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March 2020
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What is cognitive development in early childhood? "Cognitive development means how children think, explore and figure things out. It is the development of knowledge, skills, problem solving and dispositions, which help children to think about and understand the world around them. Brain development is part of cognitive development." - Help Me Grow Cognitive development encompasses a child's working memory, attention, as well as a child's ability to manage and respond to the experiences and information they experience on a daily basis. Cognitive development activities include problem solving, cause-effect relations, part-whole relations, naming and classifying, sorting, organising - making sense of... Read more →

Montessori bedrooms are often minimalistic, simple and ordered, but this doesn't mean they can't be beautiful too. How do we create a beautiful Montessori bedroom? Here are some wonderful examples. "We’ve been working on “Montessori-ing” Ardyn’s room for the past few months. She has her own space to continue developing her independence as she grows ❤️ ⁣I absolutely love how it turned out and I think she does too ✨⁣". This room is full of texture and personality and feels bright and fresh. There are many materials and books in this space but it is ordered. The colours including a... Read more →

I have a family of five to cook for and I love it when everyone pitches in, yes even the toddler. While using a peeler might not have the same status as using a knife and cutting, it's still a very worthwhile skill for toddlers (and preschoolers) to learn. Can a toddler use a peeler? Yes, absolutely. But it requires practice and close supervision. The best peelers, those that are easiest to use are ones that are reasonably sharp, so you want to teach your child to use the peeler safely from the start, this includes using the peeler but... Read more →

Etsy is a great place to find hand made items with a Montessori touch! Here are a few Montessori and other children's products on Etsy that I am loving. Personalised Photo Puzzles! These are gorgeous. The first one pictured here (the large single circle) has a mirror in it so the little ones can see their face. Available in different sizes and with different shapes. Montessori Medic Children's Doctor Medical Kit - available with and without a vintage style Doctor's bag. Contains a working stethoscope, lab coat, cotton flu mask, sample jars, needle-free syringes, Latex-free Vinyl children’s medical gloves, bandages... Read more →

This year has been difficult for Otto (2yrs). After moving in January it's taken us months to fully set up our prepared environment to the point that everything is working and functional. But it's so worth it, and it's worth taking time to get it right. As Otto's environment and little spaces in our home came together I noticed a change. Slowly he has taken on more responsibility for his personal care, slowly his level of concentration, patience, perseverance and ability to play alone returned. Having his own snack cupboard is just a small but important part of our prepared... Read more →

Six toddler activities that Otto (two years) enjoyed today! 1. Crayon pencil drawing on a mirror. The crayon pencils go on so smooth and it is a really different feel to drawing on paper. Our crayon pencils wipe off easily with a dry cloth. Otto is using the Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 and the Lyra Groove Triple pencils. 2. Sweeping the stairs. 3. Watering the plants. 4. Painting with monster trucks. Otto is obsessed with monster trucks and they have an interesting tyre tread. Otto first did this activity in his toddler art class and has loved it ever since! 5.... Read more →

My toddler loves transferring work. I wanted to set up some fresh transferring working with tweezers but I wasn't sure which tweezers to use. Whenever I am not sure about what materials to use I try and give my toddler a choice and see what he uses. Here are a few tweezer options he tried today. I'm still not sure which ones we will use but I now know that he is able to use them all with a high level of success. Above Otto (2yrs) is using the Learning Resources Jumbo Tweezers. These really are jumbo, you can see... Read more →

Q: We recently moved. We spent weeks travelling and staying in hotels. During this time we co-slept with our toddler. Now we are getting settled into our new home and understandably he doesn't want to sleep in his own bed. It is a new bed for him, a new bedroom and new surroundings. He is sleeping very well when he co-sleeps. We are happy to continue to co-sleep but would prefer for him to begin sleeping in his own bed again. How can we best support our toddler to sleep in his own bed in his room? A: Remember that... Read more →

I've put this post off for a couple of weeks because I don't like to talk about money. It's why I really needed to read these books. All of these books, written by financial experts, suggest that children can learn about money (and the concepts around it) from the age of around three and some suggest that the most impactful period to learn about money is before the age of seven! So what conversations should we be having with our children? I wanted to know more!! It turns out that learning about money is so much more important than I... Read more →

Today I want to share Otis' (8yrs) workstation. I haven't been able to find a lot of examples or inspiration for desks and workstations for this age group online. I hope that by sharing Otis' space others will share their children's spaces too. This little workstation became much more important two weeks ago when we were asked to keep our children home from school. Suddenly Otis was spending a lot more time here. While Otis will work in other areas of the home, with two siblings it has become important that he has a space of his own where he... Read more →

How are you feeling? We have been feeling a little sombre, a little quiet. Today Otto and Otis decorated our Easter tree. It was nice and fun and lighthearted. We haven't been doing a lot of Easter activities so decorating the tree felt special. It's the first year that Otto (2yrs) has been able to participate. We are having a very low key weekend. In case you need some weekend reading, here are a few articles and things that I've been enjoying. A Montessori Toddler's Room at Fishies in a Row. This is cute and practical! How to create an... Read more →

I'm needing a good dose of Montessori realness and cuteness! Here are a few spaces that I'm loving and admiring. This room is calming and soothing. This is how you introduce children's toys without overwhelming the room! Another refreshingly real space that is calm and well organised for the child. A gorgeous bedroom for a 17-month old toddler. This picture is via Sprout but the family is Inspired Little Learners, Allison has some of the cutest pictures around! I love just how real and practical this is. This bed looks so cosy and comfortable! Real, nice and simple play area.... Read more →

Do you have a pipette or dropper in your cupboard or drawer? Let's put it to use! Using a pipette or dropper can help the child's developing fine motor skills including building hand strength and coordination. I've given my toddler (2yrs) a choice of pipettes and basters and he mostly chooses the Twisty Droppers and the clear pipettes. When he was younger he would often use the Jumbo Droppers. Our Twisty Droppers are c/o Modern Teaching Aids. Australian Sources: 1. Clear Pipettes, 2. Jumbo Droppers, 3. Plastic Baster, 4. Giant Blue Pipette, 5. Twisty Droppers, 6. White Melamine Trays, 7.... Read more →

I know a lot of you are looking for ideas of activities and materials to use with your children. Here are a few baskets and trays that Otto (2yrs) has used in the last two weeks. Not all of these are out at once. Some of these are easy for him and some are hard, but they all hold his interest and concentration! As usual we have matching work, puzzles and lots of materials for developing fine motor skills. I hope you enjoy this selection. Toddler Geoboard Matching Community Workers Feel and Find Game (c/o MTA) Farm Puzzle Community Workers... Read more →

How have you been? We have been busy with school work and lots of arts and creative play. We have been getting of the house at least once a day for exercise and we are incredibly grateful for a backyard and nice weather! Here are a few small things that I've enjoyed this week. Above Matching Community Workers. Otto (2 yrs) loves learning about community workers. We are using Community Helpers Pocket Cards with some Wooden Model Workers. This is great for language development. It was also initially challenging as the models are not identical to the cards. For example... Read more →