Toddler programs in Montessori schools generally start at 15-18 months and run to age 2½ or 3. You can use many of the same Montessori principles and ideas to create a Montessori-friendly toddler environment at home.
The Montessori phrase “Help me to do it by myself” is probably the most important concept to keep in mind for your toddler. Create an environment that will help your toddler gain as much independence as possible.
There are many things you can do to make your home a Montessori-friendly toddler environment. You’ll want to have low shelves with activities in baskets and on trays, toddler-size table and chair, and real child-size tools and utensils. Practical life activities for care of self, care of the environment, control of movement, and grace and courtesy will be essential.
Ideas for Creating a Montessori-Friendly Toddler Environment
I have a number of posts on infants and toddlers.
The International Montessori Index has resources for Montessori Birth to Three.
Lovely Examples of Montessori-Friendly Toddler Home Environments
The Montessori Child at Home (ideas for both toddlers and older preschoolers)
Some Helpful Resources
I have a post on Top 10 Montessori Principles for Natural Learning.
Montessori for Infants and Toddlers has blog posts with lots of Montessori ideas.
Montessori Mom has Toddler Scope and Sequence & Lesson Ideas – Practical Life Skills.
“What’s unique about a Montessori program for toddlers?” is a 1-minute video from Cottage Montessori.
It’s best to provide lots of manipulatives for learning, but don’t worry about doing many formal Montessori lessons with your child. Follow your child’s interests and let him or her choose activities.
Here’s a reassuring post from Confessions of a Montessori Mom Blog: Can You Give a Toddler a Lesson?
Montessori MOMents has a post on ages 0-6 with some information and links appropriate for toddlers.
Montessori Learning Materials and Activities for Toddlers
Montessori Mom has a post on Toddler Scope and Sequence & Lesson Ideas-Practical Life Skills.
Montessori Print Shop has inexpensive toddler materials (materials for language development).
Montessori for Everyone has inexpensive toddler materials (materials for language development along with a comprehensive checklist).
Our Montessori Home has many posts on infant and toddler activities.
1+1+1=1 has Tot School ideas and links to other parents who often use Montessori-inspired activity trays and manipulatives.
(Photo: Tot School – 15 Months from the former Growing a Godly Girl blog)
Little Red Farm has lots of Montessori-inspired toddler activities.
Cherry Blossom Adventures has many Montessori-inspired activities during “tot school.”
Montessori Mama has many posts with toddler activities.
The Adventures of Bear has a Montessori-friendly toddler environment and lots of activities for toddlers.
Kingdom of the Pink Princesses tells how they’ve adapted their home and homeschool to include a toddler.
My Child-Centered Life has many Montessori-inspired toddler activities.
Racheous has lots of Montessori-inspired toddler activities.
There are so many activities you can do with a toddler. But you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Just follow your toddler’ needs and interests and encourage your toddler’s independence. And have fun!