Toddler Curriculum

The Toddler classroom is designed to support the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of the individual child.  In the toddler classroom, children are introduced to the Montessori classroom through a variety of hands-on activities in a prepared environment, enhancing the child’s natural learning process.  The toddler program encourages language development, coordination, concentration and respect towards one another in preparation for a successful transition into the early childhood/kindergarten classroom.

Practical LifeSensorialLanguageMathCultural & ScienceArt & Movement

These are the first exercises introduced to the children. They create the foundation upon which all other work in the classroom depends. Practical Life exercises include care of self and the environment, as well as the development of large and fine motor control. These practical experiences in everyday activities are the cornerstone of the Montessori Method.

The focus of the Practical Life area is to develop coordination, independence, a sense of order, and above all, concentration.

Physical Skills

  • Control of movement
  • Walking purposefully
  • Making silence
  • Bouncing and catching ball
  • Riding tricycles
  • Digging, raking, watering
  • Climbing

Respect and Care of Environment

  • Wet and dry pouring
  • Rolling a mat and pushing in chair
  • Spooning, tweezing, scooping, squeezing
  • Opening and closing using various containers
  • Cutting, peeling, grating, serving various types of foods
  • Sweeping the floor
  • Cleaning & polishing
  • Washing a window
  • Washing dishes
  • Caring for animals and plants
  • Cleaning up classroom/playground
  • Recycling

Care for Self

  • Respect for self
  • Personal care
  • Hand washing
  • Dressing frames
  • Hanging up coat
  • Putting on shoes
  • Using the toilet

Lessons in Grace and Courtesy

  • Greeting someone
  • “Please” and “Thank you”
  • Waiting for turns
  • Walking around the rug
  • Helping others, sharing, caring for others
  • Quiet voices and listening

Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating and learning about their sensory input. The sensorial materials are designed to simplify learning and awareness of the environment by isolating difficulty; isolating the senses; encouraging mastery through repetition; possessing self-correction within the material; and presenting an attractive appearance to the child.

The goals of the Sensorial area are to strengthen and refine each of the child’s senses and pincer grasp, develop the organization and patterning skills inherent in math and language concepts that build upon the sensory awareness stimulated by these materials.

Visual Sense

Learning qualities of size, shape, color and dimension through these materials:

  • Pink Cubes
  • Nesting Barrels
  • Brown Prisms
  • Color Tablets box 1 and 2
  • Knobbed Cylinders
  • Knobbless Cylinders

Tactile Sense

  • Tactile Boards
  • Fabric Box
  • Baric Prisms
  • Sensory Bins

Auditory Sense

  • Distinguishing sounds that vary in pitch and volume through these materials:
    • Sound Cylinders
    • Musical Instruments

Olfactory Sense

  • Identifying basic tastes and learning the related language (salty, sweet, sour, bitter).
  • Smelling Cylinders (this needs to be indented with round circle)

Sterognostic Sense

  • Sorting and grading various Sensorial materials solely by touch through exploring these materials:
    • Geometric solids
    • Mystery Box

Around the age of two, children’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the refinement and enrichment of language as the first steps on the road to writing and finally reading. Early Language materials and oral exercises like storytelling and reading aloud support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language. Activities include books, puzzles, naming objects like fruits, vegetables and animals, and beginning sound games.

Pre-Reading and Vocabulary Enrichment

  • Matching cards
  • Vocabulary cards
  • Stories read aloud
  • Size and shape discrimination exercises
  • Picture-word cards
  • Sorting

Indirect Preparation for Reading and Writing

  • Tracing objects
  • Tracing shapes
  • The Sandpaper Letters encourage assimilation of the form of letters into muscular memory through repeated tracing.
  • Practical life and Sensorial Exercises encourage repeated use of the pincer grasp.

Direct Preparation for Reading and Writing

  • The Sandpaper Letters are used to teach the formation and recognition of the letters of the alphabet. Montessori Method teaches the sound followed by the name of the letter.
  • The Sandpaper Letters isolate the initial sound.
  • Beginning sounds are introduced through games and exercises to encourage sound isolation.
  • Object Boxes provide an opportunity for children to explore and learn how to write and spell many different of words.
  • Countless opportunities are available for children to discover language through storytelling, songs, puzzles, matching, books and sorting exercises.
  • Letter tracing in sand.  

To help prepare the mathematical mind, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and concrete materials. These exercises encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting, one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Toddler Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, sorting and counting materials.

Numbers 1-4 & 1-10

  • One to one correspondence (Knobbed Cylinders)
  • Quantity 1-4 & 1-10
    • Counting songs and books
    • Counting fingers, animals, children, objects in the environment
    • Spindle Boxes
    • Sandpaper Numerals
    • Number tracing in sand
    • Cards and Counters
    • Association of written symbol with quantity

Shapes and names of geometric figures

  • Circle, square, triangle
  • Geometric solids: cube, sphere, pyramid

Concept of Time

  • Daily routine
  • Periods of the day (morning, afternoon, evening)
  • Seasons

The Cultural area of the Toddler Montessori classroom opens up a world of discovery into the many plants, animals and people around the planet. These lessons extend into the Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, and Language areas of the classroom and allow for further exploration with interesting and unique activities. The Toddler Cultural curriculum includes simple lessons in world music and art, geography, history, ecology, geology, botany, zoology, and the physical sciences.

The goals of Cultural area include exposing the child to a wide variety of subjects through “key experiences”; stimulating the child’s natural curiosity; providing a sensorial experience for key concepts; providing language and vocabulary for these subjects; and leading the child to an awareness of the interrelatedness and uniqueness of people, plants, and animals.

The Montessori classroom encourages exploration and curiosity to define a sense of self and the spirit of the people of the world.

Geography

  • Presentation of the globe
  • Our 7 continents
  • World puzzle map
  • Songs and stories from around the world
  • Offer extensions according to the child’s interest such as the names of countries, flags, capitals, etc.
  • Arrange experiences that expose the child to various world cultures through songs, food, books, clothing and artifacts.

Plants

  • Care and respect for plants
  • Living/non-living
  • Parts of plants
  • Parts, types and shapes of leaves
  • Types and parts of fruits, vegetables, and seeds
  • Plants around the world and in different biomes

Animals

  • Care of and respect for all animals
  • Classification of animals
  • Parts of animals
  • Animal habitats, diets, and life cycles

Science

Physical Science:

  • Sink verses float
  • Magnets
  • Magnetic vs. non-magnetic
  • Nutrition and food groups
  • Solid, liquid, gas
  • Chemical reactions
  • Oil and Water

Life Science:

  • Nature Walks
  • Plant care
  • Animal care
  • Living & non-living
  • Life cycles

Earth Science:

  • Land, Air & Water
  • Types of rocks
  • Volcanoes
  • Seasons & weather
  • The Moon, Sun and Stars
  • Ecosystems
  • Water Cycle

Music & Movement

  • Singing
  • Listening to music
  • Instruments
  • Recess/Playground
  • Stretch & Grow Program
  • Daily Nature Walks

Visual Art

  • Paint, collage, play dough, stamping, color mixing
  • Emphasize the process and not the product; encourage individuality