Infant / Toddler Ages: 6 months - 2.5 years
Children who are older than 2.5 years or who have graduated from our Infant / Toddler Program are welcomed into the Casa Program.
Human beings are a magical combination of at least three factors: our genetic inheritance, our biological development, and our experiences. All three are equally important, however it is the experiences in a child’s early life that we have the ability to shape through education and a wholesome environment.
A child’s early stages of development play an essential role in his or her growth of character. If the mind is stimulated during this period, through exposure to a nourishing environment, the brain will develop a much longer and lasting ability to learn and accomplish.
Kaban Montessori School’s Infant and Toddler Classroom is an environment that has been thoughtfully prepared as a home-like setting. Here the child is provided with similar experiences he or she would have at home so that throughout his or her day the child is being guided and encouraged through developmental processes, such as gross and fine motor control and an introduction to self-help skills.
This Montessori environment is prepared to aid the young child in achieving independence, social interaction with other children, as well as the development of language, music and movement. ‘Individual work’ found in the Toddler Classroom involves language based activities and hand-eye coordination exercises.
‘Practical Life’ is a major element in Montessori Education. For Infants, practical life exercises involve self-care and eating independently. As a part of the Montessori philosophy, it is important to remember that the learning process is all inclusive, meaning ‘learning subjects’ are not taught in isolation from one another, rather are included into all aspects of the child’s day. For example, language and coordination exercises are easily included into activities where the child learns to care for him or herself and the environment.
Both the Infant and Toddler Program are kept small, intimate, and flexible with regard to planned activities so that the needs of the children are addressed at all times, rather than a strict plan created by adults.
Movement is critical to brain development – it is as necessary as nutrition! From a very tender age, movement is encouraged, not by the adult but by the environment itself, that is conducive to it.
The Infant Classroom will have bars and furniture placed around the room so young children can pull themselves up. Walking wagons, are available for little ones that can push but are not yet able to take steps on their own. Also, there will be a stair with low steps and a railing for use by children who are beginning to crawl and walk. In order to encourage movement among children, we recommend comfortable clothing that does not inhibit their freedom of movement.
One of the key elements in the Infants and Toddler Program is the development of social interaction. Each day activities such as singing, reading, dancing, outdoor play and eating are held in groups. However, the group times tend to vary; the adult may sit with one or two children to read or sing only to have other children gather in the process, resulting in all or almost all of the children participating in a group. Again, although the timing depends on the child, meals and snacks tend to be scheduled as children adjust to eating at certain times rather quickly. Even though eating is almost always a group activity children should never be forced to come to a group situation, if what is going on interests the child he or she will come.
Once the child starts walking more firmly, he or she is immediately switched to underwear. During this stage the child will become more aware and concerned of when he or she is wet.
The age at which a child stops wetting their pants depends entirely on the individual and their maturity level. When a child gains control of their body it means they have accepted, at a deep level, the responsibility for their own body and its functions. We aren’t really “toilet training”; we simply set up the environment in such way that when a child becomes aware of these functions, handling them is made easier. No rewards or punishments are used because using the bathroom is a very normal function that all people carry out. If a child wets or soils himself, we simply help them clean up.