Overview and Philosophy
"Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves.”
When young children are stable walkers, they are ready to join the Toddler Community. The Toddler Community is divided into several areas in which the children move freely throughout the day. A beautiful, safe, and orderly environment has been specially prepared to meet a toddler’s need to move freely, to explore, make discoveries, develop language skills, and to grow in independence. The environment is filled with furniture and materials that are specifically designed for someone their size. The multi-age setting provides children with the opportunity to learn from one another as they develop.
Language and communication skills are an important part of the Toddler environment. This age is a sensitive period, or natural burst of growth, for language. This is supported through language activities and materials that encourage conversation and the use of new vocabulary. Every day, children will enjoy poems, books, songs, and finger plays.
Care for self and for the environment is a large part of the toddler curriculum. Children will learn how to dress themselves, put on and take off shoes, prepare to go outdoors, and care for their bodies by brushing teeth, washing hands, and staying tidy. Food preparation, caring for animals, tending to plants, and cleaning skills, such as sweeping, cleaning windows, washing dishes, etc. are a regular part of the toddler’s day.
Activities are designed to support the development of both fine and gross motor skills. Examples of activities that support fine motor growth are: puzzles, stringing beads, using scissors, and art activities. Gross Motor skills will be developed with activities such as riding tricycles, playing with balls, walking on a balance beam, and playing outdoors.
Main Square Montessori recognises that each child has an individual path of development, and lessons will be presented in a way that supports each child’s unique development and potential.
Independence in Toileting:
An important part of developing independence in the toddler environment is learning toileting skills. When the time seems appropriate, your child will be encouraged to wear cotton pants that we will provide at school. When children show signs of readiness, MSM will work closely with the family to support each child with a stress free approach. MSM is committed to starting this process with no pressure, and to respect each child’s timetable.
MSM uses cotton pants because this natural fiber gives children the opportunity to gain information about how their bodies work. Disposable diapers absorb moisture, preventing the child from feeling wet. When children wear cotton pants, they can feel the sensations of elimination, and can then start the process of responding to these sensations.
Families may find that they would like to use cotton pants at home, as well. For those families, MSM is a drop-off and pick up site for diaper service.