The AMI Toddler Community provides a beautiful environment designed for children from 14 to 30 months of age. Practical life skills, including toileting, are learned in a peaceful, home-like setting. An AMI trained guide directs children through the Montessori toddler curriculum where their motor coordination, independence, and language are cultivated. In this respectful and nurturing environmnet, the very young child experiences his first exploration into the world.
In order to provide the best environment for your child we look for certain signs that he is ready to join the toddler community. Readiness usually happens between 14 and 18 months of age when the child starts to show particular signs, however each child is different and we will meet with you to discuss the proper time for your child to enter the community. Some of the signs that we look for are (it is not required that children show all the signs listed below before entering the classroom):
- No longer requires morning nap
- Walking securely while carrying an object
- Feeding himself (interest in utensils or using them)
- Drinking from a glass
- Collaborating with parents to dress and undress
- Rubbing hands together in the sink to wash hands
The Montessori approach to toilet learning is an important part of the Toddler Community. Ideally, a child should be in cotton diapers from birth. Around eighteen months, children enter a sensitive period in which they can most easily gain control of their now much more developed and integrated nervous system. At this stage most children have both the physical ability and the interest to control bladder and bowel. If they are given the opportunity to spend as much time as possible in underpants, rather than diapers, they gain a greater awareness of these bodily functions. The absorbency of disposable diapers and underpants prevents the child from sensing when he has urinated, therefore, once he enters the Toddler Community he will wear cotton underpants. Parents are encouraged to follow through at home so that the child has consistency in his two primary environments.