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July 2016
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September 2016

Today I wanted to show you some nature tables designed for the Montessori (home and school) environment. The change in seasons is always a good time to refresh the nature table. While our nature table isn't always season specific, I'm always looking for new ideas! Above Making an Autumn Nature Table at Grow Grow Grow! For the home environment, I love the idea of using the season themed colour tablets. A poem on the chalk board is a lovely idea! A nature table at Helensville Montessori. Insects in resin are always a nice touch. I think there is also an... Read more →

My kids are always starving after school. They love nothing more than coming home and having snack. The boys also love chocolate milk which is a reason I really wanted to try these new (just launched) superfood powders for kids. They are made by a local, Queensland company so I knew I had to share them. Mavella Superfoods provided us with their superfood powders to try. Above the boys are drinking the Brain Boost, just like a chocolate milkshake (but good for them), it contains cacao, kale, chia and probiotics. Another powder we mix to make milkshakes is the Immune... Read more →

Montessori 'Action' or 'Command' Card are really easy to use at home. They are simple to make; they can be hand-written or printed. They can be adapted to your child's level of reading, from simple consonant-vowel-consonant words to complex phrases. Otis is still learning some of his phonograms, and he knows some sight words (such as 'the'), so I know I can mix up the cards and include some that are easy and some that are more challenging. Unlike other Montessori activities, I think this one is really good to do at home; it doesn't take away or duplicate any... Read more →

I have included some more photographs from my visit to the Montessori International College, if you missed my previous post please go and have a look, it's a unique school. Above and below are areas of the 3-6 year playground. The photograph below is of a 6-9 year kitchen. The kitchens are located in between the classrooms. It is a well used area. While taking these photographs children were using this space to independently make toasted sandwiches for lunch. It is difficult to see that this area is all at the child's height, all of the benches, sink, and stove... Read more →

Today I had the privilege of visiting the Montessori International College at the Sunshine Coast, Australia. The College is in a purpose built facility and caters for students from three to eighteen years. They also run a Parent-Toddler class. Yes, you read that right, they offer a full high school program! This school has so many unique features it was a delight to visit. I hope you enjoy this little tour. This is a part of the playground for 3-6 year students. There is a sand pit in this covered area. This yarn bombing looks fabulous. The main building has... Read more →

Otis has just come out of a period where he would bring home several pieces of Metal Inset work daily. The Metal Insets are used to help with pencil control, to refine hand movements in preparation for writing. "When the child has begun these exercises, he is seized with a desire to continue them, and he never tires of drawing the outlines of the figures and then filling them in. Each child suddenly becomes the possessor of a considerable number of drawings, and he treasures them up in his own little drawer. In this way he organizes the movement of... Read more →

We've changed our nature table into a whale exploration area! When I don't want to purchase any new materials I turn to my printer. I've printed out some excellent resources to help the boys make sense of their whale watching adventure. I want them to learn from the materials, to find out the answers themselves. Otis collected his model whales and the globe. I collected all of our printed materials and some pictures. We put a basket of whale-themed books next to the table. A migratory map with our globe. Parts of a whale (baleen) cards. The descriptions of each... Read more →

"When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength." - Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child. There is something to be said about salt water therapy and spending time in nature. Last weekend we drove to Byron Bay. I didn't mention it to the boys before we left but at this time of year, it is a well-known spot for whale watching!! The boys were so surprised to see the whales. There were at least three humpback whales frolicking off the coast giving us a wonderful display. We loved every minute of it! It's nice to learn... Read more →

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 I know many children are preparing to go back to school or perhaps starting school for the first time! If you are starting at a new Montessori school chances are you have already completed an observation and your children may have already visited their classrooms. My children started in the Montessori classroom (Cycle One) when they were around three years old. When I found Jack Goes To Montessori School, I was thrilled. While it's not an official back-to-school or starting school book, I think it's perfect for reading at... Read more →

Today I have a few more Montessori classrooms to show you. They are all unique and all very beautiful. The uniting features? The materials, the open layout, the workspaces, the natural finishes! Above is Little Birds Montessori Preschool near Geneva Switzerland. Headland Montessori, Manly, New South Wales, Australia. This classroom is very open and I love the timber flooring. Seton Montessori School, IL, USA. The stained glass windows are amazing. Sancta Maria Montessori Pre-School, Christchurch, New Zealand. This building is so lovely. The Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola University Maryland. Although this is a teaching facility, a model school, there... Read more →

Today we have Rochelle from I Can Do It Montessori presenting some toddler water activities. Rochelle is an experienced Montessori guide. I love taking a peek into her classroom. These are more than play activities they are valuable, practical life experiences. All photographs are from Rochelle's Montessori toddler community but you will find lots of ideas and inspiration for the home. I really love the way Rochelle describes the activities and the role of the parent/guide. There are many take home messages here. Thank you to Rochelle for the following post! For all these activities you'll need a water source... Read more →

When is the best time to introduce your child to a microscope? When they are curious! When they ask questions only a microscope can answer. When you have something truly fascinating to show them. If they loved reading Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes - that time is now! The world around us provides many free and amazing learning materials, all we need to do is to reach out and use them! The microscope allows the child to explore the world in a completely different way. The first time a child uses a microscope or views a cell can be... Read more →

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 If you are in the US or Canada you might be getting ready to send the kids back to school. I thought it was the perfect time to talk about something I love... backpacks! From a Montessori perspective, there are a few things to consider when selecting a new backpack: Size! Does the bag fit the child? Especially with a toddler or preschooler ensure the backpack is not too big, this may require some research and shopping around, but it is important. Search for 'mini'... Read more →

Image: My Nature Place and Montessori Have you been watching the Olympic Games with your children? Have you been doing any specific Olympic activities with them? Today Caspar had his school sports day. During the opening of the event, the school principal gave the children several quotes by well-known Olympians. It was such a nice way to start the day and get the kids into the Olympic spirit. "Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It's our goal in life to find it and keep it lit." - Mary Lou Retton "Gold medal aren't really made... Read more →

Chopping (peeled) apple with Crinkle Cuttler / Apple Sequencing Puzzle / Parts of the Apple Puzzle Cookie cutter apples / Inside Outside fruit / I Spy sound game Phonetic mini books / Taste testing apple varieties / Fabric fruit prints Apple slinky / Apple slicer and corer / Cutting out fruit shapes, scissor work Apple life cycle work / Apple sequencing cards / Grating apple. My kids are crazy for apples right now. There are so many Montessori activities that include apples for all ages. Above I have listed a few of our favourites. I also love the idea of... Read more →