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September 2019
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November 2019

My older two children are on half term break. We've had a few stormy and crazy windy days, so they've spent more time than usual inside (we still aim for at least three hours a day outdoors). I love to try new art materials with them and I've been holding onto this gorgeous beeswax modelling clay for just the right opportunity. It is a beeswax clay, not a pure modelling beeswax that you might have seen before. It is also at the higher price range so I wanted to share our experience in case you have thought about using it... Read more →

I order a lot of children's materials and clothes from Etsy. I love the products and I love the handmade touch. My most recent purchases include this toddler apron and this hedgehog tee! Here are a few other things that I'm loving: Cute Veggie T-Shirt Montessori Mushroom Apron - this is adorable!! African Animal Matching Large Format for Toddlers - I love seeing these sets for order, not everyone has the time or desire to DIY. Field/Travel Flower Press - this one is in the US but it has inspired me to find one locally. Perfect for when we are... Read more →

Over the weekend I presented Otto with his first sewing tray. He does a lot of threading so this feels like the next step. I needed to demonstrate but it didn't take him long to get it. It felt a little like two steps forward and one step back as he like to poke the needle through and then reposition it and poke it again, without threading it. But toddlers (and perhaps all children) like to test, they like to experiment and in their own time they will find their way. I don't feel like there is a need to... Read more →

This style of tap tap hammer toy was used by both of my older boys at their Montessori toddler classes. As Otto isn't currently attending a toddler class I thought I would try it with him at home. It turns out he loves it too. I like it because of the fine motor skill work. Otto likes it because of the hammer and he is allowed to hit things! There is some risk involved which requires the toddler to handle the pins with care. It also requires a lot of self regulation and self control. If Otto threw the pins... Read more →

Montessori Sewing Ideas for the Home and Classroom - Toddler to Primary

Today I put together Otto's (25 months) first sewing tray. It's wonderful to see him use it. Before I made his sewing tray I looked for a few ideas and inspiration. Here are some fabulous ideas for toddlers to primary. Above is an adorable sewing kit from Etsy. The colour coordination is perfect. This set is designed for primary age children. Details here. I'm loving the handmade protective cases for the needles and scissors. This set is by the same supplier. Again the colour coordination is lovely. Details here. These sets include buttons, beads, an assortment of sewing cards, Aida... Read more →

Nichole from Radicle Beginnings recently published a series of videos from her toddler class that I found very interesting. It was such a wake up call, a reminder for me about what is possible. The video was of a young child scooping pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin, the child then washed the seeds, dried them, baked them and served them to friends for snack, this involved six or seven (perhaps more) opportunities for transferring. The video is no longer available but you see how the child could have her need for transferring fulfilled in a real life and relevant... Read more →

The RIE and Montessori approaches are not always the same but on sharing I find them really compatible. I've learnt a lot about how to teach my child empathy and authentic sharing by reading more about the RIE approach. I'm compelled to write this as in just over a week I've experienced two occasions where another adult has tried to take an object from my child's hands in an attempt to make him 'share' with their child. Unless you are the child's parent, caregiver or close friend/relative or it is a safety issue, it's not ok to touch another child... Read more →

Schleich model animals are extremely popular in Montessori classrooms and Montessori homes. They are hand painted and are life-like, perhaps are the most realistic models we can find. They are durable although they are made from 'high quality plastic'. I've been asked a gazillion times for wooden (or sustainable rubber/plastic) alternatives. The wooden alternatives have been Ostheimer or Holztiger. Both of these of these brands are more Waldorf in design and the animals are abstract with less detail, not what many Montessori parents or teachers are looking for. I've recently had a look at these TickiT animals and people. The... Read more →

Our toddler wardrobe isn't a minimalist wardrobe, it is an age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate wardrobe. Perhaps your child can manage with more clothes, perhaps less. "Clothing that is easy to remove and to put on oneself enables the child to practice these skills. These are things to consider when picking out any clothing, from shoes to pajamas, to coats, for young children. A child's efforts at picking out her own clothes and dressing herself are satisfied if the parents hang up, within the child's reach, just two outfits, letting the child decide between them when she dresses in the morning. This... Read more →

The Buyerarchy of Needs was designed by artist Sarah Lazarovic and is aimed at the fashion industry. While absorbing this message and the commentary that surrounds it, I thought the same applies to toys and materials. The consumption of toys can be just as fast and toxic as fashion. BUY - Buy new as a last option, buy quality, buy toys and materials that will grow with your child and that will last. Buy sustainably made toys and materials and think of the toy's end of life, can it be recycled, can it be passed on? When we buy new... Read more →

Yes, you can now find your very own Montessori Children's Wardrobe designed and made in the USA! The Alba Montessori Children's Wardrobe is a new release by Sprout and is now available for pre-order. I love Sprout because I love Clark and all that his company stands for. He does more consultation with families and teachers on the ground than any other company that I know of. Sprout is driven by a desire to help families. What could be more helpful than a children's wardrobe? My only tip is not to overstock the wardrobe. Remember toddlers only need a few... Read more →

This morning I was cleaning and restocking our toddler fridge and thought it would be fun to take a few pictures of what is in the fridge and how Otto uses it. All three of my children use the fridge but as Otto is the only one that can't reach the main fridge, he uses this fridge the most! Let's take a look. In our toddler fridge we always have: water in a large dispenser sliced fruit and/or vegetables yoghurt a few pieces of (whole) fruit in the bottom, usually apples or oranges dip - hommus, beetroot hommus or avocado... Read more →

Otto has been using this little basin on the bath since February. I wanted to give you an update because it is still working wonderfully for us. We are living in a small house and the bathroom has no space for a hand-washing table or for a step high enough for Otto to reach the basin. We already have his potty in the walkway. The basin on the bath almost takes up no space. The negatives including the mirror which is really unclear, the child can see themselves in it but not at all clearly. My husband moves the basin... Read more →

In the past, I've put architectural images on the wall near our block area. But as Otto is so young I want to leave the space a little more open. I don't want him to feel like blocks are only for creating buildings. He uses blocks in many creative ways. But we have a few children's books about blocks which are mainly about buildings that are fantastic, I want to share just three of them with you today! The first is Dreaming Up: a celebration of building by Christy Hale. This book is so, so lovely. It contains images of... Read more →

Wow, what a week! It has rained consistently for over two weeks and I've been working extra hard to remove negative language about the weather and mud! Today I'm sharing a few links that things that I've been enjoying: Friday was National Forest School Day. Otto had a blast at Forest School with lots of water and mud play. I encourage all Montessori families to have a look at Forest School activities especially, for toddlers and preschoolers. How cute is this Bug Box via Conscious Craft. I enjoyed this peek into a Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Nature Play. Benedykt... Read more →