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March 2013
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May 2013

Morning. Caspar and Otis both wake (usually one wakes the other) and move into the kitchen to get breakfast ready. This is usually where I find them in the morning. After breakfast it's time to get dressed and take Caspar to school. . Once we've dropped Caspar at school Otis and I will go shopping (think fruit and vegetables, butcher etc), meet up with friends or go home. Once a week Otis and I attend a Montessori Parent-Toddler class at the school. . At home Otis is free to do as he likes but he usually stays close to me.... Read more →

I first met Karla many years ago when I was looking for some suitable aprons for Caspar. I loved the aprons in her Etsy store so much that I bought more than one for our own home and started buying them for friends. I remember featuring Karla's daughter Ruby here and I eagerly awaited another opportunity to find out more about this Montessori family. If you are skimming this post please stop and watch the video of Ruby washing the dishes. Essential viewing for parents with toddlers! Can you tell us a little about yourself, your family, and where you... Read more →

If you have children at a Montessori school have you ever wondered how they would adapt to a traditional school environment? Like many Montessori schools our school is primary only, it runs until the child is twelve and ready for high school. This means that at some stage my children will transition to another school. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Leah. Leah is a fun filled twelve year old and is a recent graduate from Canberra Montessori School. She has just finished her first term at Canberra Girls Grammar. I wanted to ask her a few questions about... Read more →

I caught these candid shots of Otis tonight, attempting to put on an apron. It's his art apron which goes over the head then the straps come together with velcro at the front. He can put it on independently so I sat back and waited. He couldn't get it on so he took it off and threw it on the floor, then picked out another apron (the red one) and proceeded to put it on without so much trouble. You can see the blue apron lying on the floor in the background. Well, he got there eventually. Read more →

I love the concept of Sunprints and have given them as gifts many times but until now have never used them myself. I ordered the Super Sunprint Kit and was surprised at the size, these sheets are around A4 size. Caspar and I did this together although once he is famiilar with the process he could do it independently. After assembling the kit we place our items on the blue paper and place in the sunlight. Once the paper fades almost to white we remove the items, rinse and leave to dry. It's like our Polaroid - the fun part... Read more →

. I'm told way too often that there aren't any photographs of me on the blog. There are a few if you look hard enough. Here we are braving the elements for food, really good food. . I have promised time and time again a post about our routine, about our schedule and how we fit Montessori (and housekeeping!) into our lives. I promise again that I will have a post on this soon. . Congratulations to Kelsey and her family on the birth of beautiful Dashiell, if you missed my share on Facebook here is her wonderful Montessori inspired... Read more →

From Caspar's earliest days at Montessori he loved Puzzle Maps. He would talk about Europe and working with friends on various puzzles. Then he started to bring home Puzzle Map artwork. First he brought home outlines of various states and countries. As time progressed he would bring home work with countries coloured in and with the oceans painted with water colour. . Next labels began to appear and map by map his handwriting improved. We have the map of the world framed and hanging on the wall but what to do with the others? We had over twelve pieces rolled... Read more →

Shelling peas. . Peeling and segmenting a mandarin fruit. After being shown this by his teacher Otis has been asking to do it at home. . . . Cutting cheese with a cleaver. The cleaver isn't very sharp, sharp enough to cut the cheese with pressure. . . Our slicer is being used for everything; eggs, strawberries, cheese and mushrooms! The mushrooms need to be fresh and placed this way up, otherwise they are too tough to cut through. , Mashing. . . Whisking. . . Mixing. You can see what Caspar and Otis are making here. School holidays =... Read more →

At five children are still so inquisitive and full of wonder. At five we started buying less toys and more materials or tools for learning and creating. Shadow puppets are on my wish list for Caspar and while researching this post I ordered a Sunprint Kit. This post contains some affiliate links and I have included US and Australian suppliers where possible. Thank you again to Neptune for the suggestion of the Cuboro - that's on my wish list too! . Checker Set . Shadow Puppets (Australia) . Sunprint Kit (Australia) . Cooperative Games . Knitting Tower . Magical Window... Read more →

. Over the weekend the boys explored charcoal as a new art medium. I wasn't sure about young children using charcoal until I read this article. Varying the depth of colour, smudging, shading, better for the children's fine motor skills - I was sold. The safety precautions are the same as chalk, not in the mouth and don't blow (or inhale) the dust. . We took this activity outside. It wasn't very messy at all. The children only needed to wash their hands and wipe the table down afterwards. Later we put the paper on clipboards so the boys could... Read more →

If you are wondering why you haven't seen this book before it's because it's a new release. Published in 2013 I suggest this is already a Montessori classic. Books of this calibre don't come along very often. I ordered it immediately knowing Susan's other publications The Joyful Child and Child of the World (Michael Olaf's Essential Montessori Series). This book is essential for all Montessori school and parent education libraries. Even for those well versed in Montessori this is a must read because it contains so much of Susan's personal experiences (from around the world) and her valuable insight. Child... Read more →

Expecting a baby? Having a baby shower? Attending a baby shower? Here are a few Montessori-ish baby gift ideas. This post contains some affiliate links. Essentials Baby Carrier. I love the Ergo. You may want to consider the infant insert also, essential for carrying a new born. Understanding the Human Being. A great Montessori book for pregnancy through to the first year. The best price I have found is via NAMTA. Topponcino and cover. This is one item I wish I knew about before I had my children. If I had anther baby this would be one of the first... Read more →

Pasting is usually on our art shelves. Otis hasn't been choosing the activity so I reassessed the pasting tray and made a few changes. . First I switched from a medium sized tray to a small tray. I feel Otis is more comfortable carrying the smaller trays especially when they are heavy. His pasting tray had a large glass jar for paste. He couldn't independently open the jar (which is what I wanted at the time) and the jar was heavy. I switched the paste to a small jar with a screw top lid which he can open independently. He... Read more →

Today we gathered with some of our dearest friends to celebrate Otis's second birthday. There was magic and balloons. This guy is fabulous! Otis's favourite part was the cake. This is our first party since we've committed to wholefoods. I think we did ok. Happy birthday Otis. We love you. More photographs at photo of the day. Read more →