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December 2014
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February 2015

Bathrooms are a room where independence is so important. And yet we let the bathroom slide a little. Thinking, it's ok, the boys can reach, they can see the mirror. However it became apparent that it wasn't ok and there were a few changes we could make to encourage independence and get this bathroom a little more like our previous bathroom. The wall behind Otis isn't fully tiled which makes attaching things to the wall a little more difficult. So we've put a smaller mirror (but it attaches very strongly with a suction cap) on the shower wall, along with... Read more →

A book can change a child's life. A book can change the world. Every book a child reads creates new neurons in that child's brain. If you want intelligent children give them a book. If you want more intelligent children give them more books. - Jackie French, Senior Australian of the Year 2015. Hands Can, Global Babies, Carry Me, Baby Faces Smile!, First 100 Words, Families, Touch and Feel Farm and Mini Masters. Just before Christmas my sister asked her friends and family for book suggestions for her eight month-old son. The suggestions she received were all very populist -... Read more →

There are a few people in our lives that we don't let know how much we appreciate them (I'm thinking cousins, Aunts). Some are single and some are widows - how nice it would be to send them a small, handmade, child made Valentine's Day gift. Something little for them to enjoy. I've purchased baths salts many times (I love using Etsy) and recently I've been using a store bought 'magnesium foot soak'. It didn't take me long to discover these products can be easily, simply and cheaply made at home. And I'm talking no compromise on quality. So I... Read more →

I am having some major anxieties about the boys going back to school next week. My anxieties are not about the actual schooling but about getting there on time. I'm giving myself some grace. I am in a new city I am not at all certain with. It's a new route and it's a fair drive. I love the rhythm that comes with being at home. Sleep when you are tired. Wake when you are ready. Not it's bedtime because we have school in the morning. School doesn't really fit rhythm, it requires a schedule. At 7.30am we need to... Read more →

Today's making and baking required a lot of patience and persistence. I've tried to awaken a sourdough culture many times without success. It's really maintaining the warm/high temperature that I have struggled with. Luckily in our current heat maintaining the temperature of my culture was not a problem. This sourdough was three days in the making but the good news is I have a lovely culture waiting for me to use next time in the refrigerator. Kids and bread baking are a perfect match. I think it's all the time children have spent using play dough that they know their... Read more →

A Learning Tower or Kitchen Helper is often recommended to young Montessori families. When my eldest was about eighteen months old I remember wondering it if was worth it - they are such a big purchase. There are two main reasons I decided it was worth it. Safety - step stools, chairs can be used by children to access the kitchen bench. However at eighteen months or even younger I wanted my children to concentrate on what they are doing with their hands, not having to worry about their balance. I wanted to be able to step away from them... Read more →

Image credits: Waseca, Pyjama School, Montessori en Casa, Arabesque Scissors, Pinterest, Creative Kismet, Mommy Moment, Montessori Print Shop, River Valley Montessori, Healthy Beginnings Montessori, Strawberry Milk and Montessori Album. I'm starting to think about Otis' birthday this year and I'm considering making our own birthday circle inspired by the Montessori Celebration of Life enjoyed at many Montessori schools. I know both of my boys would enjoy this tradition for many years to come. I'm thinking of making a felt mat but I love the wooden suns and of course the candles. These examples are so perfect! For further information on... Read more →

Today I thought I would try something different and take a more candid approach to capturing Montessori in our home using my iPhone. This is Montessori in it's everydayness. Getting dressed. Pouring a drink. Sweeping. Or not. Learning with letters. Learning about animals. What's inside animals? Working with their hands. Caspar learning latch hook - it's turning out pretty amazing. Baking. Beetroot and chocolate cake - via Organic Sisters. Being proud. Feeling satisfied. Montessori smelling bottles. Icing. Finishing the job! A reassuring bed time story. Good People Everywhere. I hope you had a lovely day too! Read more →

This week I've been looking for a couple of 'extra' indoor activities for the boys to enjoy out of the rain. We have been spending lots of time outdoors but extra time inside this week. I love mandalas and thought these printables would be a great way for my children to experiment with numeracy, colour and pattern. Best of all this set was two dollars. I also really love this one. Both children have been using it, Caspar in more imaginative ways and Otis has been building basic structures and patterns. The most inspiring homeschooling community I've seen at Wild... Read more →

A week or so before Christmas we visited Ikea. For the first time - ever. While being overwhelmed in so many ways I loved looking at all of their items which would be useful for a Montessori home. Obviously at a good price point. I haven't tried all of these items, but here are some of my suggestions and ideas for a Montessori home for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. FURNITURE Kallax Shelving Unit - Placed horizontally would work for infant/young toddler shelves. PoƤng Children's Armchair - We need one of these! A perfect place for a young child to sit... Read more →

This morning I literally searched online for 'rainy day activities for kids'. I didn't find anything even remotely interesting. It may be summer but it's also the wet season. Above Otis puts labels on body parts. As he labelled each body part I gave him some new information about that particular part. This is Otis' body traced, cut out and freely drawn on by him. A great activity for body awareness which children of this age seem to love. Perhaps the beach? My goodness, this might be one of my new favourite places. Thank you to good friends with good... Read more →

I would love to turn this into a weekly series. What do you think? Most families no matter their philosophy do lots of making and baking. Perhaps we can share some fabulous recipes? I found this one via Real Food with Kids (via Instagram) however the recipe is here Rustic Homemade Marshmallows Corn/Egg/Refined Sugar Free at the Urban Poser. It's made with honey and it is absolutely amazing. It's difficult for children to help in the early stages as the honey needs to be heated however once it has set they can do the rest. They can do the cutting,... Read more →

1. Pouring with a small funnel and a small bottle, 2. Pouring with a funnel and large bottle, 3. Transferring with a pipette (using colour mixing bottles), 4. Transferring ping pong balls with wire skimmer, 5. Pouring from pitcher to pitcher, 6. Transferring with pipette into ice tray, 7. Transferring sponge with mini metal tongs, 8. Transferring with large baster. It happens the same time every year. Christmas is over and our guests have left. The excitement and over- stimulation have finished and Otis is acting out-of-sorts. The boys have been spending lots of time on the water slide, at... Read more →

1. Fraction Circles, 2. Fraction Skittles, 3. Fractions 3-part Card Set, 4. Fraction Formula Game, 5. Wooden Fraction Puzzle 6. Grimm's Wooden Fraction Circles, 7. Plastic Fraction Circles, 8. Magnetic Fraction Tiles. There is no doubt, I think the best way to introduce fractions in the home is through practical life. Cutting a sandwich or apple in half, or in quarters. Baking and measuring ingredients. Using folding cloths. However puzzles like the Grimm's Wooden Fraction Circles are a delightful way for the very young to work with fractions. One of the reasons I wanted to write this post is to... Read more →