Odyssey Montessori's toddler program is open to children age 1 year to 3 years old. Our toddler program offers very young children a unique year of self-development in a tender atmosphere of special understanding, respect and support. The toddler is able to experience the joy of learning while preserving the spontaneity, initiative, and curiosity inherent in him. Each child is treated as an individual and allowed to develop at their own pace while being supported and encouraged to grow in the areas of independence, concentration and self-discipline. The Toddler Class activities offer both quiet and active times throughout the day. We encourage children to choose activities which interest them, and a significant part of our day is child-initiated activity. We also have teacher-directed circle times as well as one-on-one presentations by the teacher on a daily basis.
The materials and activities we provide are designed to develop each child intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally, as follows:
Practical Life Practical life activities help a child gain control in the coordination of his movement, gain independence, and adapt to his society. They also stimulate the intellect and develop the ability to concentrate and problem solve. We believe that a child’s sense of independence is essential to their emotional and social development. Activities may include:
Self-care. Putting on shoes, hand washing, toilet learning, drinking from a cup
Food preparation. Pouring water, slicing bananas, spreading butter on bread
Care of environment. Sweeping, wiping up spills, watering plants, folding napkins, gardening.
Sensorial Through sensorial exploration, children are able to make classifications of their environment, which in turn stimulates the child to organize his thought and then to adapt to his environment. The sensorial exploration also lays the foundation for mathematics (classification, discrimination, concentration and problem solving.) Activities may include:
Visual. The child uses their eye to differentiate between objects of varying size, form and color. The Pink Tower, Brown Prisms, Red Rods
Chromatic. The child learns to differentiate the primary, then secondary and eventually gradients of color. Color Tablets.
Stereognostic. The child uses their hand to enhance their understanding of an object. For example to understand “curve”, they must feel a ball.
Tactile. The child uses their fingertips to distinguish between different grades of fabric and/or cloth.
Baric. The child uses their hand and arm to distinguish between light and heavy objects in the room.
Thermic. The child uses their hand to distinguish between hot and cold items such as metal, stone, and other objects in the classroom.
Olfactory. The child uses their sense of smelling to distinguish between smells of various herbs and spices.
Auditory. The child uses their sense of hearing to distinguish between sounds and voices.
Gustatory. The child uses their sense of taste to distinguish between salty, sour, sweet and bitter
Language Montessori said, “To talk is the nature of man.” Language is the necessary means of communicating and functioning in society. The toddler years are especially formative in developing spoken language, laying the foundation for developing the ability to read, write and communicate effectively in later years.
Hearing. Children are talked to and conversed with throughout the day, with careful attention given to correct articulation, pronunciation and grammar so that their vocabulary and comprehension of spoken language is established. Story time is essential to this process.
Talking. Children are encouraged to learn words and speak them, converse with teachers and with one another. Objects, pictures and books are available for the purpose of naming. They are encouraged to learn and use words for the feelings they experience. They learn songs and poems and have the opportunity to share their experiences during circle time.
Introduction of Letter Sounds. Children are introduced to sandpaper letters and taught the sounds as a foundation for written language (reading, writing) when they enter the Children’s House at age three.
Large Motor Activities Developing large motor skills is essential for the physical, mental and emotional well being of a child. Children have outdoor activity twice daily using the playground, garden and sandbox. They also participate in large motor activities in the classroom, perhaps doing stretches, simple exercises, or dance and other movements.
Daily Schedule A typical day in the toddler Class is as follows: 7:00-8:30 Arrival/Free Play 8:30-900 Breakfast 9:15-10:30 Circle Time 10:30-11:30 Outdoor Play or Inside Large Motor Activities 11:30-12:15 Lunch 12:15-2:15 Nap 2:15-3:00 Circle Time 3:00-4:00Free Choice Activities 4:00-5:30 Outdoor Play or Inside Large Motor Activities 5:30-6:00 Departure