Dear Toddler Families!
What a beautiful start to the year the Toddler Community has had! All of our toddler friends have transitioned well and separation at arrival time is going smoothly! It is exciting to see our routine take place, independent work being done, and friendships blossoming.
Thank you all for choosing JMS and the Montessori Method for your child’s education! It truly is a journey that you and your child will love and grow with. I’d like to take a little space to highlight what we call the “sensitive periods” in your toddler’s learning development.
Dr. Montessori used the term “sensitive periods” to refer to periods in a child’s development when they are especially attuned to learning a certain skill. This sensitive period is likened to a searchlight that focuses in on what is needed to acquire this skill. The beauty of this process is that the child does not consciously think about learning something specific, the learning just happens. The child is unconsciously drawn to elements in the environment that aid in the acquisition of the skills needed. There are four main sensitive periods found in the toddler: Language, Order, Refinement of the Senses, and Movement.
Language learning starts in the womb and continues throughout the toddler years and beyond. The child will learn with ease any and all language in their environment. The language is absorbed and stored until the proper time – it explodes! Yes – many of you are seeing that right now with your toddler! It is a main focus in our environment and we give many opportunities for new vocabulary, rich interaction with books, and a variety of songs, poems, and finger plays.
The toddler has a love of order. This is a passion and it’s more than just pleasantry; it’s a vital need. The child constructs himself/herself out of the environment and this is a precise order. In our environment everything has a place. We have an established routine. The child can count on a regularity of calmness and consistency. This order is important as the foundation for language and clear thinking processes.
Refinement of the senses is another of the toddler sensitive periods. The child observes through the senses. They are taking in impressions of color, shape, size, weight, smell, taste, sound, texture, and temperature. The materials in our Montessori environment are phenomenal; they allow children to categorize different sensations. These patterns and classifications are forming the child’s intellect.
There is a strong desire to participate in activities in exactness and coordination of movement. The child wants to interact with the environment and do purposeful work. The child has an “I can do this myself” attitude and is engaged in activities such as pouring, sweeping, dusting, wood polishing. Spurred by the desire for repetition, the child will do the activities again and again- mastering the small or large motor skills needed to succeed.
Take some time to think about the sensitive periods that your toddler is experiencing and give them chances to nurture these at home. Allow time for reading together, singing together, having conversations together! Establish a routine and have consistency in your day. Also find an ordered way to keep toys, books, activities, and clothing. Give your child a variety of chances to discover the senses – indoors and outdoors. Finally respect the “I can do it myself” attitude and allow for independence. Give just enough help if needed, not too much. Let your child help in meaningful ways that help them coordinate their movements!
Many of you have told me that your toddler is talking about their friends and that it would be helpful to have a list of the children’s names. Please enjoy some time talking with your toddler about their Toddler Community Friends:
- Girls: Paige, Reese, Bela, Naiah, Neve, Carolina
- Boys: Arlo, Nirvaan, Drew, Poyraz, Asher, Naveen
Thank you for your support and for sharing your toddler with us!
Amy and Lori