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Updated: Jul 7, 2022

It is imperative to children that both the home and school environments work together. Although this guide is written with students who attend New Leaf Preschool in mind it can apply to any child in the 14 month-2 year age range and work as a great structure to assist them in developmentally appropriate activities.


When children imply their needs at home in a non-verbal manner encourage your child to repeat their needs using sign language accompanied by the word. Always be sure to have your child try and vocalize the word with the sign by repeating after you. A complete list of the words we sign can be found in the sign guide!

Practical Life- Dressing

We should be assisting our children to get dressed, and speaking to them through the whole process to avoid any frustration and make the process clear to them. Children should be able to get their arms in their arm holes with guidance and begin to put their socks on independently. Asking Children to put their dirty clothes in the clothes-hamper is always an easy way to get them involved and enable them to feel a sense of accomplishment!

Practical Life- Table Clearing

In our Emergent Toddler classroom students are expected to ask to be excused (by signing and saying all done) and clear their spot at the table every day! Students stack their cup and utensils in their plate and carry them over to the dirty dishes bin before they receive assistance in washing their hands. When dishes are not breakable you can encourage your child to clear their spot at home too by having them carry their dishes & utensils to the sink or a designated location!

Practical Life- Using Cutlery

We encourage students to use proper utensils when eating at the table as a great way to master some of their small motor skills and table etiquette. At home please be sure to offer child sized utensils with meals to give them this opportunity. In the Emergent Toddler classroom students use stainless steel spoons, stainless steel plates, and begin using open cups. We encourage families to shy away from the use of plastic especially when in close contact with food as it is know to leach hormone disrupting chemicals.

Practical Life- Toileting

Let your child guide you in the toilet training process. We will start to allow children to sit on the low toilet at each diaper change beginning at 18 months old (or as often as they indicate they need to use the restroom). Follow your child’s cues as starting the process too early can be frustrating to both you and your child and will make the process take longer. Please refer to our article on Toilet Training for additional information.

Setting Limits

We set clear boundaries/limits within our classroom and students are expected to work within these limits to keep your child and their classmates safe. Limits include keeping hands to ourselves, no throwing & keeping our feet on the floor (not climbing on tables or other classroom furniture). Setting clear limits at home can help your child to work/learn in a more successful manner. It is important that limits and rules stay consistent at all time to avoid confusing children.

Cognitive Focus

You will notice your child coming home with a wide range of new knowledge! Below are some of the key focus areas in the Emergent Toddler Classroom. Please help us at home by acknowledging your Child’s new acquired skills!

  • Animals and their sounds

  • Color recognition and Color names

  • Counting

  • Shapes

  • Emotions

  • Body Parts

  • Food recognition

  • Seasons & Weather

  • Using art materials to develop fine motor skills including: crayons, colored pencils, paint, glue bottles, & glue sticks

Separation Anxiety

Parents play a very important role in establishing healthy separation routines. Parents may NOT “sneak out” as it is important children to fully understand what is going on and be able to express their emotions. Leaving without saying goodbye to your child will also cause them to fear any possibility of unexpected departure, and does not support the trust that you are trying to build with your child. It is also important to establish a routine with a clear goodbye to help your child to understand what to expect and become comfortable with saying good- bye.

Weaning off Bottles

Children should be assisted in weaning off bottles around 12 moths old by upping their diet in nutritious table foods and swapping bottles for sippy cups. We do not allow bottles at school in the Emergent Toddler classroom or after your child reaches their 14 month birthday. If you wish to substitute our milk with a replacement (ex breastmilk) it will be offered in a school sippy cup with meals. At home we recommend weaning children off bottles at 12 months as well. Typically children will phase out bottles on their own so it is important to offer breastmilk or formula in a sippy cup in their place, and also that children always have liquid available with meals and snacks. Water or Whole milk should not be offered until your child is 12 months old.

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