I recently noticed an activity on Itty Bitty Love (Anne, a Montessori teacher's blog) where her students clicked Carabiners together to make a chain as an activity to develop fine motor skills. I thought it was a fabulous idea and most of all, I knew my three-year-old would love it. Carabiners are simple snap hooks that you can find at camping, hiking, sports, local hardware stores or perhaps even in your garage. Ours are coloured but you can also find them inexpensively in plain colours too. They also come in different sizes. I presented Otto (43 months) with three different... Read more →


I know not everyone has access to a Toy Library, but today I want to share our most recent finds from our local Toy Library. Our Toy Library operates from our Council run Library however to borrow you need a seperate membership card and pay a small fee. We visit the library almost every week and we have found some wonderful toys! Here are seven toys that we currently have on loan. I've included links to some of the items in case you want to see more detail. Hopefully this will give you ideas of toys that might appeal to... Read more →


One of the most important things Montessori has taught me is not to limit the child due to their age, but rather follow their interests and ability. I've also learnt that no matter what we are teaching the child, there is a natural progression, we start with one skill and keep on adding as long as the child's interest and ability keep up. In keeping up with Otto's (43 months) woodworking we've recently introduced a hand drill. Everywhere I read said wait until the child is four before introducing a hand drill, but as he's had so much exposure to... Read more →


My children love Sushi but when we make it at home Otto (3yrs) will play with and eat all of the rice. So I was thinking, why not make Onigiri. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls traditionally made in a triangular shape and wrapped with Nori. We've taken a slightly different approach and used children's rice moulds. Some Japanese parents use these moulds to make decorative rice balls for school lunchboxes. Onigiri can be left plain or have toppings or fillings. For now we've decided to keep our Onigiri plain. I presented Otto with various rice moulds, just cooked (warm) Sushi... Read more →


Children can be so industrious! Young children in the three to six years age range are really motivated to work, to be actively helping and doing. It may seem usual to those outside the Montessori world but at this age we can teach children to sew on buttons. Sewing on buttons is typically introduced from 3.5 years. When my older two children were in Montessori classrooms they would regularly bring home little pieces of fabric with buttons attached. When introducing this activity to my three year old (43 months) we started with burlap on an embroidery hoop. We used large... Read more →


"Many cultures around the world stop for tea. It is a time to slow down, talk with one another, and renew the spirit. For children it can be a time to teach life skills, manners and socialization." "There is such pride for children to get to host a guest, serve food that they have prepared and then be trusted to carry the beautiful, fragile teacup. Shared social experiences follow. Children learn to chat and make polite conversation. They feel the empowerment of saying, please, thank you and may I get you some more? The children feel affirmed!" - Spring Tea:... Read more →


I'm never at a loss to find new practical life activities. I look around our home and think of all the things my three-year-old still has to learn! How about learning to fill the pepper mill or using a combination lock? Here are four new practical life activities we've been trying this week. Filling a Pepper Mill - dry pouring with a funnel, including opening and closing the mill. The funnel is interesting to use, if you pour in too much or too quickly in it will get blocked, the child needs to pour the peppercorns slowly and smoothly. We... Read more →


What are your children making today? It's a cold day and we are having friends over for dinner. So I was thinking of making homemade pizza. What goes best with homemade pizza? It has to be homemade garlic bread! I enlisted my three-year-old to help. Garlic bread doesn't need a recipe but I wanted to show you our steps. Just to say, we can, if we have the time, we can include our young children in the making and baking but also we can include them in hosting, in demonstrating hospitality towards our guests. Otto (3yrs) couldn't do this all... Read more →


I still like to pre-measure all of the ingredients when Otto (3yrs) is cooking. It makes his cooking time faster and so much cleaner. But I feel like it's almost time for him to measure his ingredients himself. So I've started to introduce him to measuring cups. To begin I presented him with the measuring cups, allowing him to look at them and hold them. Then I presented a measuring cup matching tray. I love these Rainbow Fractions Measuring Cups as they as visual measuring cups and are also colour coded. These visual measuring cups have the same radius so... Read more →


Let's Try Something New - Unbound Learners Circle Time

Want to try something that's fun and easy to do with your young child? Otto (3yrs) and I have been using Unbound Learners Circle Time and have found it to be a wonderful and enriching experience. Otto isn't currently attending preschool. During the week he attends a Forest School session and a Playgroup. We try to loosely follow Montessori scope and sequence as I haven't found a Montessori online curriculum that suits us. We still do a ton of Montessori work and Circle Time is a nice way to start the day, it takes the pressure off me for a... Read more →


In our home, we don't make our children do chores and we don't have a 'chore chart'. However, we encourage and support our children to recognise and do the many tasks that contribute to our home life. We have children who are learning to: be responsible for and have ownership over their own environment be respectful of others in the environment be problem solvers - recognise when there is a problem and take steps to fix it offer to help others - how to contribute to a family or social group Our ultimate aim is the formation of the child.... Read more →


If you are new to Montessori, practical life is a great way to start with children under the age of six. Today I want to share some practical life activities we've been using with our three-year-old (42 months). These are useful for us right now as they are based on skills we are wanting to teach our child or are based on tasks we need help with around our home. These activities use materials we already have. Cleaning eyeglasses - the aim of this activity is to show the child how to handle and clean eyeglasses, with this example we... Read more →


Have you tried making pasta with your children? It can be a bit messy and the children may need a little help, but it's worth giving it a go. I've seen pasta being made in Peta's toddler class! It's absolutely possible to make pasta with young children. We use 250 grams of 00 flour, but all-purpose or plain flour will work, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 whole eggs, and 3 egg yolks. We use a little more flour to flour the table and the pasta machine. Sometimes we need extra flour on the pasta dough... Read more →


Today I want to share some really easy water activities that my three-year-old has been loving. I'd suggest these are suitable for older toddlers to preschoolers. All of these activities use materials that I've found around our home but can also be inexpensively found in craft type stores. All of these activities help to develop coordination, concentration and fine motor skills. Transferring corks with Tweezer Tongs - the child uses the tweezer tongs to move the floating corks from the large bowl to the smaller bowl. Lots of other tools could be used depending on the child's age and skill... Read more →


Have you thought about using visual timers with your children? Visual timers can help children: understand the concept of time independently complete activities for a given amount of time set a timer for simple activities transition from one activity to another We use visual timers for: brushing teeth reminding us to check on bread that has been left to rise baking bread and other goods in the oven boiling an egg, cooking rice and other timed kitchen activities learning about time Visual timers could also be used for: timing screen time (for older children) timing baths or showers (for older... Read more →