Toddler Montessori

14 Months to 3 Years

Our toddler Montessori room has children from 14 months to 36 months. In infancy, child moves from slithering to crawling to walking. In toddler months, he needs freedom of movement to continue to develop physical coordination. In the toddler classroom children are free to move throughout the environment. They are offered opportunities to engage all their muscles: to lift heavy objects and carry them from one place to another.

The environment is designed to meet each child at her particular stage of development, rather than to prepare her for the next stage of development. For as we say: “The child is where she is, and she is no place else.”

Here at Little Gems Montessori, we offer an environment that corresponds to what they naturally crave – activities and experiences to develop coordination, support independence, assist in taking care of self, and help in taking care of the environment. All offer tangible and useful results in the real world, in real time. For all our children, and especially our toddlers, giving them opportunities to perceive and experience the world through their own unaided efforts is the central premise of our prepared environment. Waiting one’s turn, sharing and patience are important lessons that the teacher guides the children to develop. A balance of intellectual stimulation is sought for each child. 

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Toddler Montessori Curriculum

Practical Life

This area of the classroom contains materials which provide tasks the child sees in everyday life. Their familiarity draws the child to work. All the tools are child-sized to aid the child in performing the tasks successfully. Practical life exercises are designed to help the child gain independence, self-confidence, coordination, concentration, and a sense of order, which paves the way to intellectual learning.

Control of Movement

  • Pouring dry products such as beans, rice, salt, etc. from one pitcher to another
  • Scooping, & Spooning work
  • Transferring work (both for whole hand and fingers)
  • Sorting (colors, shapes, sizes)
  • Stringing Beads & Lacing Cards
  • Walking on the line

Care of Self (Independence)

  • Washing hands
  • Blowing nose and throwing away tissue
  • Folding (napkin, washcloth)
  • Dressing frames
  • Hanging up coat
  • Putting on shoes
  • Health and safety

Care of Environment

  • Sweeping and Mopping the floor
  • Polishing
  • Dusting
  • Squeezing a sponge
  • Clamping clothespins
  • Rolling a rug
  • Using tools such as hammers and screwdrivers
  • Opening and closing jar lids and latches
  • Using a strainer, beater, whisk
  • Scrubbing a shell, rock, doll
  • Caring for animals
  • Recycling

Grace and Courtesy

  • Greeting someone
  • “Please” and “Thank you”
  • Walking around the rug
  • Shaking hands

Community service

  • Collecting pennies for helping the Food Bank and Child’s Education

Sensorial activities challenge the young child in many ways such as to match objects by size, shape, color, texture, or to solve simple puzzles. Toddlers enjoy sensorial exploration and are exposed to elements as water, sand, dirt, clay, textured objects, as well as the smell of flowers and food.


  • Pink tower
  • Knobbed cylinders
  • Broad stair
  • Knobless cylinders
  • Color tablets box 1 and 2
  • Binomial cube
  • Puzzles (with inset pieces, 3-dimensional, and simple jigsaw)


  • Touch boards
  • Fabric-extreme textures


  • Geometric solids


  • Sound cylinders

There is typically an explosion of language between the age of 18 months and 2 years. Young children learn new words every day starting with the names or objects, pictures, people, or other things in their environment. Encouraging language helps the child to learn to speak in phrases, and begin to build on other parts of speech. Researchers estimate that most children have learned 70% of the vocabulary they will use as adults by the age of 3. In Montessori Toddler environment, we provide language materials such as books, objects, and pictures for naming, but also, and most importantly, the adults in the classroom understand the importance of allowing the child to speak and be listened to.


  • Conversation cards
  • Nomenclature objects and pictures (e.g., simple parts of plants (trunk, stem, leaf, roots) and animals (head, eyes, mouth, legs, wings)
  • Stories read aloud
  • Object to object matching
  • Object to picture matching
  • Picture to picture matching
  • Sequencing


  • Puzzles with knobs for pincer grip (going from large knobs to small ones)
  • Squeezing with bulb basters or eye droppers (going from large to small)
  • Picking up objects with tongs or chopsticks
  • Writing or drawing in a tray of sand or cornmeal

Word Recognition

  • Sandpaper letters
  • Isolating initial sounds

Circle Time Games

  • Memory match-up (concentration)
  • “Making Silence” game
  • Playing “I spy with my little eye”
Maria Montessori believed that a child's mind is mathematical and based on the order and perceptual awareness found in the development of the senses. The acquisition of mathematical principles is seen as developing logically from concrete to abstract and simple to complex. The child who has experienced basic concepts involved with the practical life and sensorial materials progresses naturally to the beginning math activities. We make this enjoyable by providing these every day activities:
  • Exploring spatial relationships such as long/short, big/little.
  • Recognizing quantity (Sandpaper numbers)
  • Using finger plays and songs involving math concepts
  • Matching of number symbols to objects (Spindle boxes)
  • Growing awareness of one to one correspondence (Counting fingers, animals, children, objects in the environment, etc.)
  • Numeral sandbox tracing
  • Concept of time (daily routine, period of the day; morning, afternoon, evening, seasons)
Science and Culture

Science for the toddler means activities where the child can directly observe and manipulate physical properties. The tactile element is the key ingredient for learning about their world. It is extremely important to remember that it is the process not the product that is important and creates learning within the child. Real-world opportunities to become aware of the natural world, hands-on experience with weather, animals, plants, seashells, etc., opportunities to care for (feed and water) plants and small animal, and experiences demonstrating our relationship to the natural environment (e.g., recycling, composting, etc.).

Cultural lessons are generally included in the language part of the classroom; this would include learning about weather, the calendar, and basic names of objects in the classroom and in nature. Other cultural lessons include: beginning awareness of community helpers, beginning awareness of self and family, celebration of holidays, seasons, cultures, and birthdays with songs, stories, etc.

Music and Movement

In our Toddler classroom, we try and incorporate a variety of musical activities that help to build good listening skills, promote self expression and increase a child’s self confidence. Through music making, children are actively engaged with their senses: they listen to the complex sounds around them, move their bodies to the rhythms, and touch and feel the textures and shapes of the instruments. Some of the musical activities included are:

  • Musical storytelling
  • Dancing to music with colored scarves
  • Egg Shakers
  • Sound matching activity
  • Play a ‘copy-me game’. Make different sounds or a particular rhythm and encourage the children to copy you
  • Freeze dancing
  • Record the children's' voices and then challenge them to identify the person whose voice they hear
  • Take the children outdoors to encourage them to listen to animal and nature sounds.

Maria Montessori asserted that the growth of intelligence is dependent on the young child's interaction with his environment. The psychological aspects of movement include the growth of self-confidence and self-esteem, a sense of independence and autonomy, social participation, and a basic faith in oneself.

  • Movement activities inside include; sit and spin, circle time activities, rocking horse, and balance beam.
  • The outdoor environment encourages running, hopping, jumping, balancing, climbing, sliding, digging,hauling, throwing, and catching,

Our Montessori Toddler classroom is specially prepared to bring order and beauty into the environment, as well as to give opportunities for children to enjoy their own individual art expression. The Toddler curriculum focuses on the exploration of various media and art appreciation experiences. Some of the everyday art activities include:

  • Pencils and paper
  • Collage
  • Chalk and chalkboard
  • Crayon rubbings
  • Water color paint and water color paper
  • Natural Clay and tools
  • Soft pastels with pastel paper
  • White poster marker and black card
  • Water colors with pipette and water color paper
  • Natural charcoal and card
  • Pasting on card
  • Markers and card
  • Animal stamps
  • Cut and paste
  • Dot and other stickers
  • Hole punching
  • Black marker on colored card