The toddler community is a rich educational environment, meticulously prepared to promote language development and movement. It is designed to provide children a social experience away from home. From washing hands to watering plants, children are engaged in real-life activities to encourage full-body movement and coordination. With a schedule that enhances daily and purposeful activities, the children are welcomed to an indoor environment divided into areas of work:
Practical life includes water activities, activities for taking care of the classroom, caring for self, cooking and preparing snacks, and learning grace and courtesy. Children are exposed to language materials to enhance their communication skills and enrich their vocabulary. Through self-expression activities like music and art, children become more full aware of colors, various materials, rhythm and melody. As children become self-aware of their capabilities, they are also introduced to an array of development-aid materials to perfect eye-hand coordination and to encourage the use of the hand and the fingers while also learning different kinds of hand grasps.
The outdoor environment is adjacent to the indoor space. It provides a safe space for children to observe and interact with nature and the seasonal changes of New England. It has a garden, a table for dining (weather permitting) and other elements that promote more highly developed gross motor activities.
A Montessori concept we call grace and courtesy is presented to toddlers as a path to greater child dignity, helping them feel clean, gaining respect for others and themselves; promoting social relations, and learning and understanding the social expectations we have in our classrooms and in society. Children learn to greet others, and interact with one another.