Unit Study For Toddlers (How to set up Montessori Unit Study in your home)

Do you want to start a Montessori Unit Study? Do you see the value of integrated learning that covers all essential areas of education for a child? If your answer is yes to any of those questions, then I have some simple tips that can help you get started with planning and organizing your Montessori unit study for your toddler.

Geometry Unit Study

What is a Unit Study?

A unit study encompasses all subject areas under one theme by using the Montessori method. It includes materials, presentation, control of error, points of interest, and aims of the lesson (direct & indirect). Unit study is a good way to plant a seed of a big subject by breaking it down into smaller areas such as math, literacy, sensorial, practical life, art, and more. Each lesson subsequently builds upon the same unit and expands the child’s experience with that subject.

Let’s Make Music

How to develop a Unit Study?

The most essential key to developing a Unit Study is OBSERVATION. Before you design a unit study for your child, you need to observe what he or she is doing. What are the things that interest them? What materials do they normally gravitate to? A Montessori teacher is trained in the art of observation and with the help of this observation they can build a successful unit study for children.

Once you have a theme in your mind there are these few tips that can help you organize your unit study.

The above image is the basic framework to begin planning your unit study. We can incorporate the concrete and everyday materials for Practical Life and Grace & Courtesy lessons, Sensory experiences will help a child explore the topic with senses to gain further information, pre-math activities or early math activities is used to reinforce important concepts, having books and nomenclature cards on the unit you are studying helps children learn new vocabulary and aids in early literacy development.

Here are some examples of Unit Studies we’ve done at home with my toddler.

Welcome Fall Theme

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

10 Things to keep in Mind when setting up your shelf

  1. Materials should be place left to right, easy to hard, concrete to abstract
  2. Remember less is more. Do not clutter the shelf with too many items as they can overstimulate the child.
  3. Child’s sensitive periods and age.
  4. Keep the skills you are teaching isolated (1 lesson = 1 skill) This keeps the difficulty level in check.
  5. Materials should be natural, clean, and complete.
  6. Fine-Motor Skill Activity
  7. Gross Motor Skill Activity
  8. Independent Exploration of Activities. Keep the Control of Error in mind when designing an activity.
  9. Planned presentation (Every week I have one or two activity that I am going to present formally to my son).
  10. Something child has already mastered (I keep one activity that he loves and he has mastered because this helps me bring him back to the activity when he is too worked up or not interested to sit and work).

Leaves and Apples

These are not an extensive version of my unit studies but a glimpse of how to get started. I am more than happy to help you plan your own unit study shelf. Write your comments below or reach out to me via email for any questions. You can also DM me on Instagram on how I set up this individual shelf. The Instagram link is below. Follow our daily Montessori activities for more tips and ideas. Thank you!

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