Toddler Program

8:30 to 11:15 Monday-Thursday for ages 18 months to 2 1/2 years

The toddler community at Siena Academy is an intimate community of 6 to 8 children with a directress and one assistant. The environment is carefully prepared to appeal to the very young child and to offer him experiences that deepen concentration, develop intelligence, and foster coordination of movement, language and independence.

The children in our toddler community work with manipulative materials that are specifically designed to foster the development of fine motor coordination. These include puzzles and other apparatus such as rings on a dowel, shape sorting, cutting paper strips, stringing beads, and opening and closing an assortment of containers. A variety of art activities such as gluing shapes on paper, watercolor painting, sewing, and modeling clay offer further opportunities to develop focus and fine motor coordination.

The children, who by their very nature desire meaningful work, carry out practical life activities such as scrubbing a table, arranging flowers, polishing silver, preparing snack, setting the table, washing dishes, mopping and sweeping the floor. These activities that facilitate the mind and body working together to accomplish purposeful tasks are particularly important for the formation of character and the integration of the personality. Language development is fostered through spoken language, naming of objects, picture cards, books and songs.

Even to the very young child, we offer the essential truths of the Catholic faith. Children gather around the prayer table, read the Parable of the Good Shepherd and sing songs daily. The children in our toddler community also learn aspects of the faith through the naming of objects and picture cards and by participating in traditions throughout the liturgical year.