"When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not to join their chaos."
“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future… Let us treat them with all the kindness which we would wish to help to develop in them.”
Dr. Maria Montessori
During the toddler years children use their bodies, senses and growing problem-solving skills to understand the world around them. Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the first educators to identify this time period as critical to development of personality and intellect. Toddlers learn quickly and are eager to flex their independence. Our toddler program allows them freedom within structure to learn as much as they can, at their own pace. This is time for them to develop skills in self-help, sensory perception, language, gross and fine motor, and in their social interactions.
- Imitate two-word sentences such as "Mama eat," or "What's this?"
- Without giving clues, can carry out simple directions like "Find your coat" and "Bring me a towel."
- Knows the meaning of placing something on, in, under, behind
- Knows their first name
- Scribbles back and forth when given a crayon, pen or pencil
- Copies gestures such as blinking eyes, patting cheeks, pulling on ears
- Lines up blocks or small toys in a row
- Finds a chair or box to stand on to get something out of reach
- Tells you about drawings
- Climbs on objects to reach something
- Can run fairly well, stopping without bumping into things
- Figures out how to climb up and down slide ladders
- Starts walking up stairs unassisted
- Can jump with both feet leaving the floor at the same time
- Get attention or show you something by pulling on your hand or clothing
- Plays with doll or stuffed animal by feeding it, changing diapers, putting it to bed
- Begins eating with a fork
- Come to you when help is needed opening lids or winding up toys
- Mimics you drawing a line from top to bottom or left to right on paper
- Can feed self with a spoon
- Copies activities like wiping up spills, sweeping, combing hair
- Begins to draw circles
- Able to hold scissors properly and open and close the blades. May begin to cut.
Learn How To Get What I Want
Now is the time a child begins to learn how to get what they want successfully, for better or for worse. Tantrums, yelling, being sneaky are all part of every healthy toddlers book of tricks that they will try out to see if they work. It's the job of the parents and educarers in their life to actively provide the proper tools of calm negotiation. We use a set of negotiating skills in a specific order to teach these young children how to successfully get what they want. We start at the top by giving the child the words to use. If the other child says no, we move down the list and help the child work through each tactic until they are satisfied.
1. Ask politely to use it or have that toy
2. Try trading for a different toy
3. Ask if they'll agree to set a timer and take turns
4. Ask if we can play with it together
5. Wait patiently until they are finished using it
As you see, sometimes the only appropriate option left is to wait until the other child abandons the toy or says they're finished. That's okay! It may be HARD! Waiting is a very important skill to learn and children at this age are capable of developing this skill. We NEVER force sharing. If a child is playing with a toy, they have the right to use it until they decide they are finished.