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June 2011
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August 2011

Following from Clay's Infant Environment Part 1 here is Part 2 showing Clay and his infant mobiles. The above photograph is of Clay and his mum Tasha making the Octahedron. I think I can see some double sided tape there. I purchased all of our mobiles although Tasha and Charlene show that you can make them yourself. The Munari The Octahedron The Gobbi I don't know of any one source of information for the mobiles. If you know of anyone who has completed Montessori infancy training they may be able to help. Most of the mobiles can be purchased through... Read more →

Remember Clay from last week. He is almost two now but I really wanted to give you some insight into his infant environment. One of his mums Charlene is trained in Montessori (3-6 years) so she had a pretty good idea what she was doing. What you can see in these photographs is that Charlene experimented a little with the floor bed. She said that she tried three different beds and found this aspect quite tricky. Charlene tells us more. He actually had a little basket/bassinette for the first 6 weeks, then moved onto a cot sized mattress but I... Read more →

I purchased these tokens just after Caspar was born. At the time I didn't know exactly what we would do with them but I knew they would be useful. Over the last three years we have used them in so many ways. Here are a few of our favourite activities using coloured tokens. 1. Money box An oldie but a goodie. Caspar used this from 12 months. It's made from an old yoghurt container with an opening cut in the lid. The lid is really easy to get off and on and with a little practice the child can do... Read more →

I remember seeing a photograph of Maria Montessori sitting next to child weaving. It was from this photograph rather than her texts that gave me the idea to try it with Caspar. As I would prefer to make something useful I decided to give circular weaving a try. I thought they would make wonderful mats/coasters/doilies. I purchased a circular weaving frame but as soon as I put it together I knew it would be too difficult for Caspar. I think I will need to put it away for a good couple of years. Instead I decided to make a weaving... Read more →

“In the second month of life, the muscles of the neck are brought under control, and the head can be supported without assistance. If the child who is already capable of directing his gaze is also allowed the freedom of observation, this new achievement will produce a notable change in his personal relationship with the environment. Controlling the head is the beginning of his mastering of the environment” - Understanding the Human Being by Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro. Well he may be in his third month of life but he has gained enough strength to support his head unaided. This ability... Read more →

Remember Clay from the DIY Learning Tower? Today his mum Charlene joins us and allows us to take a peek into their lives and how they are influenced by Montessori. Charlene was the inspiration for this series and I cannot thank her enough for her contribution. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live? My name is Charlene and I live in the Hunter Valley with my partner of 10 years, Natasha (she’s a paramedic) and our son Clayton who is 22 months old. When and how did you first become interested in the... Read more →

Because some days we just need a little quiet and calm. Five things for this week are five quiet and clean indoor activities for Caspar. 1. Puzzles Puzzles are great for children of any age. One thing I now know is not to ask the shop assistant for help when choosing puzzles. Puzzles vary so much in skill level required, the only person who can choose the right puzzle for your child is you. I always try to have a couple of puzzles in storage that are just above his current skill level. This one is an airport puzzle and... Read more →

We started using the bell rattle when Otis was two months old. Now he is starting to put things in his mouth it is time to move onto other grasping materials. The interlocking discs are the most interesting looking of materials. They are designed to encourage the child to rotate their wrists and pass the discs from one hand to the other. Being made from natural materials these will take a bit of chewing when it comes teething time. Today at 15 weeks I noticed Otis bringing his hands together for the first time. It's his latest thing. He did... Read more →

Finlay's family needs little introduction. His mum, Cathy blogs at the very popular A Montessori Home. When I found out Cathy was a trained Montessori teacher (3-6) I spent hours going over every post. It is such pleasure to have Cathy over to answer some of my questions. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live? Our happy little family consists of myself, my partner Brent, and our 16-month-old son, Finlay. I'm originally from Melbourne, Brent is from Perth, and Fin was born in Auckland, NZ, where we are living right now. This year... Read more →

This week my five things are reasons why we chose Montessori as a parenting method. Yes I am now calling Montessori a parenting method. Really Montessori just isn't about educating but about living and yes parenting. 1. Montessori inspires me Do I need to write anymore? After all I have read I want to read more. After all I have done I want to do more. She inspires me to be a better person and a better parent. I am enthusiastic about bringing Montessori in our home now more than ever. 2. I believe in it - all of it... Read more →

I don't intend on showing you all the activities we do because so many others do it better. The internet has so many blogs dedicated to showcasing activity ideas. This one I thought was worth showing as it is a really good example of an activity to do at home and nothing goes to waste, the herbs can be used in the kitchen later. The cards are designed as three part cards to be used by a much older child, as the instructions say one that has completed a lot of botany work. Ignoring the instructions today we use them... Read more →

Montessori mentioned that infants can move from birth. Otis never moved much until this week. He has started to do this slither thing where he pushes himself backwards sometimes at an angle. I wasn't sure if I could believe what I was seeing. On the weekend he slithered across the lounge room floor to reach a hairbrush that Caspar dropped after brushing his hair. This demonstrated to me that his movement was intentional and purposeful. Otis loves having his hair brushed and when he saw his brush on the floor he moved towards it. Today in his room I left... Read more →

Winter school holidays are without doubt more difficult than the summer holidays. It has been cold and wet so we've had to come up with some extra indoor activities. Also the two boys and I have been terribly ill with a virus that we don't want to pass onto anyone else ruling out any play dates. Today we made our own beeswax candles. The beeswax smells so delicious. We have done this many times before but recently I found this coloured wax making this time extra fun. In my opinion beeswax candles are the best candles to use around children.... Read more →