The Toddler Classroom
Toddlers are exposed to “an education of the senses” as they explore Montessori materials, as well as learn how to be a part of a community. Throughout the day, children are provided many opportunities to connect with their environment, peers, and teachers.
Caring for the environment, both inside and outside the classroom, is a large part of the toddler curriculum. Children learn to sweep, mop, wash windows, and clean up after each activity. Raking, watering plants, washing are some examples of the jobs each member of the toddler community preforms on a regular basis. Such activities not only maintain order and cleanliness, but over time they promote feelings of intrinsic self-worth, as the child discovers how capable they are at so many varied tasks that assist not only himself/herself, but the overall school community.
The toddler-aged child also learns important self care skills, such as food preparation, dressing, and later, toilet learning. It is from the cumulative experiences of taking care of oneself (in an age-appropriate manner) that independence and self esteem flourish. The child internalizes life lessons through hands-on experiences (not extrinsic rewards, i.e. stickers or adult praise), and self-correcting materials, that by design teach patience, perseverance, and eventually success.
A sense of order occurs as the child maintains their school environment and learns to put materials back in the same place every day. A daily schedule also assists with internalizing order and is very comforting to the young child.