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March 2017
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May 2017

I'm particularly inspired by all the painting that is going on around here! There is paint everywhere and I couldn't be happier. In our children's art area we encourage the use of natural and recycled materials, however, we also have a fantastic range of painting materials and supplies! Need some inspiration or ideas? Paint Pumps (similar US here). These have been so useful and we have them in all of our 2-litre containers of paint, there is no spillage and it's not possible to accidently empty the whole bottle. They are easy for a child or adult to use. Bulk... Read more →

In our home, the purpose of art is for creativity and self-expression. Sometimes it's about healing or processing the day's events. I have found free art can bring a sense of calm to the child. Great things happen spontaneously when children are free from judgement and where there are no expectations. The way to achieve this has been to provide free access to age appropriate art materials. The children have over time earned trust with the materials and are able to access the materials as they wish and to create as they wish. While our art area is in a... Read more →

Is a Montessori pregnancy different to any other pregnancy? I don't think so, there is not a lot that we do differently to other mindful parents. I have, however, been scouring my Montessori resources on tips or anything that might be useful during pregnancy. Here are a few quotes that I found insightful and interesting. On pregnancy: Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting: Become emotionally and physically prepared for pregnancy and birth. Research available options for healthcare providers and birthing environments, and become informed about routine newborn care. Continuously educate yourself about developmental stages of childhood, setting realistic expectations and... Read more →

I've been to school fundraising committee meetings where there have been lots of blank looks, where no one has been able to think of new fundraising ideas. It can be tough to think of fundraising ideas that are in line with the Montessori philosophy. I have been in Montessori schools where the fundraising ideas have been questionable, toy catalogues which contain very few (if any) toys that would be suited to a Montessori home, and I'm sure we've all been sold chocolates. Today I thought I would share some of the ideas I know about, those which may be more... Read more →

Today I've been looking at floor rugs and clearing out my office to make space for our Montessori nursery. I'm really enjoying the process. Here are six accounts to follow on Instagram that have ideas and gorgeous pictures of Montessori newborn and infant environments! Some of these have very little ones and some are still expecting so keep an eye on their accounts in the months to come! Nimo (mininimoo) / Lilae and Co (a family with twins!) La petite turquoise / Bunny + Bella (a lovely Montessori shop in the UK) Ludmila Varzinova / Eltern vom Mars The Bambini... Read more →

One of the ways we can support our child's learning is to incorporate literacy games into play. This is particularly useful if your child goes to school and you want to have fun rather than give them a specific lesson at home. There are countless games we can play many with just a pen and paper. When Otis started reading c-v-c words (consonant-vowel-consonant) he loved playing Zingo. More recently we have been playing with some Word Building Blocks. We have been using them for banners such as for days of the week. We have been labeling lots of toys and... Read more →

In our home we use brushes everyday. We use them for scrubbing, brushing and general cleaning! Why not offer your child the opportunity to clean alongside you or perhaps give the child their own brushes for their own work? It's an easy way to introduce five minutes of Montessori into your day! There are many child-size brushes available and they can make a difference, they are easier for the child to use and coordinate, but don't let not having a specific child size bush stop you or your child. Using a brush can be good for developing fine and gross... Read more →

We love having lots of natural resources at home to explore. My children enjoy picking up sticks, rocks, dead insects and gumnuts on nature walks. It's also really wonderful to see these things under the microscope! However, we would never take a large shell or starfish from the beach, we have failed to find a peacock feather in nature and I've never seen a geode on our wanderings. When I have really wanted to show these items to the boys I have on occasion purchased them online. Generally, they have all been low cost and well worth the effort. I'm... Read more →

Pictured: Year 2 Qld Half Page Ruled Paper / Cursive hand-writing sheet provided by our Montessori school / Early Years Dictionary Qld I have found that Montessori classrooms vary in their approach to spelling in the elementary (primary) years. This is an idea that I received from a Montessori teacher and have adapted to use at home. I introduced a personal dictionary to Otis when he was almost six and approaching the second plane of development (6-12 years). When the child first begins to write we do not make corrections with either grammar or spelling, we do not write on... Read more →

Montessori on the Double / How we Montessori / Feeding the Soil / An Everyday Story / Mothers Abroad / 280 Dias Many parents ask how many activities they should have out. I had the same question when my boys were young. It's a balance because you don't want too many (difficult to look after and can overwhelm) or too few (don't offer enough choice). What is the magic number? I put this question to the teacher in our parent-toddler class and her answer was around nine and not more than twelve. This number worked for us for all of... Read more →

We've had a wonderful start to Easter. It's been nice and relaxed, busy without rushing. We are coming to the end of our school holidays so the boys have lots of arts and projects in progress, there is lots to work on. We are also spending time this weekend with family. We are not big consumers at Easter. We often have an Easter egg hunt but this year the boys will share only a few chocolate eggs. The celebration is about hope, renewal and new life and I don't feel the need for additional gifts. We are rejecting the consumerism... Read more →

Art For Baby / Look Look! / Baby Animals Black and White If you are looking for a baby shower gift or a gift for an infant I recommending looking past busy, flashing and active toys and consider a really simple, beautiful book. Active toys are often used to pacify a child and books offer so much more. A carefully selected book will be appreciated by even the most minimalist family and is completely recyclable. But do babies really need books? Here are a few reasons we provide books in the newborn and infant stage. Books provide the opportunity for... Read more →

Montessori Forest Schools - The Best of Both Worlds?

If I had a choice I would send my children to a Montessori Forest School. It feels like the best of both worlds! Although my children attend a Montessori school with teachers who endeavour to create a deep connection to nature, they don't have the daily outdoors exposure and contact with nature that I would like or that I feel is needed. Most Montessori schools have outdoor classrooms, in which the children can come and go as they like. Some 'outdoor classrooms' are fabulous and are awe-inspiring, however, others are lacking. Some Montessori schools have amazing natural outdoor play areas,... Read more →

My children have a week left of the school holidays including the upcoming Easter break. I've been putting away a few activity ideas. Here are five I can't wait to try! All of these require simple materials that can be found around the home. 1. What Plants Need for Growing at Montessori Little Pearl. I love the labels above the jars. So effective. 2. Using photographs as inspiration for painting at Natural Learning Kids. This is a great idea to stimulate learning and I love this choice of photograph, it's clear and close up with distinguishing features, could match to... Read more →

We set up a new indoor play area using some artificial turf. Who knew it would be so popular? At the moment it's covered with dinosaurs! Refresh of our art area. At the moment it's all about paint! This area gets used daily so we simplified and cleaned up a little. With our art shelves, we apply the same principles that we apply to our toys. Rotate - keep the favourites, put away what isn't being used and occasionally bring in some new materials to spark or further develop an interest. I love Otis' Magformers creations (can you see the... Read more →