FAQ – Toddler Community (14months – 2.5 years) at LPM

With the Montessori method, it’s never too soon to start learning.

The toddler community in Montessori is not the same as sending your young one to a regular school.
It works rather like a small community of children along with trained adults who can help the them
become a part of the community by taking care of themselves and the things around them. The
classroom design fosters your young child’s emerging independence and desire for exploration. The
environments are designed to promote your child’s growth in all areas of development, while
keeping traditional values and respecting the individuality of each child’s family.

Montessori education at this very young age helps the child internally prepare for what will come
when they hit the kindergarten years. Instead of moving into a structured learning environment for
the first time at age 4 in a mainstream school, children who have been involved in active learning in
a Montessori environment since they were toddlers transition easily and seamlessly into formal
educational settings. And beyond that, these formative years lay the foundation of the personality
for the adult that the child will become. Read: What is taught in the Toddler Montessori Community?

Montessori Toddler program offers so much more than childcare. While daycare programs care for
the children, keep them safe, and given them the opportunities to play and socialize, a Montessori
Toddler program does all that as well as addresses the vast potential of the children to absorb and
learn from their environment even at this age. The children are given various avenues to exercise
their physical, mental, and emotional skills and judgment, thus making them independent and
curious learners. Montessorians have known for decades that nurturing a child’s development to its
fullest potential can make all the difference when it comes to acquiring fundamental skills, abilities
of problem-solving in everyday life, confidence, and independence.

Additionally, the Montessori Toddler community at Little Peepal provides the support and guidance
for families to support the development of their young child at school and at home too, through
workshops and one-on-one meetings.

What makes the Montessori method so effective for toddlers is that it is designed in recognition of
the sensitive periods every child goes through as part of their natural development. The sensitive
periods are crucial periods of intense inner pull in the early years from birth during which children
are focused on a particular skill such as speech, motor development, order, etc. When these periods
of intense focus, which are a necessity for children to develop themselves, are recognized and
facilitated such as in the prepared Toddler Montessori environment, the skill is learnt with more
ease and the child is satisfied and confident of himself in his surroundings. It must be noted that
these periods are not present ever again in life.

In addition to the importance given to the sensitive periods, the toddler years are also defined by
independence. Toddlers love to explore, try new things, and imitate the activities they see around them. Often, they get very frustrated when they are not allowed to do things for themselves. This is also the age where “no” becomes a big part of many children’s vocabularies. Therefore, we must recognize the extent of their ability to be independent when things get challenging, and prepare the
environment to facilitate what they can do and help them only to the extent necessary. This is an
important step to developing self-confidence, self-direction, and discovering their own personal preferences and passions.

Yes. We are very particular about timings in our school. The child requires the full 3 hours for them
to explore the different areas of interest each day. However, we will ease the child into a full 3 hour
day gradually in the beginning.

At Little Peepal Montessori we are very particular about keeping time as it sets a routine for the
children to come to school. Also, children entering the environment late will cause distractions for
the children who are already inside. Therefore, timings for the Toddler community are the same for
all without exception.

We will brief parents (before the child joins the community) about what can be done at home to
help the child get up in time and get ready comfortably and unhurriedly in the morning. It works very
well for everyone.

Montessori fosters independence in all aspects of development right from the beginning, and this
includes eating. From the moment the baby is able to sit up independently, we need to give them
opportunities to pick up and hold food (finger foods) in their hands and eat them by themselves. And
definitely when they are able to stand and walk independently without support, and their hands are
free to work, we must give them opportunities to sit at the table by themselves, serve for
themselves, eat by themselves and put away their used plates and glasses by themselves. This
develops their observation, sense of responsibility (for themselves and others) and gives them the
ability to sense the food visually, and through touch, smell and taste. What is most important is that
this is something they WANT to do (just like their older siblings and adults around them). It also
helps develop the motor skills to be able to do more things for self.

In the Toddler community, the toddlers are involved in daily food preparation activities – some
alongside the adult and some by themselves. And just like adults, children too nibble on the food in
the process of preparing. They take turns each day in setting the table, bringing the prepared food to
the table, and after eating they also help clean up. So, the children are very interested in the whole
process and want to be a part of it and eat. However, while the children are learning independence
in thought and action in all areas of the classroom, they also have the freedom to choose what they
do or don’t want to eat. The child may be encouraged to eat/try some food but will never be forced
to eat or fed by an adult.

The classroom is scientifically designed to cater to every type of child. Attractive activities that call to
the child’s individual needs of development are placed at an accessible level to the child. Therefore,
a child who is very mobile will be directed to work that will require a lot of physical movement such
as sweeping, pumping water, carrying heavy objects/water for different activities, etc. and will
satisfy his needs while still being productive.