The Caterpillars group welcomes children from the age of 12 months to about 2 years to come together in a community atmosphere.
Our aim for this stage is to
- aid the children’s development in gaining confidence and independence
- build on their developing self-esteem and social skills
- learn appropriate skills to move onto the next phase of their development with confidence and enthusiasm
- encourage and stimulate a love for learning
This room has been planned and designed for the little ones to move around safely in a clean and caring environment. We have designed the room in a way that the little ones would be able to sleep in comfort if they choose to. There is a strict “no outdoor” shoe policy in this room. The Caterpillars Room has its own multi-sensory section to encourage children to use their senses to explore the environment. Each child is assigned a Key Person and we try to follow any routines you have established at home. We will also complete a diary for your child detailing your child’s activities and progress.
We do this by providing an enabling environment that gives the children the freedom to move and explore, according to their inner needs, learning about their world from their surroundings and developing their communication, integration, co-ordination and motor skills.
The “Practical Life” skills in the Montessori environment are a delight at this stage. The child learns self-control and develops a healthy self-image by participating in real activities, such as washing-up plates and washing clothes; hanging on a clothes line; cutting fruit and vegetables used for their own snack or cooking; sorting grains; folding cloths; sweeping and dusting. In the Fountain toddler environment, the child will discover that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, which answers to the need of every young child – for order, of both time and place.
This is also a time that visual discrimination and hand and eye coordination needs to be stimulated. The children will find materials they love to work with ranging from simple shapes and colours, things to put into containers; threading large beads; knobbed puzzles and other materials that allow them to refine their pincer grip and which, indirectly prepares them for writing and other fine muscle activities later on.
Quality and beauty is very important in the Montessori environment because children in the early years literally absorb the life around them in its detail. Fountain’s environment is specially suited to small children with child-sized furniture; materials; pictures and shelves.
Parental involvement is essential to each child’s successful transition, continued happiness, and well-being at Fountain. Beginning with a sensitive orientation, together, the parents and the children gain trust and security in the environment.
The relationship between the child, the directress, and the prepared environment is interrelated and interdependent. The adult’s relationship with the child is one of assurance, which is established and sustained through individual attention and sensitive interactions. With guidance, the child is allowed to follow his own interests and readiness in choosing activities.