Young child community
(2 years old)
"...the first two years are important for ever, because in that period, one passes from being nothing into being something...These very children reveal to us the most vial need of their development, saying: "Help me to do it alone!""
Our 5-day Montessori Toddler Program, known as our Young Child Community, begins at age 2. This nurturing environment is perfect to build a foundation for a lifetime of learning. Children in the Young Child Community (YCC) is a five-day program which caters to two-year-old children, offering both full-day and half-day options. The YCC is a prepared and nurturing environment specifically designed to enrich the developmental needs of children, providing them with opportunities to become independent and self-sufficient. Through guidance from the adults and the abundant work arranged, children foster a love of learning, absorbing language through specific activities including daily social interactions.
The YCC children participate in activities of Practical Life to promote autonomy by caring for the indoor and outdoor environment, with a great emphasis on self-care and grace and courtesy. All materials presented cultivate the development and refinement of motor skills, enhancing eye-hand coordination as well as concentration through repetition of purposeful work. Children in this age group follow the key Montessori principle of “Help me to help myself.” Here are a few elements that supports this work towards building a foundation for a lifetime of learning.
Children actively participate in the process of dressing and undressing. This encouragement towards independence is further enhanced in the work towards toilet independence which is central in the YCC. Children wear thick cotton underwear and are offered the use of the bathroom periodically throughout the day to promote success in this journey.
Additionally, the children joyfully prepare their daily snack through various Food Preparation activities. They learn to make rolls, cornbread muffins, banana muffins, hummus, and so much more. The joy in preparing their own snack encourage children to eat the delicious treats prepared. The children graciously recognize and thank those who participated in the preparation of our snack. They YCC children enjoy a communal snack whereby they set the table with placemats, plates, glasses, and utensils as needed. The children use pitchers to pour their own water, as well as tongs to serve themselves and their peers independently. Through this work, the children build self-confidence and healthy social interactions.
Language is acquired in all areas of work. However, there is a designated language area filled with objects, nomenclature cards, as well as various books which are rotated based on interest and need. The YCC applies the three-period lesson which consists of introducing the objects, recognizing the object, and finally naming the object.
Consequently, the Young Child Community is geared towards freedom of choice, allowing children to become autonomous beings through the exploration of their immediate surroundings. The process of learning is ongoing as children continually expand their knowledge through interactions with nature, adults, and their peers. These healthy interactions encourage the construction of a supportive and integrated community.e Toddler program do not need to be potty-trained. As the child reaches 2-1/2 and is fully potty-trained, the transition to the Primary Program may begin.
The youngest members of our community enjoy the environment that is prepared specifically for them, with child-sized furniture and developmentally appropriate materials. They enjoy caring for their environment and exploring their classroom peacefully and with purpose.
The Montessori approach to child at this age lies in the key principle of " Help me to help myself." Children engage in satisfying and productive work, doing everything from washing dishes to learning how to put their own shoes on their feet. These activities foster concentration, as well as the young child’s emerging sense of independence.