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August 2012
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October 2012

I didn't see his face when it happened. I was out of the room. I heard a loud crash, a breaking noise. He hadn't broken anything since those early weaning glass days. I never allowed him to help clean up, a weaning glass broke into a million sharp pieces. This was pottery, the edges were dull and soft. This time I wanted him to help. . "Did the bowl break?" I left a long pause so he had time to associate my words with the broken pieces on the floor. "Shall we clean it up?". With his dustpan, broom and... Read more →

. Since it's almost the end of September I wanted to share a poem Caspar and I have been reading. It's beautiful and touching and is September in Australia. This is an edited version the full version can be found here. September in Australia by Henry Kendall Grey Winter hath gone like a wearisome guest, 
 And, behold, for repayment, 
 September comes in with the wind from the west 
 And the spring in her raiment! 
 The ways of the frost have been filled of the flowers, 
 While the forest discovers 
 Wild wings, with the halo... Read more →

I would like to introduce our latest sponsor Beginning Montessori. Beginning Montessori produces high quality Montessori materials for infants and toddlers. What do we think of Beginning Montessori? You only need to read through the archives... Otis was only nine weeks old when he started to use the Bell Rattle. At three months he was using the Ball Cylinder, Bell Cylinder and the Primary Colours Mobile. At four months he started using the Interlocking Discs. He was still using the Bell Cylinder at five months when Learning to Crawl. At eight months he was introduced to the Progressive Ring Stacker... Read more →

I love to see a child do something for the first time. Otis has tried cutting before but it hasn't worked so well. Often he would eat the fruit and not see the point of cutting it. He struggled to hold the cutter. Today he got it and he got the point - it's so much fun. He got on a roll and cut his apple into small pieces. Otis has used tongs before but today was able to put it together - slicing then transferring onto a plate. I found peeled apple the easiest. Our bananas and strawberries got... Read more →

I had this fantastic idea for making children's bed linen. First I wanted to test my technique and my paints on a smaller project - a child sized tablecloth. The materials I used included: 1 metre square cotton tablecloth. I purchased the cotton and hemmed it myself. It's a bit big on the pictured round table but it fits Otis' weaning table perfectly. 1 round hole punch. Freezer Paper (this is my first project ever using freezer paper). Fabric paints. I cut out squares of freezer paper and Caspar punched a hole in the centre of each one. In a... Read more →

Montessori wrote of providing the child with the tools of observation. I take this literally and have found Caspar intently interested in using binoculars, magnifying glass and microscope all from the age of three. Other tools of observation? A worm farm is a great tool for observing worms. You can see Caspar preparing the farm here last year. He received the worm farm as a gift as a two year old. What a great gift, he still loves it and he's almost five. A bit of researching, a bit of drawing. Official notes, measurements and observations have been recorded. I... Read more →

I am a huge advocate of Montessori Parent-Toddler Programs. I loved the first program I attended with Caspar many years ago. There is only so much Montessori you can learn online and in books. Getting a first hand experience is invaluable. If you have a toddler and are even just slightly the littlest bit interested in Montessori I encourage you to check out a program near you. The room, the shelves, the materials are ready prepared. There is no preparation on your part the teacher/group leader has done the hard work for you. Your child is exposed to a wide... Read more →

Thank you from the bottom of my heart of all of your kind comments, tips, suggestions, funny stories and words of warmth and encouragement regarding my post on travelling with a toilet learning toddler. As I mentioned we weren't only travelling, we were travelling last minute, I was travelling with the boys without my husband (therefore feeling extra vulnerable) and we were also grieving for member of the family who is no longer with us. Gosh, I'm having trouble holding back the tears now. So how did we go? We left home at about 4.30am. I consider this to be... Read more →

I was getting a little frustrated with out kitchen set up. Otis cannot yet use Caspar's drinking station and he cannot open or close the pantry door with one hand while holding something in the other. Otis needed a little addition. This is a small coffee table that works a bit like a snack table. His water jug and glass are kept here unless he takes them to his table for a meal. This is where he gets a drink during the day. This is where I put his tray or snacks. The idea is that he doesn't eat here... Read more →

Otis' toys and materials at 17 months. Most of these I have written about before. We don't frequently buy toys but rather rotate them. 17 months feels like a good time to make an inventory. It's time for me to take stock of the materials Otis has and plan for the future. Eighteen months feels like a turning point and I want to be prepared. 1., 2. and 3. All stackers featured here. Yes, he's still using all of them! 4. Ball tracker. A range of tracking toys are featured here. 5. Imbucare box. 6. Pop up peg toy featured... Read more →

I LOVE the things Caspar brings home from school. I'm sure many are traditional Montessori activities but most of them I haven't seen before and never would have thought of doing at home. . I think here Caspar has used a puzzle map, tracing each state onto different coloured paper then using a push pin to punch out and pasting onto blue card. Caspar has been at school for two years and puzzle maps have constantly been his favourite material. . Push pin activities like this are great for preparing the hand for writing. This is one of the more... Read more →

. Do you get asked a lot of questions? Caspar asks questions constantly. Often he asks the same question repeatedly which gives me the impression that my answer wasn't satisfying and he wants to know more. . Caspar: What does a Cheetah eat? Kylie: What do you think a Cheetah eats? Caspar: I don't know. Kylie: Let's find out. Caspar: How? Kylie: How about we look it up? Caspar: Where? Kylie: How about in a book? Caspar: In my big book of animals! . Caspar knew where to find the answer he just needed help and guidance. First he had... Read more →

. Going back to my childhood home is always difficult. So many emotions. I grew up in a small country town surrounded by lots of space, fresh air and family. It's a great place for children. . It's comforting being surrounded by children. Especially bright and bubbly children. They are a reminder that life goes on. . . . . . P.S. You can see the most gorgeous picture of Otis taken by a pro photographer here. . Read more →