We have settled into a lovely rhythm in the Toddler Community. The children are accessing the Montessori materials by themselves now and have longer periods of work. Most are toileting independently and are able to get ready to go outside with little guidance. It may feel like we don’t have much to say at the end of our days other than it was a great day, but this is simply because our days are, indeed, great.
This week we read our new book from one of our families, The Hungry Caterpillar, and had a great time with our Hungry Caterpillar puppet — each child getting a chance to feed the caterpillar. We also made our own granola for future snacks and learned to run the bases at the baseball diamond outside. The children often arrive hungry and our food activities are always in full swing — eggs, apples, bananas, and fresh juice are always on offer from one toddler to another.
A note about eating and independence:
As the children continue to grow in their independence, we would like to highlight the importance of helping them learn how to sit and eat at the table with proper etiquette and cutlery usage. We all eat together in the toddler community (Kristy and Kate eat lunch with the children at the community tables) and a major part of our work as adults is reminding the children to sit in their chairs instead of getting up and moving around.
In order for a child to learn how to inhibit their movement (i.e. sit while eating) it is important for them to have the ability to move. In many cases in our homes our toddlers are strapped into high chairs or booster seats that they need help getting into and out of. This doesn’t allow for them to work at controlling their movement.
We encourage you to invest in either a small table and chair for them to eat at on their own or a high-chair, stool, or booster that your child can get in and out of themselves (holidays are coming and this would be a great gift for your toddler). At the MIllie house, both of our children sit in Stokke high chairs that grow with them:
Hardware store step ladder type stools also work great and are much more economical.
Expectations must be laid out that children will sit and eat at the table and use cutlery whenever possible, and you must provide guidance to help your children reach those goals and go beyond. In our community, the children set their own table, pour their own water, serve, and eat neatly. They then take their plates to the compost, scrape their food waste, and then wash their dishes and clean their place. We even have cloth napkins at school and the children are learning how to place these on their laps while they eat. We encourage you to find ways to help your child be independent and involved in your home eating activities as well.
All the best this week,
K,K & L