“The development of the child during the first three years after birth is unequaled in intensity and importance by any period that precedes or follows in the whole life of the child.” 

    – Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind


    The Montessori method focuses on individual learning allowing the child to work at their own pace. As toddlers, children have a strong ability and desire to learn certain things that are key to developing lifelong skill such as language, independence, and order. 

    The Montessori classroom is designed to be inviting, calm, and structured to allow the child the ability to learn academic and real-life skills. Socialization is learned naturally with daily interactions during snack, group, and work time. Children are able to work independently or in a small group.

    This is why Montessori with Small World is more than just childcare, our classrooms are positive, supportive, and non-competitive. Materials in our toddler room are not only high quality and authentic montessori materials, but are also designed and chosen to meet the specific developmental needs of toddlers and to support their natural need for purposeful work.  Learn more about the Montessori Approach HERE.

    The specific areas we work in are photographed, listed and outlined below.


    Spooning promotes order, concentration, coordination, and independence


    Naming vegetables encourages vocabulary development


    Colored blocks for building and encouraging color exploration

  • Practical Life: The Toddler classroom offers the early Practical Life exercises, such as Pouring, Opening and Closing, Spooning, Bead Stringing, Polishing and many water c activities. These activities are aimed at enhancing the child’s development of fine motor control, hand-eye coordination, balance, sense of order, concentration and independence. 

    Sensorial Area: We all learn through our senses, and this is especially true of very young children who are absorbing and forming an understanding the world around them. Sensorial activities assist Toddlers in the great task of organizing, integrating and learning about their sensory input. Sensorial materials include Knobbed Cylinders for practice with dimension, Color Paddles, tactile exercises like Rough and Smooth, Musical Equipment, Sorting and Shapes.

    Language: Around the age of two, children’s speech development experiences an explosion of words, soon followed by sentences. The Language materials in the Toddler classroom encourage the refinement and enrichment of language as the first steps on the road to writing and finally reading. Early Language materials and oral exercises like storytelling and reading aloud support the toddler’s need to be immersed in language. Activities include books, puzzles, naming objects like fruits, vegetables and animals, and beginning sound games.

    Mathematics: To help prepare the mathematical mind, Toddlers are exposed to the world of numbers through counting games and concrete materials. These exercises encourage the development of important pre-math skills such as order, sequence, visual discrimination, sorting, one-to-one correspondence and directionality. Toddler Math activities include stacking and nesting cubes, number blocks and puzzles, and sorting and counting materials.

    Motor Skills: Individual and group activities are performed daily to strengthen the child’s physical abilities. Through songs and games the children practice moving their bodies and develop their gross motor skills.

    Development of the Whole Child: The toddler curriculum includes many other lessons to aid the child in development. Toilet learning, socialization, self-care, and following the work cycle are also an essential part of this program


    Mirror cleaning teaches toddlers how to help care of the environment around them


    Sensorial activity comparing and matching items encourages organization


    Puzzles are great for developing fine motor skills

  • Our Toddler Class starts at 8:30 am and concludes at 11:30 am. All enrolled students are eligible for Full Time Childcare starting as early as 7:00 am till 5:30 pm.

    A typical day for our full time toddler students would include lunch time starting at 11:45 am. Story time at 12:15 pm, naps starting at 12:30 and waking around 2:30 pm. When the children wake from nap we have snack time followed by group time. At 3:15 pm the children have recess; length and time is contingent on the weather. From 4:00-5:30 pm (end of day) the children have free play in an environment enriched with imaginative, artistic and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities.

    If your child does not enroll in Full Time Childcare, pick up time is between 11:30 am and 11:45 am. When the weather permits we have a recess break during this transition between class and care.

    All of our classrooms have a Lead Teacher and an Assistant, our Toddler Classroom accommodates 12 students of mixed ages starting as young as 2 Years old. Our teachers are Montessori trained and certified. Meet our teachers below and for more information please read our FAQ’s or reach out to schedule a tour!


    Rachel Sura

    Lead Teacher for Toddler Classroom

    Amber Fey

    Assistant Teacher for Toddler Classroom

    Lori Geisler


  • Contact us today to schedule a tour & to learn more about our programs


    “We initially chose Small World Montessori School because we wanted our son’s earliest educational experiences to foster a love of learning. Small World has given him that and so much more! The teachers and staff work tirelessly to create an environment that nurtures all aspects of the child’s development, especially social and emotional development. They truly care about each individual and help them to reach their full potential. The icing on the cake is that my son comes home from school each day telling us how much he loves his school, his teachers and his classmates!”

    “We chose Small World Montessori for pre-school and kindergarten for all three of our children, the youngest of whom graduated in 2018, and we couldn’t have been more pleased with this decision. From the very beginning, the teachers at SWMS ignited their love of learning, encouraged their curiosity and helped them develop an awareness of and appreciation for the world around them. As they transitioned into 1st grade in a traditional school setting, the foundation SWMS provided served them well and placed them ahead of their peers in both math and reading.”



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    K4 & K5

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    Why Small World? Small World has been providing the highest quality of Montessori education in Racine for over 45 years. Our holistic methods help the child progress academically, socially, and emotionally in a loving and enriched environment. Our school and childcare specialize in the care of the young child (2-6 years of age) this means that your child will receive the best education in the company of children in their age group.

    Who we are, what we teach, how we teach? Small World was founded in 1973 by Sister RuthAnne in the hopes of making a Montessori education available and affordable to the children in our community, Racine Wisconsin. Small World has continued this mission since our beginning. Our staff uses the Montessori method created in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori. Lessons are given with our beautifully made Montessori materials to individuals or in small groups. This allows for the child to work at their own pace based on their skill and interests.

    At what age can my child start school? Children can begin attending Small World at 2 years of age (24 months) in our Toddler program. Children can begin attending our preschool program when they are fully potty trained and able to attend 5 days a week.

    Does my child need to be potty trained to start at Small World? No, to start at Small World your child does not need to be toileting independently. In fact, the toddler classroom has potty training as part of its curriculum. Students do need to be toileting independently to begin our preschool
    program. Children are able to begin in the toddler program and transition into the
    preschool program when ready. Students can transition to the next program any time
    during the school year.

    What grades does Small World have? Small World has a toddler program for 2-3 year olds, a preschool morning program for 3 – 4 year olds and a full day (8:30 am – 2:30 pm) 4K and Kindergarten. All grades have both part time and full time childcare available.

    Where do children go to school after Small World? Graduates of our program go to many different schools after attending Small World Montessori. Students go on to public, parochial, and other private schools including Montessori elementary programs.

    How do children transition into traditional education? It is Small World’s goal to not only assist our students in achieving academic excellence, but to help the child develop habits that will last them a lifetime. Doing your best, finishing what you start, self-initiative, respect for yourself, others and the environment are just some of the important characteristics we hope to instill in our youngest community members. Good habits and strong academic skills allow the child to successfully transition to any school.

    Does my child have to go 5 days a week? Children attending the Toddler program are able to choose between 3, 4, and 5 days a week. Our preschool, 4K, and 5K classrooms are 5 day a week program. It has been our experience, that Montessori students thrive with daily attendance. Just imagine that your child received their first lesson with the Map of the World on Monday and then is absent on Tuesday. The excitement and knowledge learned in that earlier lesson may be lost. In addition to losing learning momentum, the 3-6-year-old classroom functions as a small community. If your child does not attend daily they miss out on a special lesson, celebration, or social opportunity.

    What is Extended Day? Our Extended Day program is comparable to a traditional 4K and 5K class. Children ages 4-6 years of age have an extended school day (8:30 – 2:30 pm). During this time, our oldest students gather together to have further lessons with our more advanced materials, practice reading and writing, and do special group activities like art, music, and yoga.

    What is Montessori First Steps Playgroup? This program gives parents the opportunity to spend quality time with your very young child (birth – 2 ½ years). This hour-long class (9 – 10 am) allows the young child the ability to explore an enriched Montessori classroom with the security of child’s parent/caregiver. You will also learn about various topics relating to child development and parenting. Enjoy the opportunity to observe your child interacting with age appropriate activities and peacefully playing with peers. Four-week sessions are held through out the year.

    How do I know if Montessori education is a good fit for my child? Montessori programs are a good fit for most children. The method focuses on individual learning allowing the child to work at their own pace. Socialization is learned naturally with daily interactions during snack, group, and work time. Children are able to work independently or in a small group. The Montessori classroom is designed to be inviting, calm, and structured to allow the child the ability to learn academic and real-life skills.

    Can my family afford Montessori education? Small World strives to make Montessori education affordable to our community. A scholarship program is available to families solely based on financial need. In addition, Small World, as a state licensed childcare, is able to take *Shares Subsidy, to help pay for tuition and childcare cost. *Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy supports low-income working families by subsidizing a portion of the cost of quality child care while the parents or caregivers are working or participating in another approved activity. Wisconsin Shares is implemented locally by counties and tribes.