What is a “Waddler”? No longer an infant, on the move; crawling, pulling to stand, taking those first wobbly steps with arms akimbo for balance. “Waddlerhood” is the fast-forward button towards independence. Why?
Simply, “you can’t steer if you’re not moving”. Dr. Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy links physical and intellectual development directly to movement. “The sensitive period for movement and acquisition of gross and fine motor (walking and the use of the hands) is from 18-20 months. The environment we prepare for this presents ample opportunities for the child to crawl, pull up, and walk with or without assistance. Children should also be given toys/materials that allow their hands to hook, bat, touch, turn, insert and grasp small items within their abilities. These materials improve the movement of the hand, eye/hand coordination, and set the stage for higher-order learning. The opportunities given to them need to be repeated in order for these skills to be refined.” –DailyMontessori.com
Believe it or not, this developmental marker is key for the ignition of a lifelong passion for learning. With repeated early practice comes mastery. Mastery of one skill leads to an innate curiosity for additional abilities. Repeated success instils trust, confidence, and optimism. Reliance on self emerges. Communication skills develop into a fluency of self-expression . All before the two-year mark.
Hudson Country Montessori School’s “Waddler Program” offers a safe, nurturing environment for families who wish to maximize their child’s individual learning potential at this level. Our “Waddlers” enjoy Music, Spanish, and Gym in addition to accredited Montessori programming.