Richland Academy’s Toddler Program provides an environment for growing, active, and curious children. The classroom is specifically tailored to support the young child’s physical and emotional development. This program offers an environment which caters specifically to a toddler’s critical areas of development including personality, trust, thinking, problem solving, and separation. Children will have the opportunity to establish new and bonding relationships with other children and adults while engaging in stimulating activities. While attending the Toddler Program, children experience gradual separation from the parent or primary caregiver. This begins by creating a very gentle and slow parting of each adult-child couple. By a process of separation scheduling, the child becomes comfortable in their new environment as they begin to trust other adults in the environment and the children around them.
Materials in this area of the classroom allow children to practice self-help skills including buttoning, zipping, spooning, pouring, lacing, opening and closing containers, table setting, and dish washing. Children learn to care for the environment as they practice watering plants, using a crumber and broom, and dusting. Through the practical life activities, children begin to develop positive work habits, independence, self-control, and the ability to concentrate. Materials in this area promote the development of fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and serve as the foundation for future work in all other academic areas.
The sensorial materials offer children the opportunity to refine their senses. Children are able to explore colors, discriminate sizes and shapes, experience textures such as water, sand, dirt, clay, and play-doh, smell scents from fruits, flowers, and spices and identify and match a variety of sounds. Our daily tasting time further exposes each child to a variety of new tastes and textures in food with which they may not yet be familiar. These sensorial experiences help children to make sense of their world.
Mathematical concepts are presented to children in a simple, concrete, and hands-on way that makes learning fun. Toddlers enjoy being introduced to numbers in books, music and finger plays. Basic counting, number recognition, number matching, and object counting are presented in a variety of activities for children to choose. Toddlers will be given opportunities to recognize and name geometric shapes.
Our language materials offer children many opportunities for conversational speech and vocabulary enrichment as they learn the names of items within their world. Children enjoy joining in conversations, listening to stories, singing songs, and learning finger plays that will nurture their budding language skills. Children also engage with materials that help them to recognize phonetic sounds and to develop their pre-reading and pre-writing skills.
The children will be introduced to several materials that are capable of being manipulated into whatever the child desires. The materials encourage imagination while helping the child’s dexterity muscles. Items in this area of the environment include works such as gears, legos, and various trucks.
The Art area includes gluing, painting, stamping, coloring with crayons, tearing and cutting paper, and Play-Doh rolling and shaping. Children are given the opportunity to participate in individual and group creative art activities that are specifically created for toddlers. Music and Movement experiences are provided daily. Children are invited to sing, listen to music, participate in finger plays, and take part in whole group motor activities such as marching, following the leader, and walking in a line.
“Peace is what every human being is craving for and can be brought about by humanity through the child.” – Maria Montessori
The toddler rooms focus on teaching toddlers to work peacefully in the world with their peers. We teach of other cultures and languages. The children and families are encouraged to share with the classroom their own special traditions and beliefs. The toddlers are taught to care for and protect their indoor and outdoor classrooms. The teachers model grace and courtesy, such as appropriately using “please” and “thank you”. The teachers guide the toddlers in problem solving skills. The classroom rules are to respect themselves, respect others, and to respect the environment. The teachers guide the toddlers in expressing themselves in safe and respectful ways.