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Amazing and Independent Australian Stores to Love

We are looking forward to returning to Australia in January. It's almost been two years since we've seen our friends and family there. It will be nice to go back 'home'!! Today I want to share some lovely stores that I've been bookmarking for when we return. All of these stores mean something to me, some have Montessori inspired products and others have products that just suit our style. I hope you enjoy!! Above is Bunny Tickles. This book shelf sells out, so I'm thinking of ordering one now! Count by Nature. We are very familiar with Q Toys but... Read more →

Have you seen a wooden Montessori style placemat before? I recently came across this one and I absolutely love it. It's so unique and that I really want to share it with you. It is made from solid acacia wood here in the UK. It is laser engraved so the child knows exactly where to put their fork, spoon, knife, plate and cup! It is super smooth and practical. I love that it is personalised so that Otto can start to recognise his name and has ownership over it. It's beautiful!! If you are wondering it wipes down easily too.... Read more →

Stacking, Sorting and Sequencing toys are fantastic for the child's brain development. Patterning is really early maths! When developing patterning skills the child is able to identify repeating shapes and colours, identify similarities and differences, identify relationships to one shape or colour to the others. They often learn to count or even skip counting. They can identify groups of things including 'what comes next', learn recall and work on memory development. Copying or recreating a pattern is also an important step and is great for cognitive development. By recreating a pattern children can also strengthen problem solving skills, spatial awareness... Read more →

Someone needs to write a book about schemas and Montessori. As a Montessori parent, I've found it immensely helpful to learn about schemas, how to identify them and how to support them. Most resources refer to schemas in play settings not a Montessori or work environment. But practical life can be a fantastic way to support a schema. The aim of practical life isn't to keep the child 'busy'. We want to satisfy the child's needs, to build skills, develop concentration and sense of self. Practical life absolutely build self-confidence, the child can see what they are capable of. But... Read more →

Have you wondered what the Montessori approach is to discussing the climate emergency or the recent #globalclimatestrike? It hard not to feel motivated and inspired but how can we educate our children on this issue in an age-appropriate way? "At this age we do not tell the child about the problems with the environment, global warming, etc. Giving this information too early can cause confusion and stress, worry and even avoidance of anything to do with the earth. Instead we share the wonder and the beauty of the earth. This is true of the studies of plants and animals, and... Read more →

Monday is the Autumn Equinox and we could not be more excited. Autumn is just the most colourful, temperate season. Think pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg. It's also our last Autumn in the UK so we are sure to soak it all in. Our essential Autumn practical life materials include our wheelbarrow and rake, we have so many leaves to rake in our yard. But here are a few other practical life materials that would be useful too! Autumn theme toddler aprons. Apples or Leaves. Apple Slicer. Apple Pie Dish. Nut Cracker - we love walnuts but this cracker works on... Read more →

Today we made some delicious Carrot and Zucchini Mini Muffins. I took a few pictures I thought I would share. In the UK, and perhaps other parts of the world, Zucchinis are known as Courgettes! Above are Otto's little baking shelves. He can access this himself. Mixing bowls, trays, cooling rack. On the bottom shelf there is his watering can, small spray bottle for cleaning and a little bucket with toddler sized cleaning cloths. On the hook there is a chopping board and this is also where his apron often hangs. His utensils like spoons, mashers, whisk are in the... Read more →

Five, maybe more, things that I am loving from today! 1. Animal stamps and pumpkin spice play dough. I'm using these to teach my toddler to be gentle and not to press too hard into the play dough. The scent from the spiced play dough is divine! 2. Our nature tray. We found these lovely pinecones under a huge conifer. We have some little acorns and acorn caps and lots of Autumn leaves all from our nature walks. 3. Autumn-themed stickers - for fine motor work, for concentrating and for slowing down. 4. This awesome paint tray all the way... Read more →

My toddler is going through a language explosion. In a matter of months, he has gone from knowing a hundred or so words to perhaps thousands. It has been exciting and wonderful to watch. I want to share some of the activities that we have used that have been the most helpful for language development from around 18 months. Our top three types of language work: Point and name type books - these style of book isolate the image/object and are good for pointing and naming. Montessori recommends reading a whole range of books to children, not just children's books,... Read more →

Did you know that Monday 16th September is National Play-Doh Day? I prefer the home-made version but it's a wonderful day to celebrate everything Play-Doh!! Above you can see our play dough invitation has started to include some Autumnal ingredients including pumpkin spice play dough, woodland animals including the squirrel which have magically appeared in our back garden, lots of pine cones and some warming spice like cinnamon. Here are a few other links and things that I've been enjoying this week. I wish this was closer - Scandinavian forest school in the UK at Little Scandinavian. This is good... Read more →

Most often I have just one child at home and it's easy for me to forget about grace and courtesy. In the classroom, it's essential to the harmonious workings of the environment. So grace and courtesy is something that I've been thinking about. Here are a few areas of grace and courtesy that we've been doing or I'm trying to remember to more of with my toddler: saying 'please' and 'thank you' - also no 'thank you'. saying 'hello', 'how are you', 'good-bye', 'see you next time', 'see you tomorrow' - general greeting people at the door or when visiting... Read more →

I want to point out that your child will survive using whatever mixing bowl you have. Having a children's bowl isn't essential. However, if you and your child are baking a lot it makes sense for them to have their own mixing bowl and baking tools. If the child has their own bowl they can mix and bake alongside of you, or other caregivers. Children and especially toddlers like to imitate and be close to their parents, why not bake side by side. You have your bowl and they can have theirs. If the child has their own bowl they... Read more →

My children love cheese and it's versatile in the kitchen for practical life activities. While you can use a variety of cheeses, in these activities we've used a cheddar block. Here Otto is 24 months old but please use this age as a rough guide only. In our Montessori toddler class in Canberra (Gungahlin) we had a cheese grating activity and I remember many toddlers using it from 18 months. Cheddar cheese has a good texture for first grating and peeling, it's soft but doesn't fall apart too easily. 1. Grating. We like to use a small pyramid grater. Otto... Read more →

Otto received his first library card today. Previously I was putting his books on my card but I realised it was time for him to have more ownership over his books and over his library experience. It's important for him to have a card with his name on it, it almost cements his place in the library. It's easy for us to forget that libraries are places for children and so very much so for toddlers. I believe that libraries are 'must visit' places for toddlers. In libraries, toddlers can learn and experience library etiquette - how to get out... Read more →

We've previously shared what our Montessori parent-toddler classroom looked like and some of the activities we've tried so today I thought I would try to do the same with our toddler Forest School class. We are currently living in the UK and we don't have access to a Montessori school or Montessori toddler class but I've found the Forest School class beneficial in so many ways. I have found Forest School compatible with my Montessori parenting and would absolutely recommend it to other Montessori parents. Like the Montessori classroom, the child is free to move around the Forest and work... Read more →