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March 2018
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May 2018

I often shop on Etsy for my children, sometimes for clothes sometimes for learning materials. It is filled with ideas and inspiration. Here are a few things on my wishlist for little nature lovers. Kids Organic Birds T-shirt - Otis has a bug shirt by this company and he wore it for many years. I've ordered a new bug and this bird shirt for Otto, they are adorable. Plant These to Help Save the Bees Tote - I love everything in Hannah Rosengren's store! The tote would be lovely to take on a nature walk or to the farmers market!... Read more →

Have you been to Ikea recently? I know it's a favourite with a lot of Montessori families. I haven't been to Ikea for months, perhaps even a year. We're not close to a store here but there is always Ikea online. I needed to order some new picture frames so I took a look around and fell in love with the new Pleja basket. They are so handy and work well as a larger type of caddy (you can also slightly move around the black dividers). In most Montessori homes families will want to organise their children's materials on shelves... Read more →

"Maria Montessori taught us that the child's cry means "Help me to do it myself!" and a low bed can help him do important things by himself very soon. Such a simple means to such important ends. Once again we have to recognize our profound lack of comprehension for the capacities of the infant. From this stems our lack of faith in them, which impedes their development. We justify our erroneous behavior as being necessary to care for and protect them." - Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro M.D in Understanding the Human Being. The Importance of the First Three Years of Life.... Read more →

In Montessori children learn to love and appreciate all natural things. From seeds and flower buds to insects and Earthworms. It only makes sense that these living things intrigue children. My children have been looking at Earthworms, giving a real insight into the health of our garden and our Earth. Over the weekend, on Earth Day, we went on a search to determine where and how many Earthworms we have in our garden. We also participated in the Earthworm Watch Survey. Earthworm Watch is a collaboration between Earthwatch Institute (Europe) and the Natural History Museum in London. The survey gave... Read more →

Today I'm sharing a few Montessori inspired links and things that I've enjoyed this week: Spring Inspired Montessori Work for Toddlers at My Little Keepers. I love these cute shelves too. Montessori: Freedom Is Not the Same as Permissiveness (Part 1) at the NAMC Montessori Teacher Training Blog. THIS Garden Seed Exploration Set at Tanglewood Hollow, this has to be one of the most beautiful Montessori/Natural Learning stores around! Some of the products are downloadable so can be ordered around the world. The Trained Eye at Montessori Parent-Child Program. This is a good reminder about the role of the adult,... Read more →

This morning Otto found a brown paper bag and played with it for 20-25 minutes. It was the type of bag that makes a really crunchy sound. It was interesting to observe the different ways he played with it and explored it. Later in the day, he sought out the bag again, and again it held his attention and focus. It's such a good reminder about the value of non-toy toys! At seven months Otto is exploring with his hands but also with his mouth and feet. It's important to consider safety especially with non-toy toys, so I don't leave... Read more →

Once the infant is crawling and sitting, everything changes including the toys and materials we present to them. With materials like the pincer and palmer blocks, the egg and cup, the fact that the child is sitting independently to work, is more important to me than their age. Here are a few materials that Otto is using now that he is sitting. Above is the Wooden Mini Sorting Box. It's not specifically Montessori but it's great for the child's need to post items, to open and close and for coordination. I've only seen this in the UK but it's a... Read more →

We've just finished three weeks of spring break. Caspar and Otis have spent almost all day, every day, outside on their bikes, or on the neighbor's trampoline. They always come home hungry. While I often have snacks ready for them, sometimes I am busy with the baby. Sometimes I want them to get their own snacks - you know, life skills and all that. Today I am sharing three snacks that are really popular in our home. Caspar and Otis can make all of these themselves, without any adult help. It's usually Otis doing the baking but Caspar can help... Read more →

A month or so ago we installed this fantastic Solar System Mobile in Otis' room, it's huge but so interesting. I recently noticed a very similar mobile in this Montessori influenced room at calivintage. It has me thinking about all the various solar system models we've had in the boys' rooms (do you remember our crazy inflatable planets) and how much I love solar system work! There something about learning about the universe that has me feeling so very inspired. 1. Solar System Mobile - this is the mobile we currently have in Otis' room. 2. Uncle Milton Solar System... Read more →

As my children have grown older the difference between them and some of their non-Montessori friends has become greater. I understand there will always be personal, cultural and family differences but one difference I have noted is that Montessori families provide their children with real tools*. Good quality, sometimes excellent quality tools and materials, and guess what, the children respect them, they look after them and they know how to use them! To understand how this works we need to go back to the start. From toddlerhood, we teach the child to respect and care for their materials. We show... Read more →

Hapa Zome = leaf dye. Have you tried it? It's an excellent hands-on activity to do with young children! Ours turned out so beautiful I just had to share! All you need is some flowers or leaves, fabric, we used calico and a hammer. We work outside whenever possible and this is a great activity to do outside, in-between those April showers. We put a waterproof tarpaulin on the grass and work on some nice large wood pieces. We arrange our flowers in between two pieces of fabric or fold the fabric over, however, you can place the flowers on... Read more →

There is no substitute for good Montessori materials, however, let's not be too precious about it, most of us have mainstream toys in our homes too. Today I am sharing some of the mainstream baby toys we have and are currently using. All of these have been carefully selected, but from Amazon or from other popular online toy retailers. They don't take the place of Montessori infant materials but each has a specific purpose, each brings something to the child. Most of these are suitable for 3-6 months+. Plan Toys, Grimm's and Brio are some of our favourite mainstream toy... Read more →

What art materials do your children like using? Mine have been loving good old earthy clay. It's simple and underrated. There are many brightly coloured art materials and toys available for children it's easy to overlook or even forget about clay. There is so much competing for our child's attention and for our attention as parents. Clay is incredibly easy to use and in most locations, it is affordable and easy to find. Clay is a wonderful medium for children, it: is natural, helps to create a connection to our natural resources. has a really good weight, a large packet... Read more →

Today I'm sharing five Montessori articles, links and things that you might enjoy! It's fantastic to see furniture manufacturers taking notice - Sprout and Montessori at Sprout Kids. There are lots of good simple ideas here, Home Tour 2018 - Our new Montessori inspired apartment at La Tela di Carlotta. I love these book suggestions, many of these are new to me and have made it onto my wishlist - 10 Great Books about Spring and Gardening at Villa di Maria Montessori School. THIS illustration on free motor skills at Bourgribouillons, found via Minuscule Infini. If you are looking for... Read more →

I love nature tables but often they are seen as nothing more than a beautiful display. I want our nature tables to be more than beautiful, I want them to present real learning opportunities. Learning opportunities that are child led, that connect us to nature and allow the child to explore the natural world around them! To start we always bring something from the outside, inside. We love to use flowers from our garden, we have so many you can't notice that we've picked any. Like most children, Otis also collects rocks and bits and pieces while out walking or... Read more →