Toddler Daily Routines & Programs

We know that children are happiest when they follow predictable routines everyday.
Here is a sample of the daily routine followed by our classroom community:

Morning Program (8am-12:15pm)


Arrival and Work Cycle begins


Group lessons, songs, and story time

10:00 am

Gross Motor Play in local park or Gross Motor room


Community Lunch


Morning Program Dismissal

Full Day Program (8am-3pm)


Quiet rest as needed


Children begin to wake, use the bathroom, and have a snack. If they would like, the classroom activities are also available to explore


Dismissal for Full Day Program

Extended Full Day Program (8am-6pm)


Outdoor play and activities in the garden


Group snack


Gross motor play, group activities, excursions


Clean up and story time


Dismissal for Extended Full Day Program

Morning Program (8am-12:15pm)

The morning program is an integral part of our school. Arrival for the morning program begins at 8am. During the arrival period children will have time to ease into their day by greeting their friends and teachers, hanging up their belongings in their own personal cubby, changing into their indoor shoes, using the bathroom, and then beginning on the work cycle.

The “work cycle” is a term we use in Montessori that refers to the time of the day where children freely engage with their environment and all that it has to provide.

The toddler program differs from the primary program in that the children of this younger age group have a two hour uninterrupted work cycle in place of the the three hour work cycle in the older primary class. We have uninterrupted work cycles in the Montessori classroom, because we understand that young children do not respond well to multiple transitions in the day. As a micro-school, during this work cycle children will have complete access to our beautiful campus including: a fully equipped Montessori classroom, an outdoor garden, an art studio, and indoor play gym.

During the work cycle your child might be engaged in a number of self-directed, or teacher led activities such as: preparing a healthy snack to enjoy with a friend, receiving a lesson in a group or individually with a teacher, choosing from any number of hands on learning activities in the classroom, circle time, story time, gardening, creating a painting in the class garden, or simply engaging in some conversation with a friend in the cozy corner.

Following the work cycle, the children will all use the bathroom, and get ready to walk to the park for gross motor play time. On rainy or cold days gross motor play will be held in our indoor gym.

After outdoor play, the children will come back to the classroom, use the bathroom, wash their hands, and begin to set up tables for a community lunch. This is a collaborative process that has many meaningful layers: wiping tables clean, setting place settings, reciting a poem of thanks, and finally engaging in conversations, stories, and laughs while eating a delicious and healthy lunch together. After lunch, each child is responsible for washing his or her own dishes, and cleaning up their lunch space.

The morning program is further enriched with weekly music and movement classes. Attending the morning program for five days a week is required for all Philly Montessori students.

Full Day Program (8am-3pm)

Following the morning work cycle, lunch, and gross motor play, children in the Full Day Program will enjoy a quiet rest time from 12-2:00, or when they naturally wake up. After waking from nap, children use the bathroom, wash their hands, put away their rest cots, and enjoy a healthy snack. If they would like, they may also choose activities from the classroom to work with, or spend some time in the indoor gym.

Around 2:30, all of the children will gather together to clean up the classroom, have another group time with songs and stories, and prepare for dismissal.

Extended Full Day Program (8am-6pm)

Our Extended Day Program offers a unique experience of having an accredited Montessori teacher throughout the extended day hours, allowing for an All Day Montessori program.

After waking up from nap, using the toilet, and having a small snack if desired, the children then walk up to the Garden to enjoy some fresh air. At 4:00, the children have a group snack, usually in the garden. From 4:30 to 5:30 there is time for gross motor play, group activities, and excursion, followed by a period of time to clean up the classroom and gym and readying for the end of the day!

“Play is the work of childhood”
~ Maria Montessori