Toddler Community (16 months+)

The education of even a very small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school but for life.

-Maria Montessori


During the first three years of life, the child develops more rapidly than any other time. At this time, your child absorbs large amounts of information through observation and experiences within the environment. Since these are the years that lay the foundation for later learning, the learning objectives for this age at St. John the Baptist include developing skills such as language, concentration, problem solving, visual discrimination and physical coordination. We seek to honor a child’s natural passion for wonder, curiosity, exploration and discovery.

Introduced activities promote independence, order, coordination and concentration, as well as support social, emotional, physical and cognitive development.

  • Self-Care: Washing, dressing, toileting and eating
  • Large Motor Skills: Walking, climbing, running, jumping, balancing, climbing steps and more
  • Fine Motor Skills: Reaching, grasping, picking up objects, transferring objects, using tools and utensils, and art work
  • Care of the Environment: Cleaning, food preparation and food service, plant care and animal care
  • Social Skills: Developing manners through interactions with peers, teachers, and adult-led small group games
  • Language: Naming objects, describing actions and intentions, discussing pictures, conversation, music and singing

Through our program based on the developmental needs of toddlers, we seek to:

  • Provide a nurturing environment that fosters a love of learning and a sense of curiosity
  • Help children develop self-esteem based on experiencing themselves as capable and as valued members of a community
  • Give children the opportunity to develop friendship, empathy, compassion, and generosity
  • Activate each child’s full potential. We can do this by taking advantage of their “absorbent mind” (their ability to take in everything going on around them like a sponge) and preparing the highest quality environment for their learning process.
  • Help children develop inner discipline and the ability to make good choices by offering an appropriate balance of freedom and discipline
  • Support children’s concentration and experiences of being “in the zone” which leads to inner peace
  • Feed the child’s intellect through exploration with all the senses, a language rich environment, and fulfilling the child’s need for order (which is the foundation for organizing the mind and critical thinking)

Here is a typical day:

Arrival: Children arrive for the school day between 8:35 and 8:45. Before Care begins at 7:00a.m. They start their day by hanging up their coats, putting on their indoor shoes, and greeting their teachers and friends.

Work Cycle: Children have an uninterrupted morning of hands-on activities, and the staff work with children one-on-one or in small groups. Types of activities include:

  • Practical Life: Children delight in doing activities from everyday life that are scaled down to toddler size. Examples include peeling and slicing bananas for snacks, washing dishes, flower arranging, and practicing zippers.
  • Fine Motor: We have a variety of manipulatives like puzzles, shape sorters, and stringing beads.
  • Language: We offer language objects and picture cards to enrich the children’s vocabulary. We enjoy sharing lots of songs, books, and poems.
  • Art: Our art philosophy is “process not product” and we have different types of art mediums for children to explore including paint, clay, crayons, and chalk.

Outdoors: We go outside to our natural playscape daily.

Half-day: Half day children go home at 11:45 am.

Lunch: Hot lunch is available for purchase, or children can bring a packed lunch from home. We eat our lunch in the classroom. The children set the table, pour milk for themselves, and clean up afterwards.

Nap: Children rest on cots in a designated nap space.

Afternoon: The children eat a snack. Children go outside again or continue exploring the classroom until their parents pick them up. The school day ends at 3:30 pm and after care ends at 6:00 pm.

Toileting: Using the toilet is part of the routine throughout the day. To facilitate toilet learning, all children wear training underwear (no diapers/pull-ups).

Toddler Community (16 months – 33 months)

  • Half-Day Program: 8:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
  • Full-Day Program: 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Extended-Day Program: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
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