Toddlers use their bodies, senses, and emerging problem-solving skills to learn about and make sense of their world. They do so in the ways most meaningful and effective for them; through movement, exploration, and inquiry.
Children’s Education – The Toddler Years
Dr. Montessori was one of the first educators to recognize that the first few years of a child’s life are critical to the development of personality and intellect. Toddlers actively seek out information, they learn quickly and easily, and are especially interested in demonstrating independence. With freedom to explore, creativity in toddlers can actively be enhanced.
The Montessori setting of our Toddler program offers the best beginning. Teachers create a prepared environment for toddlers to explore, discover and develop. Within this environment, children have freedom of movement and are able to choose activities independently. Individualized use of materials, complete with teacher support, lend the toddler ease and facility of creative development.
Embracing the Toddler’s Creativity
Hudson parent Kathleen shares this anecdote, “Ms. Carmela loves to tell the story of the time my (now middle school-aged) daughter pulled through as an unexpected Montessori ‘sales-pitch’ while enrolled in the Toddler Program. Ms. Carmela, leading a School Tour for prospective parents, stopped at the Toddler room while a painting activity was in process. Each child sat with a brush, paints and paper. Students were happily swiping brightly-colored strokes on their paper. Except my child. My daughter methodically, carefully, and repeatedly simply painted the palm of her own hand. As the other students’ illustrations progressed, my daughter continued covering and re-covering her left palm. The prospective parents grew visibly uncomfortable. At last one of them asked, ‘Why isn’t anybody helping her?’ Ms. Carmela smiled inwardly and answered ‘She doesn’t need it, just watch’. Sure enough, as if on-cue, this little Montessori student decisively placed her painted hand smack-dab on the paper.”
A perfect self-initiated tiny handprint. Creativity and Montessori, “the hand is the key to the mind…” (Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind.)