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May 2018
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July 2018

Montessori Weaning Around the World - ideas and words from Montessori Parents and Guides.

Because Montessori looks different in every home! Today I'm sharing lots of advice, ideas and pictures of Montessori weaning tables and place settings from around the world. These are from parents and Montessori trained guides. "This Montessori inspired placemat has been a great success so far. He can set the table himself and most importantly, he knows where each item goes while eating/drinking creating more order." - Ruchi (Parent). "In today’s session I showed this little guy how to cut up watermelon, juice an orange and taught him how to set the table. He was so proud of himself!" -... Read more →

Otto is three months into his weaning journey and it feels a lot of my time and energy is focused on food. Otto hasn't taken to using a weaning glass as easily as Otis did, and Otto throws more of his food. So weaning has been a little more frustrating this time around! I wanted to share some of my top weaning tips, it's a bit of a reminder for me but hopefully, you'll find them useful too. 〉Babies learn through observation so your baby needs to see you eat! Ensure that even if they are eating at their weaning... Read more →

Where do you keep all of your children's science supplies? We were keeping them in the kitchen, but then it started to get weird. Having shaving cream and pipettes on Otis' kitchen shelves didn't seem right. It's easy to have these things placed around the home but because of my children's current interests, I like to keep them together, keep them well stocked and in one easily accessible place. So we've put together a little Children's Home Science Kit. You can start to put items together from toddlerhood, like shaving cream, pipettes and food colouring or bicarbonate of soda. The... Read more →

With the school holidays approaching I've pulled out some of our science experiments books and bought a few new ones. I've given the boys each a pack of sticky notes and asked them to put them next to the experiments they would like to try. This will keep them busy and engaged over the summer break. I thought I would share the science experiment books we have and use the most. The age recommendations are very general and are to be used as a guide only, all of these experiments require adult supervision. 1. The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book... Read more →

We've been using a Sleep Balm to help the children settle and go to sleep at night. Otto (9 months) never liked the bath and bed routine, he finds it too stimulating. Otis (7 years) always needs time to the end of the day to process things, to clear his mind. Once the children are in bed I apply a little sleep balm on their pulse points and often on the bottom of their feet using a soft circular motion. It's such a lovely way to connect with them before they fall asleep. We've been using handmade but purchased Sleep... Read more →

A few pictures from around our home today. You can't stop kids from collecting. This is Otis' UK beach treasure collection. So precious! Lots of rocks and sea glass. We can teach children how to value and take care of their collections, a little display box is a nice. We are supporting Otis' interest in Astronomy. I'm hoping for clear skies so we can see some of these stars. Using a telescope and locating the stars isn't easy but we are learning alongside Otis. Otto learning about object permanence. His first puzzle! We finally put a little mirror up in... Read more →

Fresh Montessori Shelf and Activity Ideas - Infant and Toddler

Who doesn't love a good Montessori shelfie? There is always lots of new ideas to be found when taking a peek into other people's homes. Here are a few Montessori infant and toddler shelves full of interesting materials. The above-pictured shelves are for a 10 month old, which is useful as my youngest is now nine months, it's good to look ahead. This family is based in the UK. These are shelves for a one-year-old. The thing that I take away from these shelves is that all the materials add something, they are all purposeful, there is nothing superfluous -... Read more →

I'm starting to think about pounding and hammering toys for Otto (nine months) and I'm also starting to get some ideas for his first birthday! We have the Hammer Game with Balls (#3), c/o Manine Montessori). A few of my Montessori friends have used the Plan Toys Miracle Pounding toy (#5) and have recommended it to us. Otis used the Melissa and Doug Pound and Roll Tower (#9) in his Montessori toddler class and loved it so much we got it at home, he used it for almost a year, it was so worth the money. I'm also loving the... Read more →

I'm loving anything thrifted, handmade or repurposed. There are some lovely Montessori materials that I'm going to invest in but I like to DIY a few things too! Here are three DIY materials that we are currently using and loving with Otto at nine months. These are suitable with supervision once the infant is sitting, perhaps from 6-12 months+. Above is a ball tracker made from an egg rack (similar here). I've seen this used a few times in Montessori toddler rooms, but I can't find any examples right now. Unlike traditional tracking toys, the infant isn't tracking from side... Read more →

I was recently reading article about Montessori in the home and gentle parenting that left me feeling slightly unorganized, my house suddenly felt a little too messy, life a little too chaotic. After discussing this with a friend and also thinking about it internally, I realized there was something wrong with this idealized picture of how life should or could be. I have no doubt the author was authentic but her life is different from mine in one major way - this family has one child. We have three children including an infant. I remember how easy it was to... Read more →

one. / two. / three. / four. / five. / six. / seven. / eight. / nine. I've been searching for some cute Montessori aprons for my children and also for some gifts. I've been feeling inspired by these cute and colourful aprons! I'm thinking summer fruits, strawberries and watermelons, wildflowers, toadstools and chickens. What's not to love? Montessori aprons promote independence and, self-sufficiency, they empower the child and set the tone for the activity. We love that even toddlers can learn to put these on and take them off themselves. Most of these have elasticised neckbands and velcro on... Read more →

We don't need to provide a lot of activities to promote gross motor development, it really comes naturally to the child and they will find things in the environment to support them. But it is important that we provide a safe environment and sometimes that means giving them things to climb up on rather than them climbing on unwanted things like chairs or tv cabinets. It means that we need to provide an environment that supports movement. A lot of families will provide gross motor activities outdoors but there is no reason it can't be done inside too. One of... Read more →

In January we moved our family of five out of our home in Brisbane (Australia) to Wiltshire in England. Otto was three months old when we left. As you can imagine it's a big move that required a lot of planning. We spent over a month in temporary accommodation and much longer without any of our shipped toys and belongings. If I was going on a holiday for a week or so I wouldn't worry about bringing any mobiles or many toys or materials. But for a couple of those weeks, we were still in Brisbane, my husband was still... Read more →

The Waldorf approach to parenting and education is very different to the Montessori approach. However, while recently looking through board book suggestions for Waldorf families I found a few books that I loved and that I instantly knew would appeal to some Montessori families too. There are a few characteristics that make these books Waldorf or more suitable for Waldorf families including: Beautiful, kind, full of joy. Calm, with dreamy illustrations. Soothing, warm. Gentle, often with soft and muted illustrations. Designed to encourage the imagination and to nourish the child's sense of delight in the natural world. Many are wordless... Read more →

Today I want to share my top five Montessori home and room tours. I've found all of these useful and they have all impacted my parenting and our home environments. These tours help to explain how the rooms work, how they are laid out, it's not just about the materials. 1. Lisa Mahar (from Kid O) at the New York Social Diary. This is an old article but it has stayed with me over the years. Those cute little beds have influenced the beds I have wanted for my children and I've constantly referenced the playroom and how well organised... Read more →