Toddlers crave routine because it supports their desire for independence. When they know what’s coming next, they can participate and even help.
That’s why the Montessori approach encourages us to prepare the environment for them. For example, low hooks near the front door from which they can select their own jacket before leaving the house enable them to do this from an early age. It allows them to hang up their jacket independently as well!
When we travel, we don’t have access to all of the prepared environments our toddlers are used to. They may feel disoriented that they don’t know which bags their toys are in and that they don’t know what’s happening next.
How can we make a hotel stay for a toddler an exercise in confidence-building instead of frustration?
We were inspired by the travel tips shared by @SonnysMontessori on Instagram. We put them into this TikTok video. Have a look!
More tips for empowering your toddler to navigate a hotel stay with confidence:
- Talk about the plan. Tell them where you are going and use specific language. “Stay in a hotel” might not mean much to them. “We will sleep in a room with two beds in it. I have never seen this room before. I don’t know what color it will be, but we can bring your blanket to make it a little bit like being at home.”
- Take it slow. When you arrive, take time to explore the space and share observations. Toddlers love to learn how things work. If you’ll be borrowing a crib or cot from the hotel, explain that someone who works there is going to bring it to the room.
- Unpack. Even if spreading your belongings out is not your usual style in a hotel, see the tips in the TikTok video above to get ideas about how you might want to place your child’s belongings so that they can find them independently. You might create a play area and a self-care area if the room is large enough.
- Give your toddler jobs. Invite your child to carry items, open doors and drawers, and put things away. They will feel proud and capable as they are invited to help the family get used to the new space.
- Prepare for sleep. Discuss the sleeping plan and even practice laying down. It can be difficult to sleep in an unfamiliar setting. Allow extra time for relaxing.
For more tips on what to bring when you travel with little ones, see 9 Tips for Travelling with Toddlers, Montessori-Style
For free, printable language cards that introduce travel concepts, see our Language Card Collection page.
Follow @officialmontikids on TikTok for more tips on supporting babies and toddlers.