Dear Toddler Families!
We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! It is a favorite of ours. We would like to express our gratitude for each one of the children and families that make up our Toddler Community! Thank you for all that you do for your toddlers and thank you for sharing them with us!
Thank you all for taking the time to come to conferences! It is a nice time to touch base and to have a meaningful connection between home and our Toddler Community. As mentioned at conferences, please feel free to email or call me throughout the year on any questions or concerns you may have.
With the colder weather upon us please continue sending in those winter clothing items with your child! Each day they need boots, snow pants, jacket, hat, neck warmer, and gloves. Even when there is no snow on the ground, the outdoor play area tends to get windy and wet! We want your toddler to be warm and comfortable!
Several families have asked about gifts for the Toddler Environment. The best suggestion is board books. We love our books and they get well worn! When choosing a book please keep the following in mind…
- While the books that have moving pieces and flaps are fun- they tend to break very quickly. So we recommend just plain board books without the gadgets.
- We love books about trucks, animals, farms, first words, colors, “I spy”, songs! Favorite story books are nice too.
- The board books come in all sizes and we love to have a variety of sizes! Large books are especially loved.
Here’s a little Montessori theory
The prepared environment is a vital part of the Montessori classroom. There are many built-in traits of the environment that naturally help the child’s development. It aids in the child’s confidence and in setting of limits.
As you walk into the Toddler environment you notice that all of the furniture and work available to the child is “child-size”. This tells the child, “This is a place made just for me”! The child sees items that may look familiar from home and the environment feels more like a home than a school. The materials are made from the natural world – wood, glass, fabric. The environment is set up to encourage independence, movement, choice. It is uncluttered and orderly. The Toddler environment helps the child to be able to be the great builder of his/her being!
There are also natural limits and guidelines built into the set-up. There is only one of each item- although similar items may be available. This helps to encourage the self-control of taking turns, sharing and respect of others. A child takes the work to a table or work mat and that is a signal that this is “my work”. Other children learn to respect the other’s work and to observe quietly and without touching another’s work. The toddlers are also given the gift of “time”. Uninterrupted time to interact with the environment and to repeat their work as often as they wish. There is a predictable routine to the day, but the work cycle is kept sacred and the child’s time is theirs!
With warm wishes!!
Amy and Lori