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March 2019
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May 2019

Chatting to teachers and friends it became clear that everyone has their own type of scissors they prefer for toddlers. I looked around online and found the same thing. Even with Montessori toddler teachers, there wasn't a consensus on the best type of scissors for the first cutting tray. So today I'm sharing a few articles from others showing their first cutting trays and sharing the scissors we've used. Some parents and teachers prefer the spring back and open scissors many prefer the little nail scissors with the round tip. My first two children used the Staedtler Children's Scissors but... Read more →

I've had so much fun introducing Otto to matching activities I wanted to share them with you. At around 18 months Otto started object to object matching. Now a month or so later he is using object to card matching. This is a fun way to build vocabulary, concentration as well as visual discrimination and cognitive development. Here are a few of my tips for starting object to card matching at home. If you have a printer it is easy to make your own cards at home. For most cards, I have used product images found online. I have printed... Read more →

One of the most important skills for a toddler to develop is concentration. I believe it is easier for some children than for others. But we have to nurture the toddler and provide the right conditions to support their developing concentration. Otto is definitely my wildest, craziest, noisiest toddler. When he is running amok with his brothers it is difficult to believe that he is also capable of intense focus and concentration. This is the dichotomy of the toddler. We can support the child's need for concentration by allowing for and supporting repetition. I see Otto pouring a milk drink... Read more →

Today I want to share a few new trays, baskets and things we've introduced at or around 19 months. I will continue to list activities by age although at around this stage age become less relevant. As I've seen with my three children they all become interested in activiites at different ages. I always try to put together at least a couple of new trays or baskets at every rotation, using my child's interests, skill level and often materials I can find from around the home. Shell Nature Basket - we introduced this one earlier but haven't had it out... Read more →

I know most of you are already conscious about the waste you create. I wonder if you have made any new discoveries lately, are there any new eco friendly or low to no waste products that you are using? Today I'm sharing four eco friendly children's products that we've recently switched to. 1. PATCH Bamboo Plasters - I was amazed when I found these and now I'm telling everyone I know about them. The PATCH plasters are made from 100% certified bamboo fibre, are 100% biodegradable and completely compostable. In the compost they break down in around 10 weeks. In... Read more →

Do you allow your children to pick flowers? I recently questioned this myself but the answer came out really clear. Yes, of course, but only when safe to do so. A child must touch the flower to know the flower. Children need to use all of their senses including touch, they can pull the petals off the stem, they can squish the flower in their hands. This is exploration. We need to satisfy the child's need to touch and explore while respecting the needs of our community and ecosystem. I believe that a child who is in contact with nature... Read more →

1. / 2. / 3. / 4. Do you have an old mini fridge sitting in your garage? Or perhaps a small spare fridge that never gets used? Have you thought about putting it somewhere near the kitchen so that your children can use it? Our main fridges have been mostly unaccessible to children. Our fridges have always had the freezer part down the bottom making them totally inaccessible to toddlers and even Otis now at eight needs a step stool to reach most of the shelves. For all of my children having a little child size fridge has been... Read more →

It is my birthday today and I was fortunate to spend the morning with my two youngest children at Forest School, what a treat! As I type we are travelling to Devon to spend the weekend seaside. I can't wait. Here are a few articles and things that I've enjoyed this week. A Playroom Makeover to Spark the Joy of Autonomy at The New York Times. Featuring Simone Davies from the Montessori Notebook and The Montessori Toddler. We'll be making this bright green all natural playdough - Matcha Green Tea Play Dough at The Imagination Tree. There are two DIYs... Read more →

Montessori Home (Bedroom and Playroom) Inspiration

Today I'm sharing a few Montessori spaces that I have found fresh and inspiring. A lot of Montesori inspired spaces we see online are bursting with toys and are overwhelming, I hope you find some calm and simplicity in these. Isn't this little activity table and child size sofa amazing? "Montessori inspired Children’s adjustable activity desk and chair set with our gorgeous double kids armchairs in the background! These incredible tables are designed to be adjusted as your child grows, meaning they can be used for many years." "The children's room apart from covering their needs can also connect with... Read more →

The language we use with and around our children is so important. Children are absorbing our language and they are absorbing the meaning behind our language. Often we don't realise how powerful our words are and how much of an impact they have. I have found there are two areas that I often use negative language. I often find myself using negative language around the weather and dirt! "Oh no you fell in to the puddle", "Oh yuck you are covered in mud", "It's raining a-g-a-i-n!". We now live in England and if we don't go outside when it's raining... Read more →

We've received some excellent book recommendations recently and I wanted to share some of our favourites with you. All of these board books have been chosen to expand Otto's vocabulary or at least to expand the language he is exposed to. He is more and more interested in books with people and especially babies in them. I hope you enjoy this selection too. How Do You Say I Love You? by Hannah Eliot. “I love you” may sound different around the world, but the meaning is the same. This board book features families from ten countries (Italy, Japan, Spain, Russia,... Read more →

When we came to the UK over a year ago I had no idea how to dress my children warmly. Now with a little trial and error I can dress my toddler for hours of outdoor play in almost freezing conditions. Mixing in with other families I have found that most locals use a one piece padded snow suit and in warmer weather a one piece splash suit. We found the snow suits too restrictive and found the splash suits too sweaty. So this is what has worked well for us week after week. Wool hat. Otto will often remove... Read more →

Do you have art materials freely accessible to your toddler/s? I have found it's helpful, it means the art materials get used more and there is no need for the child to continually ask for permission. We have an art easel, large chalkboard and often paints outside, but what about inside? We definitely want less messy art inside. Here is how we make it work. Art materials are stored on trays on low toddler shelves. We keep a toddler size table near the art shelves. Otto is still learning to use the trays so it's easier if the table is... Read more →

Easter is near and this week I started preparing our Easter baskets. I thought it would be fun to share some some of our Easter basket, craft and book ideas! Counting Eggs, Loose Parts / Easter Egg Puzzle / Lacing Rabbit Hollow and Fillable Wooden Eggs / Colour Matching Egg and Cups / Coloured Nesting Eggs Pastel Crochet (Sensory) Eggs / Rabbit Breakfast Board / Wooden Rabbit Puzzle Easter Crayons / Easter Playdough Basket / Rabbit Rattle Otto at 18 months is going through a love of lacing and threading. He isn't interested in colour matching but enjoys placing the... Read more →

Now that Otto is just a little older, he is spending more time engrossed in independent play, mostly outdoors (!) and I have been able to spend a whole lot more time reading. Today I'm sharing a few books that I've enjoy over March. The Brave Learner: Finding Everday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life by Julie Bogart. This is more about parenting than homeschooling. The Brave Learner contains a lot of ideas for promoting natural learning at home. It contains ideas for creating a learning environment and material suggetions, including ways to lay them out. There are tips on... Read more →