Mairi Baker, Director 0-3 Environment
The Infant Community environment is beautifully prepared to entice the children to develop their knowledge and skills through participating in every day experiences. While each activity or material a child chooses to engage with stands alone in our curriculum to develop and refine specific skills, the natural flow between activities and materials, indoor and outdoor spaces creates a home like rhythm and order in which the children collaborate to become increasingly independent in caring for themselves, each other and the environment.
Activities in the outdoor environment are hands on opportunities to learn about life cycles, the eco system and how food is grown.
We have been mulching the seedlings, watering the garden, investigating the insect life in our herb garden and harvesting the herbs, strawberries and beetroot to prepare and eat for our morning teas.
Plants in the indoor environment have also been cared for with the gentlest of touch.
Food preparation and practical life activities are at the heart of our program. Preparing the snack for morning tea creates opportunities for the children to learn about hygiene practice, develop their fine motor skills and concentration, learn new vocabulary and absorb mathematical concepts.
Participating in a communal meal is a joyful and social time to learn lessons in grace and courtesy. We take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the children who have contributed to setting the table, preparing the snack, creating flower arrangements for the tables and maintaining our environment. As the children serve themselves bread and fruit and then pass the bowl or basket on to someone else they internalise the concept of considering others and sharing resources in a natural and spontaneous way.
Following the natural order within our environment, meal preparation and meal times generate further choices for the children to engage in movement and learning opportunities. Activities such as washing the dishes or scrubbing the tables are complex and require the children to develop their gross and fine motor skills, sequencing skills and memory.
Want to experience what a Montessori education can offer your child?
Come for a visit.