Toddler: 18 months- 2 ½ years
- Practical life: The Montessori practical life exercise is of great importance in the Montessori classroom because it is seen as the cornerstone of the Montessori Method. Children are naturally drawn to this area because the materials are familiar to them. Practical life activities fall into four main categories: Care of the environment; Development of motor skills, Care of self, social grace and courtesy.
The purpose of practical life activities includes:
- To develop the child’s concentration
- To assist children to establish order
- To develop fine and gross motor skills
- To lead children towards independence
- To help children to appreciate and understand the limits of their environment
- To develop a sense of responsibility
- To develop a good self- image
- Develop eye-hand coordination
- Sensorial Education: Sensorial comes from the word ‘senses’. The five basic senses are Visual; Auditory; Tactile; Olfactory (smell) and Gustatory (taste) sharpen the child’s discriminatory skills.The primary aim and purpose of the sensorial activities is to help the child in his or her effort to sort out the many and varied impressions given by the senses. Sensorial materials are self-correcting to allow independent use, they foster muscular development which lays the foundation for writing skills; provide the child with basic skills needed for mathematics work such as calculation of amount or degree, exactness in perception and dexterity, discrimination among similarities, repetition, set recognition, algebraic analysis, and recognition of progression in a series. A child after working with Sensorial materials will be able to make abstractions and distinctions in his environment.
- Mathematics: Children need math to sort, count, learn the time, categorize and group things within their environment. They need math to work with arithmetic’s, geometry and algebra in school when they are much older, thus mathematics goes beyond the additions or subtractions a child learns at school. Most children when they enter the Montessori classroom for the first time are able to count one to ten but they don’t understand the real meaning of the counting. Children pick up on such information easily because they have been exposed to numbers during their day to day life and are more than ready to grasp more information.
Dr. Maria Montessori thought it was good to introduce mathematics at an earlier age because “the period of infancy is undoubtedly the richest, it should be utilized by education in every possible and conceivable way. The waste of this period of life can never be compensated”. Our Prepared Environment and Montessori materials are put together with order as its fundamental principle. Children have access to concrete mathematical materials and this help them to develop the understanding of the relationship between the concrete and abstract which makes it easy for them to understand the skills of arithmetic.
- Language: In the Montessori environment, children learn the names and meaning of things in their environment. This allows them to see and understand the greater picture of things.
The Montessori language curriculum helps children to learn new words and know the names of different things in their environment. The language area contains many learning opportunities such as: Learning the shapes and sounds of the letters; Perfecting their fine motor skills needed for writing; Vocabulary development as children learn to communicate with one another in the classroom; Letters are introduced at the appropriate time using individual sounds and after the child must have mastered the act of recognizing several sounds, the moveable alphabet is then introduced to the child to make words. Matching of words and pictures; Reading silently; reading word lists, sentences, and stories; Parts of speech- word games with nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
- Cultural aspects of life: The cultural activities in a Montessori prepared environment helps to foster imaginative skills in the early years which make significant difference in a child’s future development.
Other areas include: Science, Music and Creative Arts.