About a month ago I made Otis an apron, you can see him wearing it in my last post. I couldn't find many aprons for sale for this age group. The aprons 3-6 years are too big. So really similar to Sarah's Apron, I traced the outline of Caspar's apron and made a smaller one for Otis. Just as easy you could take up/in the larger sized apron and then let it out as your child grows. This is great if you can sew and have the time.
Recently I found these adorable aprons from GooseDesigns. Not only are these aprons made specifically for toddlers 15 months to three years, they're based on a pattern from the AMI Assistants to Infancy training and worn by toddlers in Montessori communities. They are super cute. I admit to being a little biased, we've used many of April's products and have loved every one. These prints are really charming too, don't you think?
Recently I noticed these aprons which are made from terry cloth. Great for water activities. The design of these involve elastic under the arm so the toddler can slide into the apron themselves. This would work really well for Otis. I'm thinking these would work well for art too. Our current smock is far too difficult for Otis to put on himself.
Honestly when I first read about teething necklaces I thought the child must chew them. I hesitated thinking what a choking hazard! You know the child isn't supposed to chew the necklace at all, they simply need to wear it against their skin.
Caspar wore his infrequently and it didn't appear to help at all. However Otis is happy to wear his all the time. He doesn't notice it and you cannot even see it, it's usually hidden beneath his clothes.
The theory is Amber has healing properties and can help relieve the pain of teething. The Amber needs to be warmed against the skin. There is no possible harm in wearing the necklace (it has a release on the clasp so it will break if it gets caught) and nothing else has helped. Gels, paracetamol, teethers still no relief. I like to think the Amber is helping in the most natural, soothing way.
Along with shoes we also ordered these toilet learning pants from Michael Olaf.
Otis has been wearing training pants for a while like the red ones in this post although as you can see they are bulky and absorb much like a nappy, neither Otis or I could even tell he was wet. I was looking for pants that were;
These pants are perfect for us. They are made from organic cotton and so far no puddles. Not even a wet bed. Although I don't intentionally have him sleep in them. I usually change him before bed, sometimes I don't get a chance.
Otis only wears them when we are at home. When he is in training pants I am able to see when he is wet and have worked out a bit of a pattern. Otis is also very aware of when he needs to use the toilet (potty) but sometimes we don't make it in time. The pants also help with self confidence. No problem if the pants get wet, we'll go put on a dry pair.
I continually refer back to the toileting section at Aid to Life. The information is simple and doable.
Oh it's getting cold!
I'm committed to getting outside more this winter. Last winter we bunkered down and stayed indoors. Otis was a newborn and Caspar couldn't shake illness. I hoping this year will be different.
I've heard people say 'children don't feel the cold'. But they really do. They may be too busy playing to notice but there is no way they can sit still, concentrate, work and fulfill their potential while they are cold.
Caspar has always worn the Nature Baby Merino Thermals. It's pretty much wash and wear, in winter he wears the long sleeve top every single day. A base layer like this is perfect as he can wear a woollen jumper over top staying nice and warm without any bulk.
Over the weekend we wanted to do some shopping in person and stocked up at Kathmandu. They've been on sale on for a long time. We were able to pick up a few more base layers for Caspar and a little oversized base layer for Otis. Otis's are size 2 and are nice soft merino. So, so cuddly and so, so warm.
If you live in Australia I'd love to hear where you get your children's base layers, or do you buy overseas? When I was a young we wore skivvies! Not so on trend these days.
What do you think of when you hear 'first shoes', 'first walkers', 'baby shoes'? I was confused with Caspar, I had no idea. I'm not sure with Otis, I'm still looking around.
Otis hasn't worn shoes yet, I haven't even purchased him a pair but I think these are our main requirements:
Just to clarify while I am happy for him to go with bare feet with the cooler weather and to support his independence (I don't want to carry him outside) he will soon need shoes, some of the time.
Did you know some Montessori schools like their students to have separate indoor shoes. That is to assist with the indoor/outdoor transition and to keep the floor free of mud and dirt. Our school doesn't do this but I really love and would totally support the idea. I think most Waldorf schools do this too. It also keeps the room quieter with the children wearing soft soled shoes inside.
I have complied a quick round-up of some of the shoes I am looking at. Keep in mind I'm looking at boy shoes. It appears that besides red most shoes clearly fall into blue/brown or pink. Also because shoes are lightweight (and the Australian dollar is so strong) I'm happy to buy overseas.
1. Wooly Baby.
2. Michael Olaf. Recommended for use in Montessori Infant Communities, why not at home too? Michael Olaf have such a tremendous reputation.
3. Nowali Basic.
5. Jazzy Toes.
6. Moccis. These also come in a wonderful assortment of colours and designs.
7. Hanna Andersson.
8. Nowali Stripe. It you were going with the Montessori theme you would probably choose something more subtle but these are really cute.
Wow, I don't want to overgeneralise but Sweden loves moccasins. 2-8 are all made in Sweden. I was surprised, these are not just for indoors. All of these suggest they are suitable for light outdoor use. I love that these are so comfortable the child could sleep in them.
10. Jack and Lily.
11. See Kai Run.
12. Soft Star Shoes.
I'm really leaning towards number 2 because I would fill my house with Michael Olaf if I could. The advantage of the Nowalis is they come in a great range of sizes, we could all get a pair!
I'd love to hear if you've had success with any of these shoes.
Do you remember the bath robe I made for Caspar? With the same pattern I made Otis an early birthday present. If you're not familiar with this pattern it is fantastic. It's based on using a bath towel and is beginner level. It can be found at MADE here.
As it's his first robe and he is starting to get himself dressed, putting his arms through the holes, I decided to go with the short sleeved version. For simplicity I chose not to make a hood.
Easy peasy, totally cute bath robe. As with Caspar's I made the addition of a loop so it can hang on a wall hook. Nice and low so soon he will be able to hang it himself. Don't you just love those temporary wall hooks.
I may have caught the sewing bug. While perusing the pages of Modern Parents Messy Kids I found this Weekend Look Book and immediately fell in love with the featured child's robe. Adorable and so doable. It only takes a couple of towels and some bias binding.
It reminds me of Edison's Day, not only is the 20 month old Edison smart, independent and the epitome of Montessori - he also had a super cute robe.
I set to work. The tutorial can be found at made. I love sewing from tutorials and this one is simple. The only addition I made was a little tab sewn into the collar to make it easier for my Montessori child to hang it on his hook. The best part - the pattern starts at 9 months. That would be ridiculously cute!
If anyone has used this tutorial I would love to see how it turned out. Don't you just love children after their bath, so beautifully snuggly and clean.
Yesterday we also did some juicing. But you have seen us juice before. I really just wanted to show you Karla's oilcloth aprons.
You know I love little vases, little napkins, well I love little aprons too.
I need to think about how we use aprons. Try to be more deliberate in their use. To help define the activity.
He already has an apron for food preparation but this one is just for juicing!
Do your children use different aprons for different activities? I mean I know they do at school but what about home?
It may shock many Montessorians to know that my first son Caspar was raised using disposable nappies. I tried cloth and failed miserably. Looking back now I see that I set myself up for that failure.
Where I went wrong
When Otis was born I knew it was time to try again. We are still part-timers but mostly cloth.
Where I went right
We use the Imse Vimse All in One Nappy with flushable biodegradable nappy liners. This one is brand new, it's not discoloured as it appears in the photo. The absorbent pads fold out so the nappy dries quicker.
I do want to add that Caspar didn't have any trouble toilet training. If you are using disposables don't be discouraged. Using disposables doesn't need to be a barrier to toilet training (toilet learning) the Montessori way, you can absolutely still apply the same principles.