French Immersion Daycare in Minneapolis, MN
Le Tout Petit Programme
for children 18 months - 3 years
The French Académie of Minnetonka provides a french immersion daycare program that supports the constantly growing and curious toddler as they form their selves and cultivate their way to independence. It is here that children will master skills of self care and toilet learning and begin to manage emotions and individual expression - a truly magical period! Our French daycare program will provide young children with a strong foundation in the French language and culture while also focusing on their overall development. Our programs are Montessori and Reggio Emilia inspired, incorporating elements from both pedagogies into our classrooms. By the end of their time in Le Tout Petit Programme (TPP), children will be ready to embark on their next learning adventure: preschool!
Toddler Program Highlights
Social Emotional Learning
Children learn to interact with their peers, share, and develop social skills. Emotional development is also addressed, teaching children how to express their feelings and develop self-awareness.
Engaging with different textures, sounds, and materials through sensory activities helps toddlers explore and understand the world around them, promoting both intellectual and physical development.
French Language Development
The primary focus is on language acquisition. Children are exposed to French through activities such as storytelling, songs, rhymes, and direct daily interaction.
Toddlers are introduced to French culture, traditions, and customs. They learn about French holidays, art, and even French food from our in-school learning kitchen.
Music & Movement
Music and movement are integral to our curriculum. Children often engage in singing, dancing, and other rhythmic activites.
Toddlers learn essential life skills, such as pouring, dressing themselves, and cleaning up, which not only promote their physical coordination but also boost their self-confidence and sense of accomplishment. Students also have access to Montessori materials in order to refine fine-motor movements.
Reggio Emilia Inspired
Reggio Emilia focuses on child-led, project-based learning, encouraging children to explore their interests, express themselves through various art forms, and engage in meaningful, collaborative experiences that ignite their natural curiosity.
Play is the main method of instruction in our school. Children engage in various activities that promote social interaction, creativity, and problem-solving.
The Montessori prepared environment is very important in our classrooms. It is designed to meet these goals:
be attractive, welcoming, and conducive to learning
have a space large enough to accommodate all the children, provide them with free and comfortable movement
provide areas for all the activities each day (Toddlers seek and need repetition for their growth and development. They tend to use and reuse the same material many times, seeking comfort and building their confidence at the same time.)
provide and store equipment for the personal care of young children
We strive to provide students with an early exposure to the French language and first social experience in a fun, safe, and engaging environment. Children learn best when learning through play, at their own pace, in their own way. We balance structured and unstructured activities throughout our day and children are exposed to a wide variety of purposeful play activities. Teachers encourage students to develop their independence and to explore their interests and build on their understanding of the world.
Grace & Courtesy
Children learn by example, and their teachers are their role models for behavioral expectations. When needed, a toddler is gently redirected to something more suitable for their current frame of mind. The teachers will model appropriate language for all communication. They will also set limits and kindly help the children understand and respect them. Words like "please," "sorry," and "thank you" will be used consistently in the classroom.
Toddler Daycare Schedule
We open the classroom door at 8:45 am and class begins at 9:00 am. Dismissal is at 3:30 pm. Before and after school childcare options are available. Part-time and flexible care can also be arranged.
Large Muscle Activities
Music, Free Play, Toileting
Large Muscle Activities
Toddler Project Gallery
What sort of activities do our students engage in? As part of our school's Reggio Emilia inspiration, our teachers keep documentation of the different classrooms explorations they discover with their students. This documentation, which is shared daily with our parent community on our private school "Bloomz" app, allows our students, parents, and teachers alike to see the beauty in the children's learning, through natural exploration and discovery. Below are just a few recent examples of how our students learn and explore.
Project 1: The Very Hungry Catepillar | La Chenille Affamée
The children were introduced to the story, La chenille affamée (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), in both the French and English language. This book offers endless opportunities to learn in a classroom setting.
Our little ones mirrored their day of the week song with the story, learned about all the yummy fruits the little chenille loves to bite into (la pomme, la poire, la prune, la fraise et l’orange) and also all the food that makes her so sick! They developed math skills : 1 trou, 2 trous, 3 trous, 4 trous, 5 trous… They learned to fly like a papillon in the salle de motricité.
Using their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand strength, colors, and counting, they made their very own book and chenille to retell the story again and again: finger painting, brushes, marbling painting technique, hole punching, cutting, eggs cartons et voilà ! Nos papillons se sont envolés !
Do you want to listen to the story? Click here
Project 2: Discovering Plants | Les Plantes
Entries from a two week long exploration into plants and gardening.
Today, our little ones began exploring plants! First, they experienced the dirt: the texture, the smell, the color.
On this beautiful Friday, we painted different shapes to make up the simple parts of a flower: brown circle for the seed, green popsicle stick for the stem, and a yellow star for the actual flower. Using the paintbrush helps with grip and putting the finished pieces together helps the children understand how a flower grows.
Also, our sprouts are small, but we are excited!
Today, the children got to reassemble the flowers parts they had painted last week. We talked about “bulbes, tiges et fleurs”! We keep watering our pots, and we'll see the stems go toward the window, where the sun is!
Seeds and bulbs
Today the children got to look at different ways to grow plants, seeds and bulbs! They got to touch and plant both, watered them and felt the soil both dry and wet! The children took turns holding the watering can, admired each others pots, and genuinely wondered at the stem sprouting out!
For more reasons to garden with young children at home, here is a great in depth article from the University of Michigan.