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Today I have invited Inger-Lisa from Montessori Shop over to talk a little about herself, parenting and her new online store. Inger-Lisa is new to Montessori and only took over Montessori Shop earlier this year, so I hope you will make her feel welcome! Can you tell us a little about yourself, how you came to own Montessori Shop and perhaps what attracted you to Montessori in the first place? I live semi-rurally in New Zealand with my partner Gareth and we have two young children; our son Arlo is two years old and our daughter Florence has just turned... Read more →

You know I love a good gift guide! When Otis turned five I promised a gift guide for five year olds (you can see the gifts we gave him here). The difficulty is, at this age, children have so many interests. At five I find children are exploring more about the world around them, showing more interest in animals, fossils, dinosaurs, plants, planets - science! So I've put together a gift guide for five year old's focusing on all things science! Any of these would be a wonderful addition to a Montessori home (or classroom)! 1. Geography - World Globe... Read more →

Otis has been so sick today, we were unable to leave the house. Hopefully it will pass soon. So, I thought I would let you know how our light table is going. I really love the light table (source in Australia, and it's still on sale). It is round which I bought intentionally to go on this spare round table. It is super light and thin, it would be easy to put away. It is really bright, the room does not have to be darkened at all to be effective. I always thought they had to be in a dark... Read more →

The boys are finally on school holidays! Over the weekend we went to the Out of the Box Festival, which is a huge arts festival in Brisbane for children 8 years and under. There are very few art festivals specifically for children this young. I love these words from the Festival Director Brett Howe: "This is a festival of little experts and big communities, of bold productions and intimate encounters and of electrifying moments and contemplative experiences." First we went to the Holi Throw. Above Caspar and Otis are suited up ready to go in. This was so much fun... Read more →

I recently read there is no causative link between screen time (yay!) and myopia however time spent outdoors has been found to be a protective factor. Have you seen this see-through classroom in China - they bring more light into the classroom to combat the myopia epidemic. At school both of my children can work outdoors if they like, they have an outdoor classroom which is a bit of a Montessori concept that the children can work seamlessly from inside to outside. I know most of us would agree that Forest or Nature Schools are such a fantastic idea where... Read more →

When making parenting decisions I always think about what is going to benefit the children in the long term. What can I do today to help them tomorrow? Fostering independence is one of those things. It is harder at the start but in the long run it is of great benefit. While using a crib might be easier in the short term I knew a floor bed was best for my children. The upfront difficulty of using a floor bed is baby proofing their entire room. Why do we use a floor bed? Freedom of movement. Children are not confined,... Read more →

I have been asked to post some Montessori playroom ideas. While I was putting together my thoughts I took a look at some of our play areas through the years. Our entire home is Montessori so we don't have any specific Montessori areas or a Montessori playroom. Often the children's bookshelves have been in their bedrooms, their blocks have been stored in seperate areas and we've always had a seperate art area. So the boys toys and things have been spread out around our home. Anyway, here are some images of our play spaces/work areas over the years. Each room... Read more →

Today I want to share some of the fun crafts Otis has been using recently. He is really enthusiastic about all of these and will work on them whenever he gets a minute. 1. Pattern Beading. Otis has been using these for weeks, we have the beads and set from Ikea. 2. Beading. We have coloured jewellery wire, wire snips (which Otis can use), lots of beads, metal clip hardware and pipe cleaners. Otis picked out the beads at our local craft store, he likes to make bracelets and key ring holders with the hardware, he also loves making bracelets... Read more →

Over the weekend we had the opportunity to preview a wonderful school holiday activity! It involved ice-cream, chocolate and delicious smoothies! Throughout the school holidays, Cowch have organised a fun experience for kids to go behind the scenes, creating their own smoothies and naked pops. The Kids Cowch Experience is heaps of fun and is also very delicious (you can book here). Cowch is a Dessert and Cocktail Bar located at South Bank, Brisbane. It's a great place to stop with the kids. South Bank is one of our favourite locations and over the school holidays we will be visiting... Read more →

Today I have some kitchen inspiration for you. Our kitchen gets cluttered easily so I find these images refreshing. As always, simplicity is key! Above Montessori for the home - a practical guide at Eltern vom Mars - this fantastic site has so many kitchen and food preparation images that are really beautiful! Montessori inspired kitchen corner for a toddler at Chroniques d'une globe-t├ęteuse. Keep an apron nearby and some cleaning tools. I love how warm this space feels with the lovely images on the wall. Beau's Montessori Kitchen Shelf at Belle + Beau. A place for everything and everything... Read more →

Today I'm talking to Simone from The Montessori Notebook and Jacaranda Tree Montessori based in Amsterdam. I love following Simone as her toddler environments are always inspiring and she presents really useful information for parents on her website. However, today Simone is sharing with us details about her e-course Setting Up Your Home Montessori Style. This is the first e-course I have endorsed. So why now, why this course? Firstly because I really like and trust Simone. She is an AMI trained teacher. Watch a couple of her videos (there is one below) and you will get a feel for... Read more →

"Our schools have shown how children of different ages help one another. The younger ones watch what the older ones are doing and ask all kinds of questions, and the older ones explain. This is really useful teaching, for the way that a five year old interprets and explains things is so much nearer than ours to the mind of a child of three that the little ones learns easily, whereas we would scarcely be able to get through to him. There is harmony and communication between them that is not possible between an adult and such a young child.... Read more →

Whenever I walk into Ikea I see so many possibilities. I have been interested in their new children's art (Mala), toy (Lattjo) and small furniture (Flisat) ranges! Have you seen them yet? They have a lot of new materials that would be great for a Montessori home. Otis and I visited on the weekend, here is what we picked up! Baskets and Trays 1. Viktigt Dish - Wouldn't this be lovely on the nature table! 2. Viktigt Basket - Set of Two - The lids also make really lovely trays! Otis has his gems in the smaller lid and they... Read more →

It's Friday and the boys' school had a student free day. The weather has been fantastic so we headed to South Bank for a swim. You can see lots of pictures from today here. I have been reading Helping young children with everyday transitions at Whole Family Rhythms. There are times when Otis struggles with the transition from school when it's time to go home. I've read every piece of advice I can find but I still can't work out what his triggers are. I love this idea for an Alphabet Box (on Etsy). Also on Etsy I love this... Read more →

Montessori Toddler Room at Summersplayshouse. This is an excellent post showing why we use a floor bed; you can see this gorgeous little one crawling out of bed and over to her shelves to play! So cozy and with a few hand made touches too! So modern, I love this style! A Scandinavian Montessori toddler room at A Montessori Toddler Room of His Own at Finding Dutchland. This makes a floor bed look mainstream! How to create a Montessori inspired bedroom/playroom at Show Me Montessori. Make sure you click through - I think you might like this blog! I have... Read more →