16 to 35 months old (ages are approximate)
Half Day program: 8:30 -11:30 a.m.
Full Day program: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The Oak Hill Montessori Toddler Community is designed to allow children to remain in a familiar setting for the full day. The classroom is designed to be an extension of their home environment, providing a range of activities to serve the child’s developmental, physical and emotional needs. Children start with a three hour work cycle, followed by play outside in the outdoor environment created especially for them, lunch and then nap or rest time. The afternoon portion of the day follows a similar structure with more opportunities for play, learning and exploration.
Purpose and Goal
Our Toddler Community encourages, assists, and protects the normal development of each child. We seek to help the child follow his or her natural path of development in order to gain independence, to be motivated by natural curiosity, and to cultivate each child’s natural desire to learn. The children are assisted in developing fine motor skills, building academic/social confidence, and enhancing their language/vocabulary. We accomplish this through an appropriate balance of developmental ages within the classroom and the expert guidance of our trained instructors.
During the early years of life, Dr. Montessori believed that “the first thing the child’s education demands is the provision of an environment in which he or she can develop the powers given by nature.” At Oak Hill, toddlers are provided an opportunity to explore and learn freely within the classroom. All furniture and materials are carefully selected to meet the developmental needs of the young child. Those materials refine eye-hand coordination, attract the child’s interest and fulfill the child’s natural urge to explore the world. Gradually, the child lengthens his/her span of concentration.
As this is the most sensitive period for acquiring language, each child’s language is enriched through conversation, songs, and stories. Toddlers are also exposed to Spanish at Oak Hill, which introduces children to a second language in a unique and fun way.
Children of this age have a biological necessity to move. The young child develops movement, independence, and concentration through practical life experiences such as watering plants, carrying chairs, or washing dishes. When it comes to meal time, children share the responsibilities of meal preparation, setting the table, and for cleaning up afterwards.
In addition, children are encouraged and assisted in developing self-care skills such as dressing, undressing and using the toilet. Through their own observations, children often develop an interest in doing these tasks independently. Our toddlers take pride in doing things on their own and they are encouraged to reach their next level of independence, whenever they are ready.
Targeted outcomes at the completion of the Toddler level
- An ability to verbally describe not only objects, but feelings
- Knowledge of social etiquette and manners
- Understanding that we all have a role in our community
- A robust appetite for learning new facts and skills
- Strong independence in the area of toileting