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September 2011
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November 2011

Otis is in this distinct period of development. He is spending most of his time on the floor learning to crawl, but he still needs stimulation for his hands. But he cannot sit up unaided. I have other materials just waiting for the right time - which isn't here yet. I am not sure what this grip is called. It surprised me. I didn't think he would be able to pick it up at all. But he did, over and over. For the longest time. One hand, two hands. It is the first time I have presented these to him.... Read more →

"The importance of this bread is both physical and psychological." - S.Montanaro. Understanding the Human Being. Physical as the child experiences food in it's solid state and psychological as it is often the first food the child feeds to himself. He hasn't actually eaten any yet. He is still working on getting it to his mouth. It won't be long - such great practice. Bread is also nice to hold and pull apart. Caspar demonstrated to Otis how to eat the bread. After watching Caspar's exaggerated eating movements, Otis starts moving his tongue around his mouth. And bread makes the... Read more →

I need some more advice - wool nappy covers

One of the great things about writing a blog is that you can ask questions and get some amazing advice. The advice I received about cloth nappies was spot on and exactly what I needed. What works, what doesn't, what's available, what's not. I am a person of great indecision and research so all of your combined experience has been invaluable. As we know which nappies we use depends on our own preferences. I am now seriously considering going with pre-folds or even a contour nappy, then using a cover. I am a little picky and am considering using wool... Read more →

He is holding his spoon, waiting patiently for his food. I have moved his table and chair around. The table is now against the wall rather than the chair. Although the table is solid the chair (with him in it) is heavier so he actually feels more stable/locked in with the table against the wall. While I was determined to make an outline for the utensils, Otis is now using three placemats a day and these are often intertwined with Caspar's. So far there are too many to outline. It's on my to do list - hopefully I'll get to... Read more →

Caspar's absolute favourite animal right now is the SHARK! We make frequent visits to our local aquarium to visit the sharks that live there. When he asked if a whale shark was a whale or a shark, I didn't know the answer. I stocked up on some resources. Firstly some model sharks then a reference guide. I quickly concluded a whale shark is in fact a shark - but it doesn't eat people. It was a rainy day today and Otis decided to take a long nap. Armed with some new modelling clay, eyes, model sharks and reference guide -... Read more →

I know Montessori wasn't into comparing children, no tests, no scores, no grades, no top of the class, no bottom of the class. I have never been one to take comparisons seriously. Be it sleep, crawling, clapping, walking, counting, saying the alphabet, saying the alphabet backwards. But one thing I find myself doing constantly is comparing my children to each other. Otis has teeth when Caspar had none, Otis is creeping when Caspar was immobile and it goes on. It doesn't help that I only have two children, both of them boys and aside from having different colourings they look... Read more →

Often I find myself thinking about my children, their needs, activities, materials. Occasionally I feel the need to step back and look at the big picture. I decided to make a list of things my children really need. warmth comfort security good nutrition love quiet time/peace literature art music free space/room to move free time friendship real life experiences each other my time my energy Which then, of course got me thinking about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. I tried to find Maslow meets Montessori but couldn't - so I made one of my own. The child (or human as Maslow... Read more →

It may seem strange but I really don't like talking to people, in person, about parenting. Unless it is a good friend, you never know where the other person stands, and how easy is it to feel offended or possibly offend the other person. I especially dislike talking about sleep. Oh is he a good sleeper? My answer is always yes. Unless he's teething. I mean I don't want to get into a deep conversation with someone about how much my son is sleeping only to find out the other person has a strong view that I don't agree with.... Read more →

Can you recommend a cloth nappy?

It wasn't that long ago that I wrote this post about cloth nappies. Things have improved and we are now using 100% cloth and not looking back. However Otis is now six months old, just over nine kilograms and it is time for some new nappies, he needs to go up a size. I am completely happy with the type of nappy we use but I am left wondering, is there a better nappy out there? Here is what I love in a cloth nappy velcro closures - I think this makes for a better/more snug fit elastic around the... Read more →

Sorting cutlery is a great way for children to become familiar with cutlery before learning to set the table. This activity is most beneficial for younger children from around eighteen months/two years. There was never a time though that Caspar would have been interested to sit down at his table and do this activity alone. Simply it was never of interest. So, this becomes like so many other activities in our home, an activity that occurs in the kitchen when the need arises. He will sort the cutlery when helping unload the dishwasher, when I am cleaning out the cutlery... Read more →

We all know the child is capable of so many things. Yes a three year old can set the table. But how many actually do? Caspar will help in the kitchen, sometimes I ask and other times he just does. At three it is fun and purposeful. I know as he gets older he will become less interested. So if he doesn't or just cannot help with the food preparation he can help set the table. He knows how. But rather than remind him, or have to pick him up 'you forgot a bib for Otis', I decided to put... Read more →

I have another guest post over at MPMK here. I really love the way Steph has published these guest posts that bring a few Montessori ideas to such a large audience. Thank you Steph for having me over. While most of the activities I wrote about were more traditional Montessori, I also wrote about this activity pictured above, observing a root system. It has been a couple of weeks since I took these photographs and since the roots have really gone crazy. It's such a fun activity to try with little ones and Caspar loves it. He is nearly four... Read more →

I am always looking for new items for Otis to explore. I have been updating his treasure basket regularly but wanted to introduce a couple more 'baskets' to his shelves. I really like the idea of having a few items in a basket to allow the child to experience this freedom, this new power and ability to choose which item they will reach for and play with. Using a basket like this gives him the experience of sitting up for just a few minutes, eventually he will be able to sit up alone but for now he is using me... Read more →