Toddler Program

(18mo - 3yr)

The Toddler program, for children 18 months and up, takes advantage of the toddler’s natural drive to act independently.

A Prepared, Environmental Design

Cambridge Montessori advances each child's growth and development through a rich and well-prepared environment designed just for toddlers. The classrooms are a special place for the young child to begin his/her steps towards independence and self-reliance.
Dedicated, nurturing, degreed and MACTE-accredited teachers implement a developmentally-appropriate toddler-designed curriculum to foster independence, cognitive and language development, speech, and strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills. The environment and currlculum fosters movement and introduces grace and courtesy lessons that promote focus and concentration. An important part of a toddler’s developing independence is learning to care for him/herself.  

Toddler exercises and activities recognize that children learn by doing. Montessori materials are always accessible, attractive, safe, and geared for a child’s success. Activities are changed in response to children’s need for variety and challenge as they grow and learn. The safe, loving, gentle atmosphere puts children and parents at ease and makes for a trusting, spontaneous transition to school. Toddlers come to school five days a week, and may choose to stay for mornings-only or a full day. Upon completion of the Toddler program, children join our Primary program.

Toddler Curriculum

Each curriculum area of the Montessori classroom emphasizes specific skills, but there is dynamic interplay among the areas, enhancing children’s natural learning process.

List of 10 items.

  • Practical Life

    Practical Life activities form the cornerstone of the Montessori classroom and prepare the child for all other areas. Practical life experiences, such as food preparation, flower arranging, table washing have a purpose to care for one’s self and environment. Sharing stories, foods, and celebrations promote inclusion and a sense of community. Through grace and courtesy lessons, which empower their experiential learning, the children learn to serve snack, greet guests, offer things to others, and practice social customs. Toddlers are notorious walkers. They explore the natural world through their senses and are now at the height of their sensorial reception. The circle of family, caregivers, classmates, and teachers mutually informs and expands the meaning and reality of the community.
  • Language

    For children of this age, exposure to well-spoken language is key to developing the ability to communicate. Through conversation, manipulating objects and contact with others, children are exposed to new vocabulary and modes of expression. These experiences in a variety of activities, such as singing, rhyming, poetry, dramatic play, story readings, puppetry, art and language lessons stimulate toddlers to blossom into communicators. Engaging in personal interactions during daily routines and read-alouds results in the development of expressive and receptive language skills. New vocabulary is emphasized at every opportunity and helps the toddler glory in classifying, comparing, and discovering relationships with and between things.
  • Sensorial

    We all learn through our senses, and this is especially true of very young children who are at the beginning of taking in and understanding the world around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating, learning about their sensory input while refining fine motor development and fostering concentration.
  • Math

    Toddlers engage in mathematical thinking by exploring with their senses and engaging in sequencing activities. Time is introduced through consistent everyday routines that highlight before, after, today, yesterday, and tomorrow. The experience of sorting and classifying leads to numeracy and establishing one-to-one correspondence. Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, and sorting and counting materials.
  • Movement and Physical Education


    The toddler is in a constant state of motion, purposeful and otherwise. The environment is designed to enable children to move freely and define their work space. All activities that support individual development are meant to be taken to the child’s chosen place of work. Independent of adults, toddlers negotiate chairs and tables and participate in a toileting routine. They are introduced to aerobics, obstacle courses, yoga, and improvisational dance. They manipulate balls, hoops, domes, springboards, mats, and balance beams. Through these activities, toddlers achieve great physical poise and a surprising level of independence.
  • Art

    Art is about process and exploration for toddlers. It is a visual language of marks that happen in three basic growth stages of drawing that are critical for creative development and in laying the groundwork for the muscle control needed to write.

    The Toddler art curriculum offers experiential art activities that foster process over product and allow children the freedom of going through the crucial stages outlined above. Children are exposed to different mediums such as painting, printmaking, pottery, drawing, collage, and sculpture, along with a variety of tools to inspire sensorial and physical exploration. They learn about artists and artistic styles through hands-on exploration and interactive materials.

  • Musical Arts

    Toddlers music classes meet weekly for 30 minutes and support nurturing the love of singing, chanting, and moving to the beat and rhythm of the music. Classes provide the children with positive, joyful, and creative opportunities to experience musical subjects.
  • Spanish

    Spanish is introduced to Toddler students using songs, dance, books, images,, activities, and simple games. Children begin to recognize simple vocabulary by listening. Through conversation only in Spanish, children explore familiar topics including counting, colors, animals, body parts, clothing, families, shapes, school, nature/weather, and food. Movement and manipulative materials play a key role in language acquisition at this level.
  • Library

    Toddlers participate in monthly library visits and story reading, perusal of books, and the experience of being read to in a large group. Children learn about print, how to care for books, and begin to identify fiction and nonfiction. They learn to read a picture, make inferences, recall favorite stories, and share information.
  • Community Service

    Children learn about our responsibility to the community at large and learn from their experiences with others. The entire school raises funds for Heifer International, with Toddler and Primary children hosting a bake sale, Elementary children participating in “Read to Feed,” and Middle School students selling crafts.
Located in the heart of Cambridge, MA, CMS is a private school serving children eighteen months through grade 8 in four distinct programs: Toddler, Primary, Elementary and Middle School. CMS educates the whole child, applying the Montessori philosophy in a joyful learning environment.


2022 Boston Parent Family Favorite Winner