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May 2011
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July 2011

Recently it was our turn to do Caspar's school washing. While I was looking at the washing waiting to be returned I was thinking how cute and small everything was. Then it hit me. At home I have only ever provided Caspar with adult size placemats, napkins and cleaning cloths. I don't have much of a fabric stash but found enough fabric to whip up a few little napkins. This is about all the fabric I had. I really appreciate the diversity, it makes for a colourful collection. I buy bits of fabric I like by the fat quarter, I... Read more →

More on the wash table

I was thrilled to find Montessori Print Shop featuring the train table turned wash table. If you haven't already click over to their blog article Washing clothes - Montessori style. The article contains some great information on practical life activities. Also I should have included the red Montessori style apron Caspar was wearing at the wash table is from Handmade Montessori Materials. I just love, love, love some of the fabrics Karla uses for her oilcloth aprons, it's the patterns - they are like of nostalgic. Read more →

This train table was sitting unused in our garage. My husband cut out two big holes and inserted two basins to make a wash table. We are not having many nice days at the moment but when the sun comes out so does the washing. Rather than use detergent, Sunlight soap is much gentler on the hands. Yes, another reason to grate soap. I think it is fair to say that he is trying to master grating. A sensitive period for grating anyone? Wash. Rinse And hang. Read more →

In relation to the wall mirror Chelsea recently asked: How did you install it? Where did you get the mirror? Is it shatterproof? I worry about our baby hitting it with her wooden toys. Maybe some sort of glue affixing it to a piece of plywood so if it break it stays put. My rather long reply was: I have often wondered how other people have done this. I don't remember where we originally purchased the mirror from as we have had it a long time. When we went to install it I went to our hardware store for advice.... Read more →

(This is a photograph is of myself with Otis when he was only a couple of days old) I write this not because I am experiencing any particular difficulties but because I think it needs mentioning in this space. Parenting is hard. It's hard work. Sometimes it is difficult and I want to recognise that. Especially as Montessori parents we strive toward some kind of perfection that does not exist. Montessori mentions in The Absorbent Mind that mankind is drawn towards progression, towards better things. She also mentions in the section on character building that stronger personality types are attracted... Read more →

When we first started implementing Montessori principles in our home we really focused on the physical things, furniture, materials etc. It was only after time that I began to pick up on some of the other concepts of Montessori such as peace, respect and true love for the child. Here are my top five ways of introducing Montessori concepts into your home without spending a cent. "The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply felt impressions he receives, and this is especially important in the first part of his life" - Maria Montessori - The Absorbent Mind. 1.... Read more →

I have mentioned before how non-crafty I am. But I do think that every mother or child carer should make some effort. Craft has so much to offer. I do like activities that are simple, offer some learning experience and involve materials we already have in our home. Today we made soap balls. Caspar really likes this grater. Soap is really soft and therefore easy and fun to grate. Add lavender tea, chamomile flowers, pour in some water, a couple of drops of essential oil and mix. The lavender and chamomile were for different batches but oh well. Doesn't matter.... Read more →

We have had a lot of workmen at our home over the last couples of weeks. Mechanic, electrician, plumber, repairman. As you can imagine Caspar has been walking around the house pretending to fix a lot of things. Time for a real work bench and real tools so he can do some real work. To make his workbench we used the green table which has had so many uses around our home. Caspar used a screw driver to put together his wooden tool box you can see on a hook under the left side of the table. The only other... Read more →

I know you are going to love this as much as I do. An absolutely brilliant do-it-yourself Learning Tower. Charlene sent me these pictures of her son Clay who is 21 months old. Her partner Tasha built their very own Learning Tower using a shelf from Bunnings, a handsaw and drill, total cost around $60!!! Clay is able to climb in and out independently and the base can be moved up and down as he grows. It looks really sturdy and safe. Great innovation! Charlene is a trained 3-6 teacher living in the Hunter Valley (NSW Australia) and obviously knows... Read more →

I know that cooking is a fun activity and there are so many ways your child can participate. But today my five things don't include cooking and are activities with food that are fun, quick, easy and not too messy. 1. Cutting shapes Cutting big shapes with cheese is easy and little shapes with carrot is more difficult. These carrot shapes would look so cute through a small salad. 2. Making spiral foods This tool is called a radish cutter, but we enjoy using it on cucumber. Carrot is a little more difficult and is best left for adults or... Read more →

Do you like the Dancers Mobile? I think Otis does. Remember I mentioned we rotate the mobiles every two weeks or so to maintain the child's interest. Of course it isn't a necessity. But I am having so much fun and each mobile is so unique and so pretty. The dancers are made of really light paper so they 'dance' in the breeze and the holographic paper really gets the child's attention. I don't know the history of the Dancers Mobile, if you do please feel free to leave a comment. I would love to know more! This one is... Read more →

Today Australia celebrates the Queen's Birthday and we have a long weekend. Some some special visitors came to stay, and they are Queenslanders! Caspar has been learning about Queensland for the last week so we decided on a Queensland morning tea. There are so many foods to choose from I think we will make it a tradition. A great hands on learning activity and who better to teach about Queensland than Queenslanders. Our dog is a Queenslander too but he wasn't invited. Read more →

I have decided on a Friday Feature post, every Friday I will write a feature titled Five Things. This week is five essential items for the Montessori child. I am sometimes asked about what items we use most or what I would recommend to people starting out with Montessori. Here are my suggestions and our five essential items. 1. Small table and chair Every child needs a table and chair at which they can comfortably sit, work and eat at. If you only purchase one thing make it a small table and chair. 2. Small things Small glasses from which... Read more →