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November 2011
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January 2012

All of the materials on Ot's shelves at eight months. Some are new, some are old. Some are Montessori and others are simple traditional toys. He has materials on both shelving units in his room. His clothes and nappies are now stored in his wardrobe. He can reach his low shelves but his other shelving unit is out of reach, and will be until he starts pulling himself up. 1. Object Permanence Box. 2. Progressive Ring Stacker from Beginning Montessori. 3. Egg in Cup and Palmer Grasp Cylinder from At Home with Montessori. 4. Nesting Owls. These are much loved... Read more →

I promise some Montessori posts soon. Otis has some new materials that I can't wait to show you. First to our amazing (but late) summer. Perfect blue sky. Everything on the BBQ. Fresh sand for the sand pit. His first sand experience. Love that sand. No reason to go indoors really. Read more →

Babies need to use their concentration to make it stronger. Your baby might surprise you with their concentration span. Focus too. Don't underestimate them. Or their ability to become totally absorbed in something so simple. It's just what we needed. Quiet and calm. I try for some one-on-one time with each of my children each day. It doesn't always happen. With Caspar we usually read a book or cook. Today with Otis it was some fresh air and sunshine. Wishing you fresh air and sunshine wherever you may be. Read more →

Thank you and Happy Holidays!

The year is coming to an end and I am starting to get philosophical. It has been a wonderful year and I have met so many amazing people. To every single person who has ever left a comment or emailed, thank you. You continue to give me support and inspiration when it is needed. Neptune. Thank you for being right along side me for so many of the standout moments of the year. Thank you for your inspiring blog, your encouraging words. Thank you for knowing and understanding. Kate. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me in person. At... Read more →

It's widely known and appreciated that the Montessori philosophy doesn't support the use of baby walkers. Walker wagons are a little different. They offer support and safety. Good walkers will allow the child to creep and pull themselves up to standing, then over time push and pull (backwards and forwards) until they are ready to take a step. From Michael Olaf The First Year - Crawling, Pulling Up, Standing. A walker wagon (wooden, not plastic) will provide a opportunity for the child to pull up and practice walking at will, but it will usually require the adult to turn the... Read more →

Keeping it simple. No expensive equipment. No elaborate trays. No instruction. No rush. Simply the freedom to choose, some real tools and real work. Children of this age are urged by the laws of their nature to find active experiences in the world about them. For this they use their hands, and not only for practical purposes, but also for acquiring knowledge. If we leave children free in this new kind of environment that we have provided, they give us quite an unexpected impression of their nature and abilities. - Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind. Read more →

Otis isn't ready for the walker yet but we decided to order it for him for Christmas anyway. It will be waiting for him when he is ready. It makes for perfect storage for his soft blocks. I am sure many of you have guessed how I made these. I am no sewing expert and chose what I thought were the easiest options. Because I used one colour per block I made each block using only one piece of fabric sewn into a cube. The pictures may make more sense than the words. Here is my basic how to. 1.... Read more →

Information is power

Information is power. Yes it is. We live in a fortunate country, in fortunate times. Imagine though if your access to information was limited. Earlier in the year I gave away a few of my Montessori books, those I no longer used. After this I was approached by a lovely Directress. Due to the location of her school and lack of resources they don't have the kind of access to information, to Montessori books, that we take for granted. From that moment on I committed to saving my books with the intention of donating them to this school. So I... Read more →

This is the card we are giving this year. It's from a school fundraising activity. I love the concept. The child makes the picture A4 size, depending on their skill level. Here Caspar has used some cutting and pasting, painting and drawing. The school arranges for the picture to be made into a card. You have the choice to purchase. We usually buy a couple of packs. I don't know how much profit the school makes but as a parent this is one of my favourite fundraisers. I love that Caspar's image is of a Christmas tree, at night and... Read more →

After my first son Caspar was born, I purchased all of his toys, I didn't make any of them. I didn't make anything for him because I knew it wouldn't be perfect. Wow, how things have changed. My confidence has grown and I am happy to give it a go and make a few things for Otis. But what I've let go is the meaning of perfection. To me these blocks are perfect in a non-perfect kind of way. They are not exactly uniform, my blind stitch needs some improvement. But they are made by me with love. For Otis... Read more →

I first came across Shane and Carrie's Etsy site and really liked the look of their products. They ticked all the boxes. Their items are handmade, non-toxic and developmentally appropriate. Most importantly Carrie is Montessori trained. Not only does she know the products she also knows the theory behind them. I liked them so much I placed an order and Otis has used almost every one of their items since. I have already ordered this Progressive Ring Stacker and it will soon be wrapped and waiting for Otis on Christmas morning. Why do I like and recommend Beginning Montessori? This... Read more →

I know crawling isn't far away. This stage of development is so fleeting, I really wanted to capture it. This is the first time I have noticed him putting one knee down. He is just about to learn he can push himself forwards. But mostly he just does this. I love chubby little legs and the strength and determination it takes to get to here. Yes, this really is capturing the moment. Also - I send my very best wishes to Camilla. Her baby was due to be born today. I hope you are keeping well Camilla and holding your... Read more →

I love to see and hear what Montessori means to others. Milena is from Belgrade, Serbia and I would love to share her story with you. Milena and her husband are both interested in Montessori and have attended basic courses on Montessori and Montessori in the home at the Montessori Association of Serbia Milena has also attended workshops at her daughters kindergarten. I prompted Milena with a couple of questions, I have left the translation largely unedited, I am sure you can follow just fine. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family and where you live?... Read more →