Toddler Curriculum

Montessori Toddler program curriculum at Inly School

Montessori Curriculum for Toddlers

Curriculum Overview

Our Montessori based Toddler House curriculum supports the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of each child. Toddlers strengthen speech and language development and both fine and gross motor skills as they explore self, family and the world in which they live.

The Toddler House program prepares both Toddler Class and Bridging Class children for preschool work by exposing them to each area of Inly's Montessori curriculum. The toddlers learn concentration, coordination, language skills, responsibility and respect—all of which prepare them well for a successful transition into preschool in Children's House.


The most important language materials for a toddler are the materials and experiences in the child's environment. Reinforcing the importance of verbal communication, speaking clearly, and supporting the child's expanding vocabulary are a daily process in the toddler environment. For the toddler, written language is experienced through the adult's oral reading and story time.

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

• Tracing objects
• Tracing shapes

Word recognition
• Sandpaper letters
• Isolating initial sounds

• Sandbox tracing


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:

Counting activities (1-4 and 1-10)
• Counting songs
• Counting fingers, animals, children, objects in the environment, etc.
• Spindles boxes
• Sandpaper numerals
• Numeral sandbox tracing

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


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. Appropriate science activities for toddlers allow for the maximum child interaction and minimal adult intervention. These activities make a significant contribution to the child's development because they foster autonomous functioning. When children can manipulate materials and equipment and discover on their own, they feel a great sense of mastery and positive satisfaction which helps build their self concepts. It is extremely important to remember that it is the process not the product that is important and creates learning within the child.

Life Science
• Plant care
• Animal care
• Nature walks
• Living v. nonliving
• Life cycles

Physical Science
• Sink and float activities
• Gravity
• Magnetic v. nonmagnetic
• Color mixing
• Weight/balance

Earth Science
• Water properties
• Weather/seasons
• Oceans
• Rocks

Scientific reasoning and technology
• Observation
• Measures

World Language: Spanish

The Spanish program is designed to enable students to speak and write their basic thoughts and questions in a second language. The curriculum utilizes a combination of speaking, writing, and activities that are often based on music, art or Total Physical Response. Students learn to express themselves in a second language environment that promotes confidence and creativity.

Toddler Classes
•    Numbers
•    Body parts
•    Songs
•    Animals

Cultural Studies

Inly presents a school-wide, three-year rotation of content so special events such as cultural festivals, assemblies, field trips, and reading lists can be thematically planned for the whole school. Each year, a central question is posed and each level has its own sub-questions that focus the lessons and studies. Each level delves into the year's subject according to its appropriate developmental capabilities. The toddlers, who are in that environment for one or, perhaps, two years, may touch on all three subjects in the course of a year.

Year One: Ancient Civilizations
•    The school-wide central question is "How and why were ancient civilizations created?"
•    The toddler focus is "Where do we come from?" "Why do we tell stories?" and "Is every story about me?"

Year Two: American Civilization
•    The school-wide central question is "How and why has American civilization changed?
•    The toddler focus is "How have I changed?" "What is family?" "What did my grandparents do when they were children?" "What does peace feel like?"

Year Three: World Civilizations
•    The school-wide central question is "How and why do world civilizations connect?"
•    The toddler focus is "Who am I?" "How am I the same or different from others?" "How many people are in the world?" "What do they look like?"

Practical Life

The practical life materials and exercises are designed to contribute to the development of both small and large motor skills and assist the child in becoming self-efficient and independent.

Physical skills
•    Control of movement
•    Silence game
•    Walking the line

Respect and care of environment
•    Squeezing a sponge
•    Sweeping the floor
•    Pouring grains and water
•    Clamping clothespins
•    Rolling a rug
•    Using tools such as hammers and screwdrivers
•    Opening and closing jar lids
•    Opening and closing latches
•    Using a strainer, beater, whisk
•    Scrubbing a shell, rock, doll
•    Caring for animals
•    Recycling

Grace, courtesy, and etiquette
•    Greeting someone
•    "Please" and "Thank you"
•    Walking around the rug
•    Shaking hands

•    Care of person
•    Dressing frame
•    Large button frame
•    Zipper frame
•    Snapping frame
•    Hanging up coat
•    Combing hair
•    Washing hands
•    Health and safety
•    Nutrition and food preparation

Community service
•    Collecting teddy bears for a local children's shelter

Sensorial curriculum
This consists of lessons and materials that educate and refine the child's senses. 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. By working with the sensorial materials, children develop the organization and patterning skills inherent in math and language concepts that build upon the sensory awareness stimulated by the sensorial materials. These materials include:

•    Pink tower
•    Knobbed cylinders
•    Broad stair
•    Knobless cylinders
•    Color tablets box 1 and 2
•    Binomial cube

•    Touch boards
•    Fabric-extreme textures

•    Geometric solids

•    Sound cylinders

Visual Arts

The Inly visual arts program seeks to foster creativity, problem solving, and self-expression as it relates to each child's level of development from Toddler to Middle School.

Art lessons use a variety of auditory, kinesthetic, and visual components. Students are encouraged to experience the art process as each concept is presented utilizing a variety of 2-D and 3-D materials to help them truly absorb and understand the lesson's objectives. Lessons include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage making, and print making.

The Toddler curriculum focuses on the exploration of different materials.


The music curriculum combines individual and group work with lessons designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles. This directly relates to our mission of enhancing the Montessori philosophy with other innovative methods. The music curriculum also offers significant opportunities to build community through our numerous performances, field trips, and assemblies.The music curriculum combines individual and group work with lessons designed to appeal to a variety of learning styles. This directly relates to our mission of enhancing the Montessori philosophy with other innovative methods. The music curriculum also offers significant opportunities to build community through our numerous performances, field trips, and assemblies.

Toddler Classes
• Repetitive songs
• Echo songs
• Singing in unison

Movement Arts

The ultimate goal of the Inly Movement Arts program is to assist all children along the path to lifetime physical fitness, which aligns with our holistic mission. The benefits of this journey are many: health, longevity, positive body image, improved overall self-esteem, and increased energy and concentration in all areas. All students from Toddler to Middle School participate regularly in Movement Arts classes and activities.

Movement Arts at Inly embraces the philosophy of the school as a whole. The program, at each level, is responsive to the needs and interests of the children, and the ultimate goal is the joyful discovery of movement and its benefits, both physical and psychological.

Inly Movement Arts seeks to benefit ALL children, not just those with particular interest or talent in this area. Volumes have been written about the connection between body image and overall self-esteem, as well as the dangers of introducing children to competitive sports at an early age. Care is taken to keep the emphasis on fitness and fun, as opposed to individual superiority of skills.

Toddler Classes
• Rolling, jumping, bending, stretching...movement is fun and exploration is exciting!


There is no formal library and technology instruction at the Toddler level. Instead, the Toddler teachers provide their students with their own library in the classroom, which changes weekly with thematic ideas and seasons. Story time is an integral part of the daily experience for toddlers.

The Inly library is, however, available to all our families and has a robust collection of picture books for toddlers, as well as parenting books and books on Montessori methods and philosophy. We encourage our Toddler and Bridging Class families to visit the Inly library after school and check out materials.

"Knowledge can best be given where there is eagerness to learn, so this is the period when the seed of everything can be sown, the child's mind being like a fertile field, ready to receive what will germinate into knowledge."

—Maria Montessori
Focus on child development:

  • cognitive development
  • speech and language development
  • fine and gross motor skills
  • social and emotional development
Curriculum Resources

Click here for TH curriculum map.
Montessori Toddler Curriculum | Nursery School for Toddlers
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The Montessori Toddler program at Inly focuses on language skills and the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of toddlers.