Please know that we will do our best to support you during these difficult times. We recognize that many of you are trying to work from home while also taking care of your children.
We have prepared guidelines below that we hope you will read carefully and that will continue to support your child’s Montessori experience in your home.
Suggested Daily Schedule for Toddlers
Routine and consistency is very important for your toddler.
Wake up and assist in making bed. Use the bathroom, brush teeth.
Make breakfast with your child, eat, and clean up.
Rotate through activities one at a time for an hour and a half. Have a few activities for children to choose from. Remember to make time for a bathroom break.
Snack Break: children can set the table, eat, and clean up.
Work time (indoor or outdoor) for an hour.
Read stories, sing songs, listen to music and sing along.
Set up for lunch and have lunch. Clean up and use the bathroom. Outside play time if the weather is appropriate, for at least 30 minutes.
Use the bathroom and take a nap for 2 hours. Wake up and use the bathroom.
Listen to music and look at books.
A great resource for toddler parents is here, a wonderful Montessori blog.
It is important to continue toilet independence during this time at home. The teachers will be in touch with you to help guide you with each child’s toileting pattern.
Toddler Program Expectations
Children may be expected to:
• Enjoy family life with developmentally appropriate contributions.
Parents are invited to:
- Remain mindful and respectful about the growing self-esteem and sense of independence that your child is developing.
- Help your child with the hardest part of a task (not the whole task).
- Initiate verbal communication frequently, ask questions, share concerns and observations.
- Be consistent; follow routines and clear sequences for each activity.
- Limit screen time.
- Include your child in household chores.
- Provide opportunities for outdoor activities (gross motor skill development).
- Let go of perfection. What you are experiencing now is not the final goal, it is foundational.
- Enjoy and appreciate time with your child.
Toddler teachers will:
- Initiate individual support and communications based on each child’s needs.
- Provide detailed updates and consultation (as required) regarding toilet learning, sleeping habits, and activities (fine or gross motor).
- Share current class routines and suggest guidance in setting up daily routines at home.
- Share guidelines and suggestions for screen time.
- Share general and individual suggestions for activities for fine and gross motor skills, providing pictures, videos, and materials for parent viewing as appropriate.
- Provide suggestions for books and songs to support language acquisition.
- Provide videos of teachers singing and performing hand actions to well-loved class songs.
- Share suggestions for practical life activities at home such as recipes, food prep, house chores, clothing tips, etc.
- Be responsive to parent questions and available to offer guidance and tips for activities or any other element of support for your child’s development.
Toddler Prepared Environment
“A place for everything and everything in its place” is one of the critical principles of Montessori at home. Having a place for everything, on a child-friendly scale, means that children know where to find what they need, and have a place to put things when they’re done. This is an essential tool in teaching them to be responsible for their belongings. External order gives the children internal order and security. An ordered environment also has fewer distractions, allowing children to focus on the task at hand.
Have a place in each room for your child’s carefully chosen belongings: by the front door have a stool to sit on and a place to hang coats and keep shoes. In the living room have a place for your child’s books and toys – neatly and attractively organized. Think out the activities and materials for all living spaces and arrange the environment to include your child’s activities.
- Store clothing in low drawers or baskets, and move the rod in the closet down to eye-level so your child can reach their clothing.
- Place step stools in both the kitchen and bathroom to enable them to wash their hands and, in the case of the kitchen, help with meal preparation.
- Place toys, games, and art supplies on low shelves where your child can easily access them, then separate these toys into various baskets, bins, or shelves, so the items stay separate and are easy to find without sifting through piles of other toys.
- Store healthy snacks down low in your refrigerator or pantry so your child can help themselves.
- Keep beverages in small pitchers located on the lower shelf in the fridge, with child-friendly cups nearby. When your child is thirsty, allow them to help themselves — just be sure to keep a sponge/some rags nearby, so they can clean up any messes they make.
- Don’t put out too many toys and books at one time. Those being used by your child at the moment are sufficient. Rotating is a good idea – taking out those books and toys that have not been chosen lately and removing them to storage for a time. Children grow and change, and they need help to keep their environment uncluttered and peaceful.
Activities for Toddlers at Home
- Hand Washing
- Food Preparation
Preparing their own snack: cutting half of an apple (cut horizontally) using an apple slicer, squeezing orange juice, spreading cream cheese or jam on half of a bagel or bread.
Slicing vegetables and fruit for snack and dinner.
Baking: have ingredients pre-measured and in jars.
- Care of Self
Dressing and Undressing: give your child enough time to practice dressing and undressing by themself.
Toileting: It’s important to continue with the toilet learning process.
- Care of Environment
- Mopping, sweeping, or use of a dustpan and dust brush.
- Helping with laundry.
- Watering plants and leaf washing.
- Window washing, dusting, and wood polishing of large furniture in the home.
- Taking care of pets.
- Loading and unloading dishwasher, dishwashing by hand.
- Sidewalk Chalk
- It is always fun for children to spend time with their parents in nature. So take some time out of your busy schedule to explore outdoors with your child. I guarantee, you’d enjoy the experience as well as your children would. Here are a few ideas for connecting your child with nature:
- If you have 15 minutes:
• Watch the clouds and see what animals you can make out of them.
• Hug some trees and try to find one that your arms fit perfectly around.
- Turn over a rock and see what is hiding underneath.
- If you have 30 minutes:
• Do a backyard/nature treasure hunt.
• Try your hand at rock stacking.
• Grab some leaves or pieces of bark and race them down a creek.
- If you have an hour:
• Go for a walk and make note of all the sounds you hear.
• Find a nature trail and help children make up a game or collect bugs or leaves
- Pack some food and have a picnic.
- If you have 15 minutes:
- Name things in both indoor and outdoor environments.
- Read together: let your child choose the books, talk about how the characters might be feeling, and wonder together what will happen next. Reading with your child teaches more than literacy and language skills. He is learning that you value his interests and choices, and that you love him and enjoy being close to him. Studies show that lifelong readers are those who, as children, simply found reading a pleasurable experience.
- Sing songs and do finger-plays.
- Narrate what you do as you go through your daily routines.
- This helps your child connect words with objects and actions. “I’m washing the dishes. I’m squeezing the yellow dish soap into the warm water.”
All these activities will help limit screen time.
Woodland CardsMiss Lynn
Thank you also to Arbor Montessori School, in particular, for additional content and to the numerous Montessori collaborators worldwide who have helped supply ideas and activities. This blog is a testament to the spirit of cooperation and work in service to the children of the world.