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January 2011
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March 2011

What intrigues people about the floor bed? What mystery does it hold? I never understood why people were so surprised or confused about it. In our home it was almost like people didn't know what to say. I wonder what they were thinking... does the child sleep here, on the floor, can't they afford a crib, a cot? When new people came to our home I found myself trying to explain it. Was I trying to justify our decision, was I trying to educate our guests? My first son Caspar used a floor bed from around six months. The first... Read more →

When I consider our upcoming birth I always end up thinking about my older son Caspar. We are keeping our options open as to where he will be during the birth. Ideally he will be with us the entire time. With this in mind today I packed some new toys into my labor bag. Model tractor Diggers and trucks snap cards Lyra Gel Crayons Lyra Modelling Clay Kaleidoscope Flap book Sticker book Animal stamps I also included a disposable camera for him to use, a blank art book and some favourite snacks. I think he will be disappointed if he... Read more →

Recently I started thinking about what activities have really worked for us and what haven't. I love threading, lacing and sewing activities but they have been a bit hit and miss at our house. This one (above) stayed on our shelves for over a year, yes a year! I first set it up when my son was around eighteen months old and it was well used until he was around two and a half years old. Highly recommended. At various times I have set up and demonstrated the lacing shapes, threading beads and threading cotton reels (all below) but they... Read more →

"The more one has reaped, the more he experiences the secret fascination of sowing." - Maria Montessori There isn't a classroom in the world that wouldn't be a little brighter with a bunch of sunflowers. Read more →

We started attending a Montessori parent-toddler class when my son was 18 months old. He loved playing with the farm so much that I decided to set up something similar at home. At three years old he is still playing with it. While our farm is slightly different, it is more of a barn, I think the idea is the same - the interaction with the animals. Young children are interested in their names and sounds. Older children are interested in family groups, feeding and caring for them. Our farm resides in our playroom. It has had so much use... Read more →

As some of you are aware I am currently studying the Playful Learning Spaces e-course. In the first two weeks I have worked on creating an outdoor art area. This obviously isn't a traditional Montessori space but I will call it Montessori inspired. Ideas from the course that I have attempted to incorporate into this area include: Independence - ensure the child is able to independently access and put away materials of their choosing. Less is best - the child need not be overwhelmed by choice and must be able to maintain the area. Put all the materials the child... Read more →

Am I the only person in the world who didn't know about triangular crayons? Just in case you are in the dark as I was, please read this post. Caspar is three and will hopefully soon hit his sensitive period for writing. He currently doesn't write or draw much with pencils but he loves using crayons. I have for a long time been concerned about his grip. He is left handed and his grip is truly incorrect and awkward. Does it matter, should I be correcting him? Not wanting to be overbearing or take away the fun or enjoyment of... Read more →

We considered for a really long time if we wanted a sand pit at home. While it is good in theory and easy to do, our backyard isn't very big and did we really want more mess? We know that sand provides a lovely sensory experience for young children but most of all I think - all kids like to dig. Add an excavator and dump truck and this is three year old boy bliss. I love to see the concentration in his eyes as he lines up the truck. What I didn't expect was the kind of imaginative play... Read more →

We've had a lot of experience with children's aprons. We spend a lot of time in the kitchen together and as you know, an apron is a must. Briefly, our experience goes like this; Visit a fair. Purchase a small child's apron that looks really good. The strap around the neck attaches to the apron with velcro - good. But the side ties need to be done up by an adult. Persist with apron for several months. Rachel (mother to three) makes some aprons. Send some fabric and request she makes one for us. Head part is too small to... Read more →

When I first walked into a Montessori toddler classroom it surprised me to see a fish tank located only inches off the floor. Were they crazy? Surely that's dangerous! I guess I had a lot to learn about Montessori. Over time I witnessed many children putting their hands into the tank, many times the glass lid fell in and occasionally children would fight over who got to feed the fish. But what was learnt in the process? So, so much. The benefit of having such an accessible fish tank clearly outweighed any negatives. While at home I loved the idea... Read more →

I really want to share with you some of my absolute favourite children's designers. I really love children's fashion but have had some difficulty in finding practical clothes that look good. I will say at this time that my standards are high. I prefer children's clothing that is simple, modern and fresh in design easy to put on easy to wear loose fitting (not to restrict movement) easy to layer (easier to regulate temperature) made of natural fibres organic where possible great quality Firstly for baby wear I cannot and do not go past Nature Baby. They are based in... Read more →

Many Montessori and other parenting books and sites recommend the use of the Stokke Tripp Trapp. Many visitors to our home haven't seen one before and wonder how they work. I will admit that when we purchased our first Tripp Trapp we also purchased all the accessories because we ourselves didn't know what we needed. If you are not at all familiar with the Tripp Trapp and are looking for a new high chair, I would encourage you to visit the Stokke website and have a look in greater detail. This is Caspar in the Tripp Trapp with the harness,... Read more →

I love weekends because everything is that much slower. We frequently make juice with our juicer, but this morning we did it the old fashioned way - by hand. It is even better when someone else makes it for you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. Read more →

We are fortunate to have two bathrooms in our house. This means that Caspar has his own bathroom which doubles as a guest bathroom. The downside to this is we need to keep it spotlessly clean. While keeping it clean and orderly we also strive to make it as child friendly as possible. A clean, orderly, child friendly bathroom? This is what currently works for us Limit the number of bath toys but make them interesting. We have some Schleich sea animals, a funnel, a small colander, water wheel and some boats. Present the items the child uses everyday on... Read more →