View the school's preparedness plan for COVID19.

Choo Choo Montessori is an early childhood learning center in the Twin Cities, emphasizing the Montessori teaching philosophy. We're currently enrolling the following ages:

  • Infants (6 weeks - 15 months)
  • Toddlers (16 - 33 months)
  • Preschoolers and Kindergarteners (33 months - 6 years)
  • School-age children for extended learning
    (6 - 10 years)

School of Quality

Choo Choo Montessori is nationally accredited by NAEYC and is a 4 star rated school from MN Parent Aware.

What We Offer

Choo Choo Montessori is a growing educational community dedicated to quality child care. It features:

  • Montessori sessions throughout the day
  • Large classrooms and outdoor gated playgrounds
  • Daily breakfast, hot lunch, and snack are included in tuition
  • A convenient and secure location along Hwy 61, between Hwy 36 and Hwy 694
  • A year-round program including a summer session, Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 5:30pm
  • Staff to student ratios of 1:4 infants, 1:7 toddlers, and 1:10 preschoolers

Welcome aboard! We'll make learning fun!

About Us

Choo Choo Montessori school is an early childhood learning center emphasizing the Montessori teaching philosophy. Our school is a structured and caring alternative to traditional child day cares.

Choo Choo Montessori is owned and operated by Natasha and Quang Hong. Choo Choo was inspired by Natasha's upbringing in Montessori education and from years of working and helping at her parents' Montessori school (Rainbow Montessori of Bloomington, MN). Natasha is also the AMI certified lead guide in the Children's House.

Traditional Montessori education and materials provide the children at Choo Choo Montessori with an exceptional environment in which to learn and grow. Along with structured instruction and a prepared environment, Choo Choo provides a complete care package, including meals.

At Choo Choo Montessori we encourage parent involvement. Here you'll find that in-class observations are welcomed and can be part of our weekly schedule. Parents are also encouraged to provide feedback on their child's development or any other suggestions or concerns. As a parent herself, Natasha insists that Choo Choo's staff listens.

Lastly, Natasha and Quang felt that the tuition and fees of many centers are overly complex. In the tuition section you'll find simple payment options that cover everything your child needs, minimizing the need for hourly rates. There are no extra charges for snacks, milk, lunch, etc.

For more information, we invite you to contact us or visit us in person to talk to our director.


The essence of Montessori education is based on a scientific method that is practical and has been tested for over 100 years. Dr. Maria Montessori's philosophy is to see children as they really are and to educate them for life by providing a supportive environment. This is created through activities that enhance their sense of order, concentration, co-ordination, independence, good manners, and awareness of color, sound, shape, texture, and language.

Such activities help children achieve a high level of academic success, which is common in Montessori schools. The Montessori method nurtures the spirit of children in a natural, mixed-age group environment, to prepare them to be part of their family and community.

The principles of Montessori education are:

  • Self-directed learning
  • The prepared environment
  • Respect for the child
  • Competition hinders learning
  • Educating for a real life

Daily Schedule

Our Infant and Toddler Houses features one Montessori learning period in the morning, while our Children's House (preschool) has two 3-hour Montessori learning periods in the schedule. You may choose to send your preschooler to one or both of these Montessori class times. During these periods teachers sing songs in a collective circle time, then allow plenty of time for the students to work with the materials indiviually or in small groups.

Full-time school-age children follow the same schedule as the Children's House (e.g. during breaks from elementary school).

For details, please view our Daily Schedule.

"[The teacher should] guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may always be ready to supply the desired help, but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience." - Maria Montessori


Our school features three gated playground areas, and these Learning Areas in our prepared Montessori environment:

Art: Masterpieces, creativity, free expression, paper and scissors. Occasionally chalk, crayon, glue, paint, and sewing.
Geography: Global culture awareness, flags, continents, oceans, states, and landforms.
Large-Motor Activity: Climbing, coordination, outdoor play time, sports, tumbling, and games.
Group Time: Reading, conversation, developing creativity, drama, music and singing, and poetry.
History: United States history, inventors, and timelines.
Language: Letters, sounds, letter combinations, words, reading readiness, and writing. Basic sign language, Spanish, French.
Math: Telling time, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions.
Music: Great composers, music genres, orchestral instruments, and learning ideas and concepts through music.
Practical Life: Self care, care of the environment, coordination, independence, movement, and order.
Science: Nature (botany, zoology), astronomy, experiments, and observation of changes (sink vs float, repel vs attract).
Sensorial: Strengthening hearing, sight, smell, touch, and taste through activities in perception of size and dimension.


Our goal is to offer a well-rounded, fun curriculum that develops age-appropriate skills for cognitive, physical, and social-emotional growth using various Montessori methods and activities. These Montessori methods introduce a variety of classroom subjects in a way that provides a fun and hands-on learning experience. Each classroom schedule has one or two Montessori learning periods. The first 15 minutes of each is for Montessori group time, where the teacher demonstrates use of a material or activity to use in the classroom. This lesson period is followed by individual work time where the students use hands-on Montessori materials and activities for each of the classroom areas: Art, Geography, History, Language, Math, Music, Practical Life, Science, and Sensorial.

Our staff uses a variety of techniques such as singing songs, puppet shows, finger plays, and flash cards during other group times for learning about various monthly themes throughout the year. Lessons for basic sign language and Spanish are also integrated into the daily curriculum.

For more on our curriculum goals for each age group, please see our Curriculum Overview.

To see the complete list of topics in our lesson plans, and events planned for each month, please view our complete Curriculum Calendar.

"The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul." - Maria Montessori


Because your child's nutrition provides a large part in the ability to learn and grow, Choo Choo Montessori provides a catered meal and snack package as part of your tuition. See the sample lunch menu at right for a typical example.

Tuition includes supplies, meals, and snacks. Meal and snack times are as follows: Breakfast is served between 8:00am-8:30am, Lunch is served between 11:30am-12:00pm, and Snack is served between 3:15pm-3:30pm.

"Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities." - Maria Montessori



Choo Choo Montessori is open year-round, except for holidays such as: Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after, Christmas Eve and Day, New Year's Eve and Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day. The list of school release days is evaluated annually and available to customers in the News section of the Student Area website.

Because tuition is based on operational costs and is divided equally by month, our tuition stays the same each month regardless of the number of school closings for holidays.

For more details about our seasonal curriculum, please see our complete Curriculum Calendar.

"The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind."
- Maria Montessori


To hear about events as they're announced, follow us on Facebook

Enrollment Information

Please contact us to inquire about space availability and arrange to meet in-person with our director to tour the center. We encourage you to bring your child to observe the classroom.

We ask that a parent of a new student read the Parent Policy Booklet and complete and return the Application Packet before the student's start date:

Please also give the following to your child's heath care provider, and return to us before starting:

Tuition and Fees

Choo Choo Montessori has monthly tuition rates for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

For continuing students, we offer a sibling discount of 5% per child, and pre-pay discount of $10 per month if you pay in advance for the periods of September-December, January-May, and June-August.

For more information, please see our current prices at Fall 2021 - Summer 2022 Tuition and Fees Schedule.

"If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men." - Maria Montessori

Parent Recommendations

What do parents like about our program?

"Choo Choo Montessori has been a great place for our children to grow and thrive. They entered in the infant house and continued on through the toddler program and children's house. Our children have had loving relationships with the teachers and were kept challenged and engaged. The best part about Montessori is that it's individualized education, so it's a great fit for every child regardless of their age, stage or ability. One of my children showed interest in words and language. Working at his own pace, ability and interest he is leaving the Children's House with a 2nd/3rd grade reading level. My other child loves colors and has enjoyed working on the various color activities and bringing home a stack of art projects every day. My children are so different from each other, but they are engaged in learning that suits them every day. The school also offers wonderful field trips, like visits to Orchestra Hall, Old Log Cabin Theater and the Dodge Nature Center." - Andrea S. - August 2019

"Engaging staff that faciliate a great learning atmosphere. My (3 year old) daughter's manners and social skills have improved already. The program is very organized and well run with clear goals and expectations." - Katie M. - November 2012

"The teacher, Mrs. Natasha, had really high expectations to have my (4 year old) daughter excel in reading and writing. I think my child is beyond prepared for Kindergarten." - Lynn A. - September 2011

"I write today to share with you how happy I am that my child went to Choo Choo Montessori. It being October, we had our first parent teacher conference in kindergarten. I am happy to report that my daughter, while she did get some wrong was reading in a level C book during her assessment (knowing that by the end of the year the goal is level D). I attribute this, in large part, to what she learned at Choo Choo Montessori. Thanks" - The Pete Benolken Family - October 2015

Contact Us


Choo Choo Montessori
2617 Duluth Street
Maplewood, MN 55109

Choo Choo Montessori is at the intersection of Duluth Street and Edgehill Court in Maplewood, MN. This is also about a couple minutes from the intersection of Highway 61 and County Road C East.

Contact Information

Phone: 651-490-7734
Fax: 651-486-7704
Email: ChooChooMontessori@gmail.com

Interested in working with chidren?

Fill in an application.