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January 2019
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March 2019

I'm currently reading Barefoot and Balanced by Angela J. Hanscom. It's about how unrestricted outdoor play makes for strong, confident and capable children. It's an excellent book for parents and teachers. One reviewer said "This book is a must read for anyone interested in helping children develop the way they were created to develop. I am a different parent because of this book. I will be making different educational choices... Read more →

There are a lot of lists around about Montessori food activities for toddlers, so I wanted to share the activities that we actually did in our home today. It might look like a lot but these are activities that we do throughout the day organically, they aren't put on the shelf in life practical life trays. Some of these activities Otto (17 months) will do in his snack area (pictured... Read more →

Have you seen the new Kitchen Helper at Sprout? It allows young children to safely and independently reach the kitchen counter or sink. One thing I love about the Sprout team is that they do a huge amount of consultation. When designing their Montessori (and Montessori inspired) furniture, they work with Montessori teachers and parents and work and work until the design passes all the tests and meets all the... Read more →

I know a lot of Australians live closer to a Kmart than they do to an Ikea. So when I recently discovered one of their awesome matching games, I really wanted to share it with you. But more than that, I realised that you could do so much to create a Montessori home with one trip to Kmart! Children's Table and Chair Set White - great for a snack table,... Read more →

Beautiful Ways to Store and Display Waldorf Play Silks

Although more Waldorf than Montessori, play silks are wonderful for open-ended play. They provide a lovely sensory experience, are so colourful and are just too beautiful to put away in a basket. Why not display them, keeping them crease free and easily accessible to the children? Here are a few ways to store and display play silks that I am loving. Above on wooden hooks, right next to the Waldorf... Read more →

What are the first threading/lacing materials you use at home or in your classroom? Perhaps threading beads? With Otis we used pasta (penne) and cotton reels but with Otto, I noted that it was easier if the items where much thinner. Otto's first threading activity was using the wood pieces pictured above. 1. Wooden Disks - completely natural, handmade by a small business. I love the texture too. If you... Read more →

A month or so ago we moved Otto (17 months) into Otis' old room. Otis (7yrs) doesn't like sleeping alone and I always found it difficult at bedtime if I was busy with Otto. So now Caspar (11yrs) and Otis are sharing a room. Otto's new room is much larger. We haven't made many changes. Most of the furniture is the same. Above we've created a little reading nook. Previously... Read more →

Finding just the 'right' activity for your child can be difficult. I love to make activities and baskets from items found in the home, toddlers love to explore what is around them. Charity shops, Gumtree and Facebook can be good sources but it's sometimes a risk. Blogs and stores can help based on your child's age but there are times you never know if it's going to be a success... Read more →

I was delighted to recently read that Dyson had made a vacuum cleaner for children that actually works! "The replica design features real working suction, realistic sounds, bright colours, twist and turn action just like the real thing! There is also a removable dustbin at the back to empty the debris." - The Daily Mail (November 2018). Otto is obsessed with our adult's Dyson vacuum. Vacuuming can be difficult because... Read more →

When children are in the sensitive period for naming things they can benefit from being given the real, technical or scientific names of things. Rather than 'dog', we can tell the child this is a 'Dalmatian', or rather than 'flower' we can say 'Daffodil'. It can help satisfy the child's hunger for knowledge, challenge their language skills and set them up for a lifetime of scientific curiosity. This is something... Read more →

This is one of the most inspirational, affordable, easy and space saving ideas I've seen. When it comes to the Montessori bathroom we often see parents use step stools for the children to access the basin or they provide a care of self-station with a low basin, perhaps a tub in a low table. Our bathroom is tiny and at 17 months I can't leave Otto's side when he is... Read more →

PERFECT Montessori Baby Spaces!!

I've been helping a local family set up their Montessori baby room (just giving some gentle guidance). I found it easier to show them with pictures rather than tell them with words about the Montessori aspects of the room. It makes sense when you can see what the room might look like. My general advice was: Stay flexible - once the baby is born you may want to change things... Read more →

Since the Winter Solstice I've felt a change. The days are slowly getting longer. Until you've experienced it, it is hard to imagine the cold and the darkness of a European winter. This winter I've often picked the boys up from school in the dark (complete darkness at 4pm) and we've been to Forest School when it's only 0.5°C. In the spirit of sharing here is what has got us... Read more →

Ikea has a wonderful way of bringing colour and a little cheerfulness into our homes. Here are a few new things I'm loving at Ikea, which may suit a Montessori home or classroom. They have heaps of new trays, a few new baskets and lots of accessories for the bathroom: KRYDDNEJLIKA children's apron - this isn't toddler sized but perhaps for a preschooler (length is 20" or 51cm). The print... Read more →

How was your week? We are in the middle of toilet learning with Otto (no daytime nappies!) so we've been spending a lot of time at home. Here are a few sources of Montessori inspiration that I've been enjoying this week. The above furniture is all by minimoi - isn't it lovely!! It's also practical. The first wardrobe (top left) is nice and compact and see the care of self... Read more →