age appropriate limits we can provide an atmosphere of security, trust and freedom. By setting limits and offering choices we are also supporting each toddlerʼs self-esteem and self-control.
Need to Love and Feel Loved
We will make sure that our classroom is always a place where toddlers feels respected, valued and accepted for who they are. A young child needs to feel welcome and safe in order to explore and learn in his environment. He needs to develop a sense of belonging in his classroom community.
We welcome your visit to our class!