TODDLER COMMUNITY

"The toddler program offers very young children a unique year of self-development in a tender atmosphere of special understanding, respect and support. "
 

      Dr. Aline Wolf | From A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom

The HPMS Toddler Community enrolls twelve toddlers who range in age from 16 to 33 months with two teachers guiding them. The Lead Guide is Sarah Terrell, who earned her Association Montessori International (AMI) 0-3 diploma in 2015 from the Montessori Center of Minnesota. She earned her primary diploma (ages 3-6) from AMI in 2009.

 

We find that Dr. Aline D. Wolf's description of the Montessori Toddler Program in A Parent's Guide to the Montessori Classroom most accurately reflects our own Toddler Community here at HPMS: 

The toddler program [] appropriately accommodates the very young child's sensitive period for language by offering creative and intriguing concepts to expand their growing vocabularies. Joining conversations, listening to stories, classifying objects and learning songs and poems all nurture their budding language skills. To help smooth their initial social interactions, the toddlers also learn to use words for their feelings they experience in themselves and others. 

 

Many of the activities in the toddler program highlight the self-help skills that lead to independence. Children are gently urged to hang up their own coats and aprons and to problem-solve rather than say, "I can't." Since this is an age of very strong imitation, the teachers constantly model appropriate social skills, good manners and consideration of others. 

 

Through song, dance and freedom of choice, toddlers have access to a variety of large muscle activities that offer them opportunities to jump, climb, balance, crawl or skip, These exercises as well as creative art activities are offered for each child to choose. This freedom in a safe space is crucial to the toddler program. However, it is always tempered by two important limits that will be beneficial for a lifetime-respect for others and respect for the environment.

Daily Schedule

  • 7:30-8:20 a.m. - Early morning care

  • 8:30-10:15 a.m. - Montessori work time. Toddlers may choose, individually or in small groups, from all areas of the classroom 

  • 10:15-10:30 a.m. - Outside time or large muscle activity indoors

  • 11:45 a.m. - Toddlers eat lunch and clean up afterwards

  • 12:30-3:00 p.m. - Nap time

  • 3:15 pm - Group snack 

  • 3:30-4:00 p.m. - More time for fun in the indoor and outdoor environments! 

  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. - Toddlers join Children's House afternoon program 

 The HPMS Toddler Community Guides
 

  • provide a warm and loving environment during the very young child’s unique year of self-development; 

  • nurture the toddler’s budding independence;

  • instill a deep respect for others and for the classroom environment; 

  • provide guidance in social situations and give language for expressing feelings and needs;

  • provide activities and materials that respond to the toddler’s urge to explore with his/her senses;

  • accommodate the toddler’s sensitive period for language;

  • give opportunities for singing, dancing, and a variety of large muscle activities; 

  • provide creative art activities; 

  • gently urge the very young child to problem-solve and exert freedom of choice; 

  • provide opportunities to explore nature.

1550 Summit Avenue Saint Paul, MN 55105 | (651) 690-5327 | sclark@highlandpark-ms.org