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October 2011
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December 2011

We have started a new tradition of reading Christmas books by the tree before bed. I love Christmas books and would like to expand our collection. I am so in love with the book advent idea, but I don't think we would ever own enough books. Ever since Rebecca left a comment here I have been reading her blog, she recently put together the nicest book advent here, great neon bunting and what a stylish blog! Today I read Caspar the Christmas Story. I am not sure he had heard it in it's entirety before. He asked where Santa was.... Read more →

Last week we travelled to my sisters wedding. It was so beautiful. While travelling we used store bought baby food resulting in left over baby food jars. Naturally I wanted to reuse as many as possible. Here are some of the ways we are reusing baby food jars in our home. 1. Christmas decorations I featured these in the previous post Handmade Christmas decorations. A little glue, a little glitter to make these extra sparkly candle holders, a great look for Christmas. They would also work well as vases. 2. Little storage jars Perfect storage for the little things on... Read more →

Easy peasy garland. We used coloured paper strips and masking tape. Caspar loves to use the tape dispenser and for a four year old it was easier than glue or staples. These are a little addictive and we have them all around the house. Pretty Christmas flowers and coloured (and more glitter) pine cones. We started with a yellow and red theme but really ended up with multi coloured everything. Read more →

There are still glue pots in the kitchen and glitter in my hair. We had a wonderful weekend. Lots of creating and mess making. We are decorating on a budget this year and intend on only using items we already have and reusing/recycling when we can. It was dark before I had time for photographs so here is a start. Baby food jars with glue and glitter. I asked Caspar if he wanted to help with some decorations, he said "no thanks". I mentioned glitter and he wanted to help straight away. Do all kids love glitter? I printed out... Read more →

Oh sand tray. You are a wonderful tool. When Caspar said he wanted to use the sand tray, I raced so fast to get it before he changed his mind, I didn't even clean the table. We had been painting, can you tell? I had given up on the the sand tray, it was packed away in storage. Now it is back. I gave him the tray, he did the rest. First letters c and k, then numbers. He wanted to practice and repeat. The sand tray is now on his shelves so next time he doesn't have to ask.... Read more →

That special feeling

Do you remember the first time you stepped inside a Montessori classroom? Did you get the sense that you were somewhere special? Every Montessori classroom I have visited has had that special feeling. But does that feeling wear off, does it fade? Our school year is coming to a close and there are a few families that have decided not to return next year. You would expect this as every school has people who come and people who go. But what is the main reason people leave Montessori schools? I wonder if it has to do with expectations. One thing... Read more →

Have you ever stayed in a hotel and wondered what to do with those little shampoo bottles. Usually I don't use them and leave them behind. This time I took them home with me. I thought they would be good in an open and close activity for Otis one day. But for an activity for him now?? How about some little colour bottles. The labels were sticky and difficult to remove. I put a little food colouring and water in each bottle. I suggest gluing the lids on to avoid any spills. I have only put the lids on tightly... Read more →

Our second Christmas 2011 Giveaway is from Montessori Child. Montessori Child is a lovely company that stocks a carefully selected range of materials for the home environment. I really like their Practical Life section as it always gives me ideas for activities to do with Caspar. This is on our Christmas list for Otis. It is perfect for the child once they start pulling up and cruising. Amy and her husband Steve have only recently taken over the company and I think you will like their story. Amy's tells us a little about herself and her path to Montessori Child.... Read more →

The weather has been perfect. We had a lot of work to do. I put a couple of tables and chairs outside and set up a few practical life activities for Caspar. They weren't just activities, they were work than needed to be done. When he got home from school he went straight to work. He knew what they were for. A very special occasion. First to clean our trays. We used a Bi-Carb Soda paste and not only did it remove the stains it brought out a lovely shine. Yes, April these are your polishing mitts, perfect for the... Read more →

Like shapes? Me too. I recently realised that Caspar's cutting skills were not improving (and were actually quite poor!) and cutting out shapes was the perfect activity for him. I occasionally get asked about cutting with scissors so I think I'll write a post on cutting activities soon. Anyway, if you are interested in shape activities click over to my Modern Parents Messy Kids guest post about shapes. Pinning as in the above photograph is a Montessori classic while the activity below matching with match sticks isn't an activity we had tried before. It might have been because it was... Read more →

It's been almost a year since I have put out any life-cycle work for Caspar. But after a little of this. He took this book, opened to this page, to school for show and tell. I knew it was time for this and these. The life-cycle cards are from Montessori Print Shop. This one below isn't Montessori with the abstract looking frog, but it is cute, and the other pictures are life like. It looks lovely in a wooden bowl or tray on the shelf. From Mama Roots on Etsy. Work like this really brings home to me how much... Read more →

Can you call this finger painting? I'm not sure. You can call this a fun sensory experience. This morning I was giving Otis his breakfast and after I spilt some on the table, I noticed him running his fingers through it. My first thought - finger painting. I remember Steph's post on edible finger paint and knew this was the way to go. So we used one cup flour to just over one cup cold water. As usual I overdid the food colouring. It was fun and easy to clean up. Steph mentioned that after this activity her daughter took... Read more →

Maria Montessori anticipated negative comments about children using fragile, breakable items in her Children's Houses and as such she wrote: ...they place more importance on the glass than on the child; an object worth a few cents seems more precious than the physical training of their children. - Maria Montessori. The Child in the Family. As we know the importance of sameness, I would recommend purchasing 3-6 weaning glasses of the same type. Unfortunately I did not do this and now Otis is having to use an unfamiliar glass, for the second time. In one month we have had two... Read more →