Montessori Toddler Curriculum (ages 2 years to 3 years)
Each area of the Montessori classroom emphasizes specific skills, but there is dynamic interplay among the areas, enhancing children’s natural learning process. In the toddler classroom, children are introduced to the Montessori program through a variety of hands-on activities in a prepared environment.
Listed below are the areas of the Montessori Toddler Curriculum.
Practical Life activities form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. The emphasis is on process rather than on product. Through the repetition of Practical Life activities, children develop and refine the basic skills that will serve them all their lives. The Toddler classroom offers the early Practical Life exercises, such as Pouring, Opening and Closing containers, Spooning, Bead Stringing, Cutting and Puzzles. These activities are aimed at enhancing the child’s development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration and independence. There is also a very strong stress on self-care skills like washing hands, using the toilet independently, dressing and undressing oneself.
The Sensorial area focuses on developing logical thinking and refining the ability to discriminate. The children learn how to grade from big to small, tall to short, wide to narrow. The children are exposed to primary and secondary colors as well as shapes. The toddler is able to discover and explore the world around her through her five senses.
Around the age of two, children’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. Early Language materials and oral exercises like storytelling and reading aloud support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language. Some of the lessons in Language include matching concrete to concrete, concrete to abstract, spatial relations like in and out, over and under, up and down, sorting and sequencing. There is also a lot of exposure to books, puzzles, naming objects like fruits, vegetables, animals and beginning sound games.
To help prepare the mathematical mind, toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and concrete materials. These exercises encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting and one-to-one correspondence. Toddler Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, and sorting and counting materials
Music and Movement
Music plays a very important role in a child’s overall development of language, social and emotional skills. Stories, finger plays, singing, and spontaneous conversation time encourage both social and language skills. Music and Movement can help build the following skills: participating in a group, expressing emotions, refining listening skills‐noticing changes in tempo or pitch, awareness of movement and body positions, enhancing creativity and imagination , learning new words and concepts, developing large motor skills, improving balance, coordination and rhythm and small motor skills‐learning finger plays and playing musical instruments.