GTMS Life > Blog October 4, 2022

Ms. Michelle: September 2022

Welcome everyone to our first full month of school! Your children did it, and so did you! This has been a busy month of establishing new routines, learning the environment, meeting new people (children and adults), navigating the stairs to the playdeck, and creating our hearty snack. Setting Your Child Up For Success Toddlers want […]

Welcome everyone to our first full month of school! Your children did it, and so did you! This has been a busy month of establishing new routines, learning the environment, meeting new people (children and adults), navigating the stairs to the playdeck, and creating our hearty snack.

Setting Your Child Up For Success

Toddlers want to feel significant and desire control. When most of their day is decided for them or they are consistently redirected, they can become frustrated or highly emotional. Routines help Toddlers with the feeling of control that they so desperately seek. When a routine is established and practiced, they know what the expectation is or what the outcome should be. Their reactions are based on experience. When a routine is not established or is broken, their reactions are based on emotions.


Think about an entire day with your child and the variety of routines within the day.

  • What does waking up and getting dressed look like?
  • What does toileting look like?
  • What does putting away toys look like?
  • What does meal time look like?
  • What does bedtime look like?

Try to be a consistent as possible with your routines. When there needs to be a change, like traveling or having a guest over for dinner, prepare your child for it.


Limits, or boundaries or rules, are a critical ingredient for the social emotional development of toddlers. Limits give them an understanding of what is acceptable behavior, and will guide them in becoming functional and regulated people in society. When creating limits you want to make sure they are:

  • Clear
    • Be sure that you and your partner are on the same team. If you are giving mixed messages, your child will be confused. Talk about limits with your partner. What is acceptable and what is not?
  • Easy to understand
    • If your child does not understand the limit, they will not be able to follow it.
    • Too much talking or too many words might confuse or distract your child. Use simple phrases.
  • Developmentally appropriate
    • Is the limit achievable? For instance, cleaning their entire room or sharing. Cleaning their entire room is a lot of work. Start with something small and specific, like “Your dirty clothes go into the laundry basket.” Sharing is not developmentally appropriate for toddlers younger than 3 years old. Often adults expect children to share their work or toys, but they are not ready to do this.

Children, especially toddlers, need reminders. Let’s face it, sometimes adults need reminders too. When giving reminders it is helpful to deliver the message in a positive way. Tell your child what they can do, as opposed to what they cannot do. There are phrases that we use in the classroom that your children hear us say on a daily basis. It may be helpful for you to use at home. Some of our common phrases are:

  • “Hands on your own body.”
  • “You may walk in the classroom.”
  • “When you eat, you sit.”
  • “One step down.”
    • when walking down the steps
  • ‘In the basket”
    • one line directions to remind the child where the work goes, especially with work containing multiple pieces
  • “Spit stays in your mouth. If you must spit, go to the bathroom sink.”
    • this is where they spit when they brush their teeth
  • “When you throw the work, it tells me that you are finished.”
  • “You may put away your work when you are finished with it.”

Ms. Michelle’s Guides

Below is a guide for creating and enforcing limits. I am also sharing a Google Folder that contain guides I created to help you along in your Montessori and Toddler journey. There is a guide for creating a child friendly home, allowing your child more independence and control in their lives. There is a guide for toileting, which showcases how to do stand up diapering. There is a guide for physical activities to try with your child, which is especially helpful in the colder months. There is also a guide for the environment where I walk you through what a Montessori Toddler environment looks like and the type of materials found in each curricular area.

Feel free to share with your nanny or babysitter. Here is the folder: Ms. Michelle’s Guides

Book Recommendations for Parents

  • Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen
  • The Whole Brain Child by Doctors Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  • 1, 2, 3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan

Circle Time Songs

If you ever want to know what magic looks like, strum a guitar and sing along. It does not matter if you know how to play or not, just one chord is enough for them. They are loving it! I have recently started to dismiss our first Circle by calling each child’s name and giving them a turn to strum the guitar before lining up for Recess. It has been so much fun to watch their faces as they try.

Here are two of the songs the children really enjoy singing:

Tiny Tim

I had a little turtle,

I named him Tiny Tim.

I dropped him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water!

Glub, glub, glub (pretend to drink water)

He ate up all the soap!

Num, num, num (pretend to eat the soap)

And now he’s sick in bed with a bubble in his throat!

Bubble bubble bubble! Bubble bubble bubble! 

Bubble bubble bubble, bubble bubble, POP! (clap hands together)

Halloween Cat

Halloween cat

Halloween cat

Why, oh why, do you meow like that?

Not I nor the moon

Like your tune

Sooooooooo SCAT!

Toddler Songs CD

I have CDs with most of our toddler songs on them, but CD players are becoming less popular. Please let me know if you are proficient with technology and are able to get the files from the CD to a google folder, and are able to help to do that. In the meantime, let me know if you have a CD player and I will send your child home with a CD.

Upcoming Dates

  • October 7th: School is closed for Professional Development
  • October 10th: School is closed for Indigenous Peoples Day
  • October 19th: Parent Coffee from 8:15 am – 9:00 am
    • Join me for a brief conversation about what is going on in the classroom and what to expect from Parent Observations and Parent Teacher Conferences
    • Immediately after, there will be a tour of the Primary Classrooms and Program for current toddler families, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
  • October 22nd: Fall Walk at the Rail Park 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
    • This is a fun get together at the Rail Park, where children and their adults may choose to dress up in a costume. I hope to see you there!
  • October 30th: Parent Observations begin
    • Zoom link and Classroom specific dates to be sent at a later time

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