Previous month:
December 2012
Next month:
February 2013

It's the last week of our school holidays. I have realised that if Caspar went to a traditional school here in the ACT he would be in Kindergarten, not even in Grade 1 yet. I'm so thankful we have Montessori where age doesn't define the child - or what grade they are in. Next week he will be back at school which I am so thankful for. I cannot keep up with him at home. Now he will have his teachers and his friends in addition to us at home. Without school I'm not sure we could cultivate the community... Read more →

1. Plan Toy Geometric Peg Board, 2. Grimm's Small Octagon, 3. Grimm's Waldorf Square, 4. Alphabet Puzzle - Lower Case, 5. Wooden Tangram, 6. Australia Map Pegged Puzzle, 7. Plan Toys Geometric Sorting Board, 8. 3-D Feel and Find, 9. Voila Toys Fraction Tray, 10. Melissa and Doug Seasons Puzzle Set, 11. Melissa and Doug Butterfly Garden Jigsaw Puzzle, 12. Ravensburger Animal Kingdom, 13. Australian Animals Puzzle. I have so many favourites! I love that these puzzles cover so many different areas; maths, geography, culture, biology! When choosing puzzles for my children I consider each child's skill level and interests... Read more →

Looking for a gift for a child? How about some seeds, seedlings or a plant that produces fruit? Looking for a Montessori activity for your child? No need to buy a book or read a manual. Montessori at home is more about enjoying everyday living than many would acknowledge. We may not be milling our own flour (I'm working on that) or milking our own cow but Otis can still enjoy a process from start to finish. Pick. Wash. Slice. Serve. One seriously happy toddler. P.S. His knife is not sharp, it's not possible for him to cut himself with... Read more →

It's hot in Canberra. We've been enjoying all sorts of water play. Clam shell, hoses, buckets, taps, water wheel - every kind of water play I can think of. Today I put some different containers in the clam shell. You know I love to use recycled materials. . The kids can get nice and cool while using their hands (and their hand muscles) in different ways. Squishing, squeezing, pumping. . . But funnily enough after filling all of the containers they did this... . filled the trike and made deliveries to each other. All afternoon. . Read more →

As always I've been thinking about the materials I present to my children and as always I'm thinking about how they fit (or don't fit) with the Montessori philosophy. Thinking about the materials in a Montessori way helps to keep me on track, it reminds me what my beliefs are when often I'm looking for an easy way out. . When I was looking for a jigsaw puzzle for Otis I found some featuring cartoonish characters. I showed Otis the picture of the cartoon cow. "Cow" he said. The chicken. "Chick-ee". So he got it, he understood what the images... Read more →

While I was shovelling soil into our clam shell I was really hoping my neighbours weren't going to ask what I was doing. It would have felt silly explaining. "Well... I'm putting some dirt in here for the kids to play with??" We live in a city with close neighbours and yes they would have heard me shovelling. They also would have heard the shrieks that came only minutes later... "Worms! I've got one! There's another one here!". I didn't just put in any old soil in the clam shell, I put in soil full of worms. Earlier in the... Read more →

I'd like to introduce you to our latest sponsor Floorbeds for Fae. When Nicci approached me about sponsorship I knew that I had to ask her some questions and show you some photographs of their unique floor beds. I see that your business is new. Can you tell us how and why you started Floorbeds for Fae and who makes the floor beds? The idea for Floorbeds for Fae stemmed from Farron's (aka Fae) first bed. As Farron approached her first birthday, Dave and I excitedly planned her floorbed. He wanted to make something beautiful and magical for his daughter,... Read more →

1, 2 and 3 Circle, Square and Triangle Puzzle sold separately at Classic Baby or as part of a set from A2Z Montessori (Australia) or Kid Advance (US). 4. Increasing Circle Puzzle available from Classic Baby, A2Z Montessori (Australia), Montessori Outlet (US). 5 Circle Sorter Kid Advance or Amazon or Michael Olaf (US). 6 Kid O Recognising Shapes Puzzle from Amazon (US). 7 Shapes Puzzle from Manzanita Kids (US). 8 Part-Whole Perception Puzzle by TAG from Amazon or Michael Olaf (US). 9 Geometric Shapes Puzzle by TAG from Amazon or Michael Olaf (US). . Step One. Lay the Foundation -... Read more →

nat·u·ral·ist noun 1.a person who studies or is an expert in natural history, especially a zoologist or botanist. . These little jars are Invicta Young Naturalist Pods. The entire lid is magnified, making it easy for even the youngest to see a nice, clear, magnified image. It takes me back to thinking it's not our place to entertain our children but give them the right tools and they will be busy all day. . Read more →

What kind of bread do you like to eat? It's been a couple of months since we've purchased bread from the supermarket, it's been all homemade with the help of our bread machine. . I like variety and I think it's good for children to experience different tastes and textures - even in bread. Recently we baked a german grain loaf which is a dark brown and the kids didn't even think twice before eating it. For some price comparisons our supermarket mixed grain or soy and linseed is $3.50 a loaf. The loaf sizes are all similar - perhaps... Read more →

Yesterday Caspar and I worked together to make some personalised beads using FIMO. Totally inspired by Etsy artists. We wanted to make some gifts so we personalised the beads with rubber stamps and made necklaces. I love FIMO because it comes in some many different colours which stay bright after baking. FIMO needs baking but it doesn't shrink at all, which is good to know. I written about this before how using (pinching, rolling, shaping) FIMO is really good for building hand strength in preparation for writing. . . We rolled the FIMO into balls and pressed the sides flat.... Read more →

Montessori wrote of children needing only a few toys (as opposed to materials) and blocks (along with a special doll or bear) was what she suggested. Most educators support the use of blocks by children. Montessori went further and developed blocks as materials for her schools (I'm thinking pink tower, brown stairs). As I watch my children play with blocks they balance different shapes on top of each other, each with varying levels of success. I am reminded of Montessori's words on movement.The child has an instinct to co-ordinate his movements and to bring them under control. Yes, in trying... Read more →

Otis is now 21 months and is really enjoying playing with cars, trucks and diggers. The biggest change in the last month or so is puzzles. His favourite right now is an everyday items basket. A bucket, keys, measuring tape, container, peg, torch and telephone handset. Because it is the school holidays and we have been spending a lot of time at home the toys/materials are on high rotation. Perhaps every two to three days I'll change or add something. Much more frequent than usual. Read more →

Bikes parked where they are most convenient - outside the bedroom door. Perfect homemade (bread machine) bread. Caspar catching flying insects. One of my all time favourite Montessori books. Otis feeling. My children love Peepo. Read more →

Some add ons for Caspar's microscope study. A study journal and a DIY slide kit. The journal is for recording observations. It's nice and thick to encourage Caspar to use the pages freely. 50 printed pages and 50 blank pages. His microscope came with a kit that included glass slides and stains. It also included some prepared slides made from laminated card. While I could laminate our specimens I wanted Caspar to be able to prepare his slides completely independently. His DIY Microscope Slide Kit contains card (we've used recycled card from a cereal box) cut to size, a hole... Read more →