What is the best way to settle a toddler?

When a new toddler comes into an Infant Community, we try to get them engaged in something interesting, e.g., feeding fish, birds – or other creatures in the environment, watering plants (as they are very drawn to water); sweeping, working with language materials with one or two other children and an adult, looking at books. The secret is to find something interesting for the new child and keep them engaged as long as possible.  

If a parent is uneasy about their toddler leaving them to join a community of children, the child may pick up on the parent’s anxiety and then cry when the parent leaves.  This situation requires speaking to the parent and having the parent observe if the school set-up can accommodate an observation room. Working with a child is a joint effort – between the school staff and the parents – all for the good of the child.

If a child has never been left with someone other than their parents, there could be a separate issue – and in such a case, the transition into a community will probably take a bit longer.  When the work offered is enticing, most children settle by becoming engaged with something to work on.

Child showing another child a Montessori material