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The week before Christmas is fabulously quiet in our home. We are mostly Christmas baking and shopping for gifts. An easy at-home activity with children that requires very few ingredients includes making Salt Dough Ornaments. Salt Dough Recipe 2 cups of plain flour 1 cup of salt 1 cup of water. Combine and knead until smooth. Roll out and cut shapes out with cookie cutters. Add a hole for a string with a stick or straw. Bake in the oven at low heat until thoroughly cooked, dry and hard. We used an oven at 130°c for around 2 hours. Once... Read more →

Have you tried sequencing puzzles with your child? Some sequencing puzzles are simple and can be used by toddlers (2yrs+) others are better suited to preschoolers (3-4yrs+). I hadn't given sequencing puzzles much thought until we borrowed one from our local toy library. While the puzzle was easy to put together my child loved the storytelling part, he narrated the story on the puzzle as he put it together. I could see his eyes light up, he really enjoyed putting the story together. Sequencing puzzles are a bit like a storyboard. They help children learn the correct sequence of an... Read more →

Have you seen this amazing building at Whole Earth Montessori School? It was designed by Paul Michael Davis Architects (more images here) inspired by the Trinomial Cube, each of the twenty-seven blocks in the Trinomial Cube is represented by a window. It looks amazing outside and inside. If you liked The Little Montessori Me Picture Book (AU here) by Inez Bunclark, you might also like the new release Taking Care of Myself (AU here). I would recommend both for toddlers to primary school children. Taking Care of Myself takes the reader through the day of the child in a Montessori... Read more →

Do your children like to use real tools, connect things, screw and unscrew things or join things together? If so they might enjoy using a Montessori Screw/Bolt board. I introduced this board (pictured above) to my child at 2yrs (34-35months) and he still loves it today at 4 years old. We have a simple board with a screwdriver, t-nuts and screws which are all the same size. Other boards are available that have graded bolts, that use spanners or hex keys. While the bolt/screw board is not a traditional Montessori practical life material they allow the child to develop the... Read more →

1. / 2. (AU) / 3. / 4. / 5. Many Montessori parents choose to skip or limit the sippy cup phase and go straight to using a small glass for their children. My children started using a small real glass to drink water (#3.) at six months when we began weaning. Sure there are lots of spills and drips but the payoff is the child becomes careful with their glass and they become adept at using it pretty fast. A clear cup or glass is also useful for a child learning to drink independently as they can clearly see... Read more →

Have you started your Christmas or holiday baking? When I bake I usually have at least one child helping out so I'm always looking for tasty recipes that are child-friendly and generally fun and easy to put together. We have a few go-to Christmas recipes and some new recipes to try out. Here are three Christmas treats we made over the weekend. Baking with children is an excellent activity on so many levels. We love to empower our children and give them the skills and confidence to participate in everyday family activities. Baking is fantastic for cognitive development and also... Read more →

Montessori Rooms To Admire

Today I want to share some beautiful children's spaces. All of these have Montessori components including spaces that promote order, calm, concentration and independence. Above is a super comfortable room that would be suitable for a crawling infant, a toddler or even a younger preschooler. From the bed, the child can easily see the forward-facing bookshelves and from there they can see the work/toy shelves. The large rug makes a soft but firm surface for crawling or sitting on. The amount of books and materials looks spot on too, often we (including me) overcrowd and overfill the children's shelves. This... Read more →

As you may know, I'm a huge fan of Christina Clemer. Christina is a mum to two and a Montessori teacher (3-6yrs). Christina is also an author of two books Montessori abc's (AU here) and Montessori Silent e (AU here). Montessori abc's (AU here) is a wonderful 'first', 'abc's' book for Montessori parents and teachers. It is also available in cursive. I would recommend these from 2 years+ but perhaps they most relevant for preschoolers and children who are showing an interest in letters. It has clear, photographic images and blue/red vowels/consonants. You can read my previous review at Montessori... Read more →