ERIC Number: EJ1039870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
The Toddler Years: A Time of Exuberance and Joy
Korngold, Carole Wolfe; Korngold, K. T.
Montessori Life: A Publication of the American Montessori Society, v26 n2 p32-35 Sum 2014
In this article the authors describe how Montessori teachers create environments that assist and support toddlers. For all Montessori children, especially toddlers, giving them opportunities to perceive and experience the world through their own unaided efforts is the central premise of their prepared environments. The caretakers prepare the environment to offer the child ample experiences of independence, at every point and level: from the layout, to the scale of the furnishings, to the materials themselves. From the size of the sinks to the size of the spoons, all is scaled to the toddler body. The Montessori toddler room has children from 18 months to 36 months. In infancy, the child moves from slithering to crawling to walking. In the toddler months, he needs freedom of movement to continue to develop physical coordination. In the Montessori classroom, the children are free to move throughout the environment. They are offered opportunities to engage all their muscles: to lift heavy objects and carry them from one place to another. There are several places inside to jump, spin, and experiment with balance: a small step to climb up and jump off; a "sit-n-spin" to twirl; a rocking seat to tip and right themselves--all motions helping to strengthen the core, learn balance, and develop large-muscle coordination. The environment is designed to meet each child at her particular stage of development, rather than to prepare her for the next stage of development. Toddlers are offered an environment that corresponds to what they naturally crave--activities and experiences to develop coordination, support independence, assist in taking care of self, and help in taking care of the environment. The adult carefully prepares an environment designed for the exploration of the senses, without overstimulation, to help create experiences that support and nurture the needs, natural growth, and development of the toddler. The adult in the Toddler environment must be a skilled observer: She watches and observes the children as they interact with the environment; she must balance ever-changing needs of freedom and limits, exploration and structure, stimuli and sanctuary.
Descriptors: Montessori Method, Toddlers, Environmental Influences, Educational Environment, Child Development, Preschool Education, Developmental Stages, Adults, Teacher Role
American Montessori Society. 281 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010-6102. Tel: 212-358-1250; Fax: 212-358-1256; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.amshq.org/publications.htm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A