The youngest group of children at Bruno Montessori Academy is our toddlers, 24 months to 3 years of age. There are twelve children and two teachers in this community. Bounding with energy, curiosity, and enthusiasm, toddlers accomplish amazing self-help and cognitive skills. They want to do things by themselves, and we encourage this independence knowing how to give the children just enough help at the right time. We also understand toddlers need for movement, so they are constantly moving while learning. They are busy discovering and trying out all of the special materials on the shelves place just right for little hands to reach.
Two highly trained teachers are there to help them learn how to use all the materials in the classroom. Of course, the learning environment changes from week to week as the teachers bring in additional developmentally appropriate materials. By closely observing the children, the teacher recognizes developmental needs and provides these activities in the classroom environment. Learning how to interact in a small group, with care and respect for others, is an important focus for this group of children. We nurture this important social skill through our respect and admiration for the children. Maria Montessori said,” I studied my children and they taught me how to teach them.” The classroom is perfectly suited to the needs of the very youngest child. A low counter and sink is the perfect place to wash paint brushes, fill up a small pitcher, or just dabble in the water. The low shelves hold appealing learning materials of all kinds. The teachers carefully present the materials one-to-one to each child, observing each to know when a child is ready and interested. The happy and curious children become instant learners under the gentle encouragement of nurturing teachers.
The enclosed outdoor play-yard for toddlers includes an assortment of riding toys, a sandbox, and a jungle gym with a slide. Lunchtime is also special at Bruno Montessori Academy. A nutritious and delicious lunch is prepared in the school’s cafeteria and brought to the toddler classroom. They learn to eat a variety of foods including fresh fruits and vegetables. They also practice eating with a spoon and fork and learn table manners.