This red-tailed hawk enjoyed a couple of winter-like spring days flying over the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy campus, enjoying the view from atop the brush arbor in the infant toddler area of the school.
Anna Prentice, Infant/Toddler Floater
Photo Credit: SUIMA
Photo Credit: courtesy Anna Prentice
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From the Eagle’s Nest – The absorbent mind

It is a well-established fact that babies and toddlers’ brains develop at such a quick speed, it is hard to even fathom. 

In the Montessori world we call that the “absorbent mind” because their brains are like sponges. For the first three years of life, cognitive, emotional, and social foundations are laid.    

So how has the COVID pandemic changed for this aged child? How will social distancing affect development? How will they develop social skills and gross motor skills if they are inside all the time?  And how do I, as a parent, get through this?  

Just remember that everything you need is within your home to help your child grow and develop. Babies and toddlers start to learn how to recognize people and objects, cause and effect, and language. What these children need is lot of love, attention, and stimulation to thrive and the best place to get all of this is at home with you.   

Think of when you had your baby and all he/she wanted to do was look at you all the time memorizing every smile, wrinkle, and the color of your eyes. His/her absorbent brain was soaking up all of your facial expressions and the way you spoke. A special baby doll or stuffed animal is an object that becomes imbedded in your child’s mind.  Playing peek-a-boo helps your child understand cause and effect.  

The time we have spent at home won’t harm your child’s development if they have had a secure base, know they are loved, and know that they are safe. The most important things to do are to ensure that your child has a routine, plenty of self-directed activities, and play time with you.   

When the adults in your child’s life are feeling out-of-sorts and don’t have a routine, this age child knows something is up; they see and feel it from the adults.  Even if they don’t understand it, they get it. So, how do you create a routine?  It can just be a simple schedule of what you are going to do, and one that can be repeated in various ways each day, (i.e., brushing teeth, playing outside, snacks, naps, working/playing inside, etc.).   

With the Safer-at-Home Level II order in place, you can now get outside and bring a new perspective to your child.  Take a blanket out and watch the clouds go by.  Go for a walk to the park. Or go to the library and check out some great infant/toddler books.  The worry you may have had during this strange year can be put to rest.  Talking to, laughing with, singing for, and loving your child will have been the best thing for him/her.   

If you are a parent of a SUIMA infant or toddler, remember to reach out to your child’s classroom guides for ideas.  Know that you are amazing, and you have done wonders with your child. 

Anna Prentice, Infant/Toddler Floater


For this edition of the Eagles Nest, we will focus on staff member Anna Prentice, who is the mother of two young boys – Greyson and Brently – both in the infant and toddler age group.  

After working at Tri-County Head Start, Anna returned to SUIMA as an I/T floater this school year. Even though the students are learning from home remotely, Anna has helped the guides and teachers throughout the school to make materials that are sent home.  

Ms. Prentice says her favorite thing to do on her days off are to hang out with her boys, her dog dak, and her cat named Danger. By watching her boys grow, she lives up to the advice she has to offer, “Don’t be in a hurry to grow up!”  

Anna’s favorite quote is, “I’m not crazy M’Lynn, I’ve just been in a bad mood for 40 years!”  Thank you Anna for being part of the SUIMA family. 

Upcoming events: 

  • April 19 – May 7 – Star Benchmark Assessments. 
  • April 21 – PAG Family Night – Topic: Past and Current Southern Ute Leaders. 
  • April 26 – No School for Students – Professional Development Day for staff. 
  • April 29 – Parent meeting for students transitioning to another level. 
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