Montessori Infant and Toddler Curriculum Part 2: Math and Language

This is part 2 in my Infant and Toddler Montessori Curriculum series.  I talked about sensorial in this post.
We are going to continue the series by discussing Math and Language.  Infants are always learning and it is exciting to watch and facilitate. 

From day one infants are surrounded by math.  We ask what time it is, how old they are, how many ect.  Math is a very abstract and small children can’t understand the concepts.  They need to experience real objects in their environment to make the concept much more concrete.  Math begins with the realization of one and then more than one.  To witness a child evolving in this area is an amazing discovery.  Math activities for infants and toddlers can include:  Stacking and nesting cubes, number and block cubes, sorting and counting materials, matching and grading and sandpaper numbers. 

From birth children are completely aware and are learning at an extremely rapid rate all about the human language.  Language is vital to the process of thinking.  The child needs to be spoken to, read to, sung to and listened to often.  Children need a broad exposure to language. 
Here are some song ideas:
Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar Fuzzy, wuzzy caterpillar Into a corner will crawl. (squat and move to a corner) He’ll spin himself a blanket (move head in a spin) And then go fast asleep (pretend to sleep) Fuzzy, wuzzy caterpillar Wakes up by and by ( wake up, slowly move arms) To find he has wings of beauty Changed into a butterfly. (fly with arms)
Jack-in-the-Box Down in a box (squat to ground’ talk softly and slowly) There lives a little man. He waits and he waits, As quiet as he can Until I open the lid – POP!
Johnny Works With One Hammer Johnny works with one hammer, One hammer, one hammer, Johnny works with one hammer, Then he works with two. (repeat with 2, 3, 4) Johnny works with five hammers, Five hammers, five hammers, Johnny works with five hammers, Then he goes to sleep.
To aid the child in his language skill development the Montessori environment needs to be set up with literacy rich and language in mind.  Teachers and parents need to have books, pictures, picture labels, objects and matching pictures all thorough out the environment.
Click on the links below for book ideas for infants and toddlers:

You can find more infant toddler resources here:

 Thank you for visiting.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments. 
Rachel Supalla

Montessori Infant Toddler Curriculum Part one: Sensorial

The ages and stages of children vary greatly between each child.  We are all unique and special individuals.  As teachers and caregivers we play an important role to prepare the environment, follow the child, give simple lessons, observe exploration, foster concentration, document and be mindful of the chosen activities and learning outcomes.  All in all this will result in happiness and compassion towards others as the children have the opportunity to grow and learn in a harmonious environment. 
The question remains as to how do we set up such a desirable environment and how do we implement the activities that are planned?  In order to accomplish our goal we must remain focused on the center of our purpose and that is the child.  Imagine yourself as an infant or toddler.  How would you want your room to look?  What activities and materials would be fascinating to you?
An Infant and Toddler Montessori classroom is planned out by experiences.  Those experiences make up the curriculum and care of the child.  They will also build upon these skills as stepping stones to different developmental levels.  The experiences in an infant/toddler Montessori environment are:  Sensorial, Language, Gross Motor, Art, math and practical life. 
Sensorial Work
Sensorial is rooted from the words sense or senses.  These activities allow the children to focus on the fine tuning of all his senses.  Using all five senses the children will have a rich and meaningful learning experience. 

The purpose of sensorial work is for the infant and toddler to begin classifying his environment.  Maria Montessori wrote that all sensorial experiences begin at birth.  The young child becomes a sensorial scientist and by exploring his senses begins to understand and appreciate his surroundings. 
As we follow the child and learn their individual likes, dislikes and interests we can set up the environment with a variety of sensorial activities and experiences.  A few examples of sensorial activities for infants are toddlers are:  Water table filled with various liquids mixed with solids and real items (funnels, strainers, scoops, whisks ect), fingerpainting and other squishy activities, texture play and exploring, nature baskets, real item treasure baskets, shiny and crinkle objects such as foil and emergency blankets, sound tubes, animal sounds, food tasting and play, smelling jars, flowers, pine cone activities. 
I hope you are inspired to learn with your infants and toddlers.  I will post more about infant curriculum over the next couple of days.  Please let me know any comments or questions that you may have.

Rachel :)