Montessori Infant Toddler Curriculum Part one: Sensorial

The ages and stages of children vary greatly between each child.  We are all unique and special individuals.  As teachers and caregivers we play an important role to prepare the environment, follow the child, give simple lessons, observe exploration, foster concentration, document and be mindful of the chosen activities and learning outcomes.  All in all this will result in happiness and compassion towards others as the children have the opportunity to grow and learn in a harmonious environment. 
The question remains as to how do we set up such a desirable environment and how do we implement the activities that are planned?  In order to accomplish our goal we must remain focused on the center of our purpose and that is the child.  Imagine yourself as an infant or toddler.  How would you want your room to look?  What activities and materials would be fascinating to you?
An Infant and Toddler Montessori classroom is planned out by experiences.  Those experiences make up the curriculum and care of the child.  They will also build upon these skills as stepping stones to different developmental levels.  The experiences in an infant/toddler Montessori environment are:  Sensorial, Language, Gross Motor, Art, math and practical life. 
 
 
Sensorial Work
Sensorial is rooted from the words sense or senses.  These activities allow the children to focus on the fine tuning of all his senses.  Using all five senses the children will have a rich and meaningful learning experience. 

The purpose of sensorial work is for the infant and toddler to begin classifying his environment.  Maria Montessori wrote that all sensorial experiences begin at birth.  The young child becomes a sensorial scientist and by exploring his senses begins to understand and appreciate his surroundings. 
As we follow the child and learn their individual likes, dislikes and interests we can set up the environment with a variety of sensorial activities and experiences.  A few examples of sensorial activities for infants are toddlers are:  Water table filled with various liquids mixed with solids and real items (funnels, strainers, scoops, whisks ect), fingerpainting and other squishy activities, texture play and exploring, nature baskets, real item treasure baskets, shiny and crinkle objects such as foil and emergency blankets, sound tubes, animal sounds, food tasting and play, smelling jars, flowers, pine cone activities. 
I hope you are inspired to learn with your infants and toddlers.  I will post more about infant curriculum over the next couple of days.  Please let me know any comments or questions that you may have.

Rachel :)

1 comment:

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