For more than a hundred years, teachers and parents from different countries have been incorporating a method of development based in self-directed learning. This type of education was built on creating an environment where young children learn how to interact independently with their surroundings and have an increase of self-confidence.
Maria Montessori discovered that children learning from this method improved their understanding of language, mathematics, science, social interactions and more. She constructed a curriculum designed to meet the needs of children.
In continuation, we will assist you in learning the different areas including different Montessori materials for toddlers.
Cultural studies – Around the world Montessori materials
As a part of exploring different cultures from around the world, toddlers learn about the different animals and people from other countries. This provides the opportunity to explore real things, such as, the name of plants and animals, geography, history, zoology, earth science and social studies. Children explore maps, music, artifacts and foods from other countries which builds awareness of the world that surrounds them.
- Geography- The study of all life on Earth
- world maps puzzles, globes and flags to better understand different countries
- cards with pictures to match species or elements
- puzzles including land marks
- landforms and waterfalls photographs
- Botany – The study of plants
- cards are used to identify the different various types of plants
- real plants throughout the classroom to water and care for
- plant life circle activity set
- botany sorting sets and parts of plants
- Zoology- The study of animals
- different animals figurines to help classify animals
- butterfly and bee life circle activity set
- hibernating animals
- History-The study of past event
- The history of art card set
- Dinosaurs stories with models
- Musical instruments cards
with information and small instruments
- Type of tools identification card
Sensorial activities – Materials for toddlers to emphasize senses
Sensorial activities are those that improve the five senses (auditory, olfactory, tactile, gustatory and visual). These types of activities include materials for toddlers to learn and enjoy while they refine their senses. Montessori materials that are included in this curriculum are mostly made of wood and set in a way where toddlers are able to check their mistakes. For example, a child won’t be able to set all the cylinder correctly if one is out of place. It gives them a change to learn and to become comfortable fixing their error. It helps them with feeling comfortable with the fact that mistakes are essential for learning.
Some materials for toddlers include:
- Triangle box – Visual
- Pinwheel box – Visual
- Geometry cabinets – Visual
- Boards with graduating texture. Ex. Plywood and sandpaper – Tactile
- Fabrics – Tactile
- Thermic bottles and tablets – Tactile
- Sound cylinders – Auditory
- Sound boxes- Auditory
- Bells- Auditory
- Smelling cups/jars – Olfactory
- Scratch and sniff pallets – Olfactory
- Make your own smell swatches (coffee, cinnamon, etc) – Olfactory
- Tasting cups (water with salt, sugar or lemon) – Gustatory
- Trays with foods that have different textures – Gustatory
Practical life skills – Toddler activities that develop skills
Practical skills are daily activities that are involved in all aspects of life. These help toddlers control and coordinate their movements as well as developing their self-esteem. Additionally, they help develop fine and gross motor skills, confidence and social skills. In the beginning, these activities are made for the child and then gradually they learn how to do them themselves.
Activities such as helping set the table, pouring and transferring drinks, cleaning, and food preparation are considered practical skills. Over time, children will learn how to properly dress and clean up after themselves giving them a sense of accomplishment and wanting to learn more.
Language – Carefully structured phonic approach
Since language is an important involvement in the process of thinking, we need to constantly speak and listen to children. Montessori language materials are based on a phonic approach to writing and reading starting with tracing letter and hearing the sounds. Other activities involve matching words with objects, writing in trays of sand, learning the months and the seasons as well as sounding out words.
Some activities to help develop language skills are:
- matching objects
- sound games
- vocabulary cards
Mathematics – Learning to count
With mathematics, children will learn how to count with hands-on materials for concrete math concepts. Clear, abstract and precise ideas are used in this concept. Each work is presented in ordered steps so that the children can do it accurately. The exercises include learning how to count to ten and the fact that each number represents a different quantity. Another part includes learning decimals which helps give them a sensorial impression of addition as subtraction.
Montessori Math materials:
- Counting bears
- precise balance by weight
- classic clock
- pink tower – stacking from big to small
- counting trays
- number cards
- memory games
Why Montessori for toddlers
The Montessori curriculum includes materials that supports the cognitive, social and emotional development of children. The five areas of Montessori are designed to meet the children’s needs. By doing the work for themselves (with supervision), they learn different aspects of life and are eager to learn more. Each area has a purpose and can help your child learn from areas of math to how to clean and dress themselves.