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December 2018
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February 2019

Otto has been playing with the lovely Matador Baby Architect blocks (made in Austria) and it has made me think about how much they are like Duplo or Mega Blocks. While we have plastic toys in our home there is a lot of external and internal pressure to choose wooden (compostable, biodegradable) or recycled plastic products where we can. Here are a few wooden alternatives to the plastic toys we have in our home. a. Earthtiles (back in stock US Spring 2019) (Australia here) are a good wooden alternative for Magna-Tiles or Magformers. You can see ours here. (This is... Read more →

a. / b. / c. / d. / e. / f. Otto hasn't always liked stacking toys. It's a good lesson to follow the child and not to compare your child to others. Now at 15 months Otto frequently chooses stacking materials and will work on them repeatedly. First he started with the ring stackers at around nine months (a. & b.) and then the discs on the vertical dowel (c.). Each one is progressively more difficult. Now at fifteen months he is using the cubes on the vertical dowel (d.) and has really mastered this material. So today I... Read more →

I don't need to know the educational benefits of some toys, I can just see that my children learn from using them, I can see they are engaged, I can see that they are happy! Until recently Otto only had a small basket of blocks out. But you know the things with blocks is that they need a flat firm surface if you are going to build anything big. So today with Otis home from school we put a few of our blocks into a large tray. It was an all round success. Otto pretty much giggled the whole time.... Read more →

I was going to give an update on Otto's bedroom - to show how he has grown into the space. But then I realised I only had photographs of half of the room. But this pretty much is it, out of picture he has a wardrobe, his weaning table and chair and his ball tracker. He has a lot of his toys and materials in our living area downstairs but we always keep a few things in his room to play with before or after bed. This is a favourite spot for reading and playing with his brothers. We've put... Read more →

Where will you find people most passionate about Montessori? You will find them in schools but you will also find them running Montessori stores! All of the people that I know that run Montessori stores are so, so passionate but many are also highly trained and experienced in Montessori. Here are my top five Montessori Shop Blogs and Newsletters. A couple of these haven't been recently updated, but don't let that put you off, these articles are timeless and priceless! Michael Olaf. They also have a ton of information here. Susan Mayclin Stephenson is the author and you will not... Read more →

I recently found a solution to two problems I was facing. I want to share as it might help or encourge you to see your spaces differently! My problem was that I had a toddler who likes messy art and when it's raining we had no outdoor space to play in. Our house is so small the only place Otto can use his art easel without covering the place with paint is outside. We love spending time outside but when it's raining we have no covered veranda, patio or deck to use. I was almost thinking about setting up a... Read more →

I recently gave Otto this stacking toy (a.) and for Christmas he received this first lacing toy (j.). When I touch them, they feel so organic and humble. No flashing lights, no sophisticated design. Just some beautifully cut, all natural, textured timber. While I love wooden toys, these with just a enough bark on them, are my favourite. The young child can easily relate them to the trees in the woods, the branches on the forest floor. No paint and only a little sanding. Each piece feels different. "The use of wood instead of plastic helps the child appreciate the... Read more →

Otto received this little red wheelbarrow for Christmas. It's almost as if at this age we avoid expensive gifts because we know the simpler the better. He wants toys that help him to do things. Practical life materials. While his brothers are outside (for hours) kicking a football around, Otto wants to be doing things, he wants to be working with his hands, he wants to be productive. "Human beings of ages want to be able to communicate with others, to challenge themselves, to do important work, and to contribute to society. This is human nature at it's best. This... Read more →