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September 2017
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November 2017

Is the young child capable of concentration? How about a child of one month? How long can they concentrate for? I know that a young child, from birth, is capable of concentration. Sometimes we need to see it ourselves before we can believe it. A young child needs to be given the opportunity to concentrate. They need time and space. They need for us, the adult, to be patient, not to interrupt. We need to provide a home environment that is just right, not too much (stimulus) and not too little. It's what I love about the Montessori approach, it... Read more →

Awesome Montessori Playgym Ideas

I'm starting to look around for ideas for Otto's playgym. You know I'm hanging his ball and perhaps a bell on a ribbon, ring on a ribbon and a few other interesting toys. I've been looking around for some inspiration! "When the infant, who has been looking at a toy hanging above him and intuitively reaching for it, finally reaches it and makes it move, this is an exhilirating moment. Instead of just being cared for and acted upon by others, the infant has reached out and intentionally acted upon his environment. He has literally "changed the world." Carefully selecting... Read more →

Otto's Montessori room at six weeks! Above in his change area. We have a wet bag on the room door handle for all the wet things, if we are using disposables we take them out straight away. I've previously written about why I love the change area on the floor, it's so much safer. We have two waterproof pads, one is bamboo and the other is wool. Otto on his movement mat and under the Octahedron mobile. Little wardrobe! This will be perfect once he is a toddler. Night light, diffuser and things. The playgym is currently in his room... Read more →

This book recently came up in my list of suggested reading. It's beautiful and too good not to share! We are currently loving A family is a family is a family written Sara O'Leary and illustrated by Qin Leng. The story begins with a teacher asking her students what makes their families special. The answers are diverse and heart-warming. Recommended for children 4-7 years of age. A family is a family is a family is open, honest and whimsical. This is such an important story to tell, that all families are different and all are worth celebrating. This is a... Read more →

Image: Claudiahausen. Many Montessori parents are attracted to the Pikler approach when their children are infants. There are a lot of similarities between Montessori and Pikler (focus on free movement, respect for the child) but also differences (Pikler has a simplified environment, no mobiles or hanging toys, no high contrast images/low art). I love to read about early childhood education and find Pikler's approach interesting. I also love to read about and explore materials used in early childhood education. I recently came across the Pikler Ball. We have a very similar ball, which is woven from New Zealand flax, so... Read more →

How was your weekend? It was rainy here which allowed us to enjoy some time indoors. Caspar and Otis worked on challenging Lego Technic projects. We also went to the local library which we hadn't done in a long time. It's so invigorating, we always find good books to read. Here are a few Montessori articles and things I've been enjoying: 9 Benefits of Forest Bathing and Why You Need to Try at Mama Natural. A Video Tour of Our Montessori Infant Area at Montessori in Motion. Some good ideas for involving toddlers in the kitchen at Cuddles and Caffeine.... Read more →

We recently received our order of mini playsilks from Etsy. They are absolutely gorgeous, they are hand dyed and the colours are vibrant. Silk is a beautiful natural fibre, it is a wonderful open-ended material that children of all ages can enjoy. I like the mini size (approximately 11 inches square) for infants as the child is able to play and pick them up without getting lost in them. The larger size playsilks are better for some uses especially for pretend play and dress-ups. We've been using the mini playsilks with Otto already (he's five weeks old). The boys (Caspar... Read more →

Have you been through the process of teaching your children sight words? It can be a little difficult to make the learning fun. Sight words can include puzzle words and high-frequency words. Puzzle words are words that cannot be sounded out or decoded by the child and therefore need to be memorized, making them extra difficult to learn. I've asked teachers for help with this before and have simply received a list of the sight words my child should know. Recently I asked another Montessori teacher friend and she gave me a handful of interesting and creative ideas to try!... Read more →

Mobiles are considered to be the child's first work but have you ever wondered what are the benefits of the mobiles, why go to all the effort, what's the big deal? There are physiological and psychological benefits to using the Montessori mobiles with your infant. "The process of myelinization of the nerve fibres is very quick and begins with the eye muscles. The child learns to control them in one month allowing him to follow what is happening in the environment much better. This is already an important step, since it implies a freedom to observe. Adults should recognize this... Read more →

We recently visited our local Biome store to find they have stopped selling many of our favourite products - our toothpaste, our sunscreen, our dishwashing liquid!! Biome has recently made a commitment not to sell any products containing palm oil. Who knew palm oil was in so many products? I was a little disappointed, these are brands and products we have used for years. On the upside many companies are now reconfiguring their products to remove the palm oil content. It's becoming easier to use online tools and stores like Biome to find palm oil free options. What is wrong... Read more →

I've been making a list of a few toys and materials that Caspar (9yrs) and Otis (6yrs) can make for Otto. I'm thinking of small stuffed toys or perhaps a pillow scented with lavender. Otis would love to do some more sewing. A few other toys come to mind immediately, toys inspired by the Montessori Grasping Beads, Ring on a Ribbon and the Bell on a Ribbon. We've used: a variety of wooden beads a variety of bells - coloured and silver wooden rings thick cotton cord transparent stretch cord embroidery needle (can be useful for threading the beads) scissors.... Read more →

What a week it's been! I'm so relieved the weekend is here. Thank you to those who responded to my request for help on Facebook. While I'm not feeling a hundred percent, I am improving. Are you looking for some interesting reading for the weekend? Here are a few articles that I'm loving: DIY Geometry Boards at Herbstkinder. This would be perfect for Otis (6yrs), Dramatic Shopping Game for Addition Practice at Cosmic Montessori School. I love these book recommendations at Frida Be Mighty. A few nice finds here at the Specials and Discontinued Items at Micheal Olaf. I've seen... Read more →

As usual, I've spent some time looking around for new materials. I've been looking ahead to what Otto might need in the upcoming weeks and months. In particular, I'm thinking about grasping materials and a playgym. Here are a few materials that I am loving, buying and DIYing on Etsy this week: Rainbow Mini Playsilks - These are 11 inches square. We had a couple of mini playsilks when Otis was little and they were so useful. I've found the larger playsilks are too big and infant can get lost in them. These are good for hanging from a playgym,... Read more →