Toddler (ages 2-3)
A “toddler” is a child in transition – a child with particular needs and abilities, which can best be aided through the Montessori toddler environment. The Toddler Classroom at Great Beginnings is the Rainbow Room, our smallest classroom for our smallest bodies. Our classroom holds 10 children with 2 teachers.
The child between 24 months and 3 years is still very new to the world of sights, sounds and movements. They are in awe of the wonders of the object world, and their immature senses can be bombarded and overlooked. This is very different from preschool children, who are interested in refining their senses and controlling their movements.
Toddler children want to establish a sense of trust – trust in themselves and trust in the environment. The purpose of the toddler class environment is to create a nurturing environment in which children can teach themselves through creative activities and exploration.
The environment is different from the preschool class because the child is in a different stage of development and exhibits specifically different behaviors. It is for these reasons that the toddler class exists and that specific teacher training is necessary.
The Rainbow Room
As a new school day begins for our youngest students, it means taking off shoes and changing into inside shoes. While this may seem like a charming ritual, it is done with a purpose: As is each lesson throughout the day. The task of taking off your shoes and putting on slippers helps develop motor skills and encourages self-reliance in young children, some of whom have just turned two years old.
Our Toddler classroom is alive with energy. When you walk in, you will hear giggles, clapping and singing. And you may notice a student filling a bucket with soap and water then carefully scrubbing a table, or putting out tiny cloth place mats, china and glassware for a group snack. Each task has a purpose, and each child will master them before moving on to the next lesson.
The Toddler classroom, like all of our classrooms, is orderly and materials are accessible to curious students. Throughout the day our toddlers learn to listen attentively and expand their vocabularies. For our smallest students, big things are in the works.
This community of children are guided by adults who are focused on their needs and supporting their independence. Many materials are based on activities of the home: cooking, cleaning, washing, etc. There are puzzles and manipulative games and objects to aid in the development a child’s senses, hand control, balance and coordination. Stories, songs, books, pictures encourage the development of language. The environment helps children develop an awareness of their own rights and limits, as well as the rights and limits of others.
Students in our Rainbow Room are enrolled for two, three or five class days per week, and can take advantage of our half-day or full-day option. The full-day option includes extra class activities, time for lunch and a rest period. All classes are guided by a Montessori-trained teacher and an assistant committed to fostering a young student’s curiosity and developing independence.
24 months to 3 Years Old (must turn age 2 before enrollment)
Rainbow Room Daily Schedule
7:45 – 8:30 Arrival
7:45 – 10:00 Work Cycle
8:45 – 9:45 Snack Open
9:15 – 10:00 Toilet Learning
10:00 - 10:30 Circle
10:30 – 10:45 Dress
10:45 – 11:45 Outside
11:45 Half-day pick-up
11:30 – 11:45 Toilet/ Lunch set-up
11:45 – 12:15 Lunch
12:15 – 12:45 Toilet
12:45 – Nap
Wake-up – 2:45 Work Period/ Toilet
2:45 – 3:15 Outside
3:15 – 5:30 After Care programming
The Child's Work from Montessori Guide on Vimeo.