Between 20 and 32 months old
The first three years of life are extremely important in human development. At this time, children adapt to their immediate environment through their five senses. In this way they develop language skills, motor skills, personality, independence, social skills and values.
During this stage the child will frequently start saying “no” because they want to think and decide for themselves, when they finally start saying “I” it is because they are recognising their individuality. The classroom environment will adapt to these characteristics so as to create the opportunity for them to use their free will, while the guides will show them how to take part in activities designed to develop this new found confidence.
In Infant Community, the main focus is to ensure that children build a solid base in the following areas:
The activities of practical life are those which humans undertake in their daily lives. These activities allow them to feed themselves and look after themselves and others as well as the environment in which they live.
The tasks of practical life are real, follow a logical sequence, bring together different sensorial experiences and involve the co-ordinated movement of the body which is guided by the mind. They allow them to learn cultural customs, provide the opportunity to understand cause and effect, and build mental abilities such as perception, memory and analysis.
Practical life areas:
- Care of self
- Care of the environment
- Food preparation
- Placement of furniture
- Grace and courtesy
Between the ages of 0 and 3, children will naturally acquire language skills as their minds are able to soak up information easily. Therefore, it is important that we offer them a rich variety of language tools.
Being a fundamental area of development, Montessori provides a series of both concrete and abstract materials to enrich the child’s vocabulary. Reading books is constantly encouraged as well as games which promote use of language.
- Music: is considered to be a part of language as it is a form of expression, therefore it is very important at the Infant community stage. Singing, dancing, body language, movement, use of instruments are all promoted along with learning about classical composers.
- Art: just as music is considered a form of expression so is Art and it is also included in the language area. Infant Community offers the chance to experiment with all sorts of artistic materials.
Children between the ages of 0 and 3 are sensorial explorers, that is to say, they come to know the world through their five senses. The achievement of physical independence during this stage can be clearly seen during the first year of life, where the child will go from crawling to standing and finally walking. A similar thing happens with hand movements, initially they lack co-ordination but with time, total control of the hand and fingers is achieved. Specific materials are provided to the children for them to practice both their gross (body) and fine (hand) motor skills. Other sensorial experiences are used to enable the children to learn about colours, shapes, smells, tastes, textures, sounds… so that they can learn about their environment.