Toddler Community

Toddlers, like other children and adults, want to participate fully in their society. They want to challenge themselves and perform important, meaningful activities. This desire is especially strong during the toddler age, when a child begins to master the balance, coordination, and reasoning skills needed to participate in real work. During this stage in their lives, their experiences construct the basis for their personality and lay the foundation for the adult they will become.

In a Montessori Toddler Community, a trained Montessori teacher presents individual and group lessons, guiding each child’s progress individually. Shelves, tables, sinks, and toilets are custom-sized for the toddlers to allow for full exploration and participation. The beautiful, specially-developed Montessori materials appeal to the natural curiosity of the children. The materials are designed to be challenging, but also to allow children to learn and succeed on their own. This leads to great inner security, high self-esteem, a positive self-image, and strong habits of concentration.

The Toddler Community contains several carefully prepared areas:


Care of Self – washing hands, dressing, toilet independence, preparing food
Care of Others – grace and courtesy lessons, teaching and learning from others, socialization skills
Care of Environment – Washing, dusting, polishing, sweeping, watering, raking, folding laundry


Montessori language activities for toddlers build on their natural tendency to listen and absorb everything they hear. Children in a Montessori toddler classroom are exposed to a rich vocabulary, and they explore the seemingly endless opportunities for naming objects. The teacher and assistant have peaceful, respectful conversations with the children, and children model these respectful conversations with one another. Language materials are matched with real objects to reinforce physical and spatial concepts as well as vocabulary development. Language is also developed through self-expression, storytelling, and questioning exercises.


The Toddler Community contains many activities that develop logical thinking, such as sorting or matching materials and puzzles. Most materials are self-correcting to give the child control of error in the work. Materials become progressively more complex as the child develops skills.


Singing, rhythm activities, and playing instruments are all part of the daily activities in the Toddler Community. Art is explored in the form of drawing, painting, cutting, gluing, and collage making.


Eating is an important social event for the children. Full-day toddlers eat family-style with their teacher. They participate actively in the preparation of the meal: setting the table, serving, passing food, and cleaning up after the meal. The children also prepare and serve their morning and afternoon snacks, using a toddler-sized sink and counter area.


There are materials in the classroom for sorting, cutting, sewing, and other activities that further gross and fine motor development. Skills that are enhanced include eye-hand coordination, body equilibrium, and cause-and-effect relationships. Our beautiful gymnasium also provides wonderful opportunities for large motor development.


Toddlers at CMS spend part of each day outside whenever possible. They play on our shady playground, go for walks, and explore nature on our school property. They also explore our Children’s Garden, where they dig, rake, plant, weed, and harvest from the terraced planting beds. Children cut flowers from the garden and use them for flower arranging. Vegetables planted by the children are harvested and used for cooking and sharing.


When toddler children show signs of readiness – usually between two and half and three years old – they begin to visit one of the Primary classrooms. Then, when the parents, teacher, and child are ready, the child will transition fully into the Primary classroom. This transition happens very naturally.


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  • Thank you for your interest in our school!

    Chesterfield Montessori School reopened our physical campus this past June and we are thrilled to have children back at school. We have been hard at work implementing our new safety guidelines and procedures during this unprecedented time. We are seeing first-hand how beneficial it is for our students to be in an environment that is designed to meet their unique developmental needs, along with their classmates, highly trained teachers and other loving adults.

    Since we are an intimate community, we have flexibility to meet the children’s needs in a way that just isn’t available to large schools and systems. Our five acre main campus offers large, sunny classrooms with excellent ventilation, extra indoor space and plenty of outdoor space. Additionally, we have a seven acre Land Lab in Wildwood that is available to our older students. We are committed to offering individualized education for every child, designed to support your child’s unique individual needs by implementing the authentic Association Montessori Internationale method at every level.

    While data is showing that we can educate our youngest children safely at school, we have created a strong Distance Learning option and hybrid schedule for older children as necessary, and will offer child care for essential workers, including extended care hours. (Parents and their employers determine who is an essential worker.) Our health and safety protocols have been designed in collaboration with infectious disease experts in our area, as well as the local Department of Public Health.

    Please call us at (314) 469-7150 or email to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you and learning more about your family!