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July 2018
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September 2018

Today I moved some infant furniture around and I thought it would be useful to share some of the different chairs that Otto (11 months) uses. Finding suitable chairs for babies of this age can be difficult, you want the child to be able to use them but you want them to be long lasting too! Otto uses all of these chairs, he has been able to independently sit in all of them - get in and out, from around nine months. L-R: Cube Chair / Me-Do-It Chair / Montessori Weaning Chair Cube Chair: Seat height is 20cm. These are... Read more →

There is no way I could write a 'day in our life' type of post. There are too many things going on. But two hours, perhaps I can document two hours of our day? Above Otto is walking up and down our front yard with the Radio Flyer walker wagon. He is really steady on his feet and I'm sure he will be walking independently soon. The walker wagon is a good way to support the child while not forcing them into unnatural positions or progression. Mostly we use it inside but today Otto took a walk outside. The grass... Read more →

We still have another week of school holidays to go so I've been bookmarking a few new recipes for Otis to try. He is able to read simple recipes but he still finds pictorial or illustrated recipes more interesting and easier to use. Here are a few I've put aside for him (pictured above): Chocolate Cake Blueberry Muffins - and here too. Cheesy Vegetable Bake - requires (free) registration to download. Mango Yogurt Popsicles Pancakes Chocolate Chip Cookies Irish Soda Bread Banana Bread Hometown Biscuits These are all designed to be very basic recipes with minimal ingredients and steps. Even... Read more →

"As the child explores the environment, she becomes aware of and interested in the variety of colours and shapes in the indoor and outdoor environment. This is the time to give very simple shape and colour puzzles as children love to put things inside containers, such as puzzle pieces in spaces that match. Through early experiences with such puzzles, children can develop many useful skills: handling materials, refining movement, completing a cycle of activity, carrying out logical steps in order, solving problems. There is a built in control of error in puzzles so the child can judge for herself, without... Read more →

"Toys should be kept in the area where the family lives, not only in the child's room. Shelves are much more satisfying than toy boxes. Having order in the environment creates a feeling of security in the child, and trust in the environment. Baskets, trays, or small boxes neatly arranged on low shelves can be very helpful in creating this order." "If you watch a child you will see which toys he plays with most and which ones just get dropped and forgotten. Try to keep only as many toys available to the child as can be kept neat, and... Read more →

There are many terms which are unique to the Montessori philosophy. I've had to google some of these terms before so I've decided to write a list. Here are some brief Montessori definitions for the infant to toddler stage, in plain language, parent to parent. I hope you find it useful! A to I - A to I refers to a Montessori qualification, the Assistants to Infancy (0-3 years) training. Absorbent Mind - Maria Montessori observed that children from birth to six years have the ability to quickly and easily absorb information. The child is absorbing information from the environment... Read more →

As a parent I try to say yes as much as possible. I look for ways to say yes. However, you cannot avoid the need to say no. As Otto is crawling, climbing and reaching he is hearing it more than ever. He is probably hearing it a little too much. I re-read some of my Montessori texts and Montessori from the Start has the best description of how to say no. It's important to note that at first infants don't know what no means. Saying no, repeating it and getting louder or more urgent doesn't always work. At this... Read more →

Finger painting with a baby - is it worth it? It is too crazy, too messy? Or is it squishy, slimy, colourful fun? Unfortunately, finger painting is often overlooked for cleaner and easier types of activities. It's also not just about fun, there is a lot of learning going on there too! When Caspar (now 10yr) was a toddler, even as a preschooler, he hated getting messy or dirty. If he was painting and got some paint, even a tiny bit, on his hands he had to wash them straight away. I now wonder if it is a part of... Read more →

Are you looking for some weekend Montessori reading? Here are a few articles and things I've been enjoying this week. Process over product at Living Montessori - this is a lovely and heartwarming post by a Montessori guide. An awesome Montessori home school at Cosmic Montessori. This is one of the most beautiful Montessori homes I've seen - Our Montessori-inspired home (3.5 years old) at Mothers Abroad - every picture is a wow! The Importance of a Natural Playground at Little Hands Montessori. Nature play: 5 play areas to take outside (come rain or shine) at Althea's Atelier. Not so... Read more →

Otto is really loving discovery baskets, we only have a couple on his shelves but I'm always looking for fresh inspiration. Here are a few baskets that I really like, they all have lots of texture and lots of natural, easy to find items. Otto's basket at 10 months. This basket is for a sitting six-month-old. "Here's a treasure basket I put together today filled with natural textures, a mixture of items that she can shake, roll, pick up with two hands or with a palmar grasp. The idea behind this is heuristic play, in which bubs discover the properties... Read more →

It's time for us to start thinking about toilet learning (why am I so excited?)! Unfortunately, we don't have any of Otis' old potties or pants (or puddle pads) so we are starting from scratch. Which is a little fun, there are lots of potties available now, perhaps too many, so we are looking at all the eco friendly ones. How fun it is to have a completely compostable potty? From potties to training pants, here are the eco friendly options we are thinking about! 1. Beco Potty - Made from waste plant material and are biodegradable. I am not... Read more →

Buying toys can be hard. It's hard to know what the child will like and what they will actually use. Today I'm sharing five of our most used educational toys. There is a lot to love here but most of all I love the engagement, that they capture my child's attention and hold his concentration. Geometric Shapes Building Set - This was so much better than I had expected, it's a little oversized and perfect for the 5-7 age range. The cards make it much easier for the child to make the shapes, the cards guide the child. I love... Read more →

Can you crochet or know someone who does? I love crochet and the way it brings texture and warmth into our home. We've used a lot of crochet materials such as rugs, baskets, rattles, teething toys and, balls. Here are a few crochet patterns that I'm loving that may be suitable for a Montessori home. Rainbow Nesting Bowls / Linked Rings Toy / Baskets with Handles (but also love these and these) Child Size Cleaning Cloths / Baby Rattle / Puzzle Ball (also similar here and here) Colour Spin Balls (also love these Rainbow Juggling Balls) / Loop Baby Toy... Read more →

I recently ordered a clear watering can for Otto. It's super cute, would also make a good bath toy, but I love that he can see how much water is in it when filling it up and he can see all of the water pouring out as he is watering the garden. Infants and toddlers are trying to make sense of the world, transparent materials like this can help them see how containers works, help them see how full things are, help the child to see what is going on. "The transparency also helps the child to make spontaneous scientific... Read more →

Until recently Otis (7 yrs) didn't have a work area downstairs, he would often work at the dining table which really wasn't suitable, he often wanted to use it around dinner time and didn't want to pack up his work. It was an unhappy situation. If I was going to create a space for him downstairs, it was going to have to be a dynamic space, it would need to be flexible and suitable for everyone to use. It would have to be somewhere Caspar (10 yrs) and Otto (10 months) could comfortably work too. Perhaps it could be a... Read more →