"The education of the senses makes men observers." - Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori argued that the education of the senses must be of the greatest pedagogical interest, she suggested doctors and cooks both need refined senses. The Montessori Sound Cylinder are just one of the sensorial materials used in Montessori classrooms (3-6yrs). The Montessori Sound Cylinders are made up of 12 cylinders, six coloured red and six coloured blue. Each red cylinder has a corresponding blue cylinder. There are beads inside each cylinder, the beads inside the corresponding cylinders are the same. The child is to shake the cylinders to... Read more →


I was looking for a Wobbel board for Otto, my four-year-old. Wobbel boards are expensive so I decided to take a look at the cheaper Kmart version in person. While visiting Kmart I noticed many new things in stock including a kitchen helper. Who knew Kmart has kitchen helpers? They also have two new Montessori books in, so it's time for me to write another Kmart Montessori at home post!! There are compromises, the kitchen helper isn't height-adjustable, the balance board has a weight limit of 70kg (Wobbel's capacity is 200kg). But they get the job done and they are... Read more →


1. / 2. / 3. / 4. (UK here)(AU here)(CA here) / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9. Does your child have their own calendar? At the start of the new year, I wanted to begin using a monthly calendar with my four-year-old. The thing is... he wasn't at all interested. Many calendars are overwhelming for young children. I decided to focus on what he is interested in and what is currently working. We are currently using a Day Calendar and Weather Board. These boards focus on the present day and allow children to make observations like... Read more →


As you may remember we like to use story baskets (or trays). We don't retell the entire story through puppets or props but I like to add a few things to make the storytelling fun, to hold the child's attention and to further the child's learning. Often my preschooler will use these baskets and trays independently. He will flip through the book and then engage with the materials. Story baskets (or trays) can: Give the child something to hold while reading. Enhance the read-aloud/storytime experience. Stimulate and provide further ideas for exploration, discovery and learning. Expose the child to real... Read more →


I recently noticed that scissor skill workbooks are popular among How we Montessori readers. I love to use scissor practice worksheets but usually, I download them from Etsy or Teachers Pay Teachers. I also like to give my preschooler catalogues from sports stores or gardening stores and allow him to cut out the images as he likes. There are benefits to using scissor skill workbooks like these. The workbooks allow us to have lots of images on hand, we never know if the child will use one page or ten, or more. Workbooks may offer variety and often have images... Read more →


My children love to use clay. Mostly we do open-ended clay play, without any prompts or suggestions on what to make. Occasionally though I like to show the children a technique or make larger sculptures, or give them project ideas. I have lots of different resources for using clay with young children so I decided to make a list of the skills or techniques that we can teach children from around three years with clay, but perhaps from two with play-dough. Clay play techniques to teach children: Squeeze Press Smooth Flatten Mould Cut Knead Crumple Straighten (roll out flat) Crush... Read more →


Do you want to try something different and create with Magnetic Loose Parts? Magnetic Loose Parts play can help develop: self-directed play concentration fine motor skills creativity imagination knowledge around magnetic and non-magnetic properties play regarding symmetry and geometry, skills regarding making shapes and shape play We use A4 Magnetic Sheets (AU) and lots of metal bits and pieces. I suggest looking around your home to see what you have, although I made a special trip to the hardware store to pick up some extra interesting bits and pieces. The Loose Parts items we use include: key rings paper clips... Read more →


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 →


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 →


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 →


I love the lead up to Christmas. One way to make this season more meaningful to our children is to involve them in practical hands-on ways. Children can be involved in decorating, baking, choosing or making gifts for others, writing cards and of course wrapping! We decided to try some child-made Christmas wrapping paper. I love these ideas as they make the gifts look and feel extra special and show that we've given some extra care and thought into the wrapping. We tried as much as possible to use craft materials we already have at home. With some of these... Read more →


Following yesterdays post about beach learning, I wanted to share some of the wonderful and creative learning materials regarding the seaside and ocean on Etsy. Letterbox Sea Beach Beachcomber Box - a collection of natural items from the beach. This would be fantastic for hands-on learning if you don't have access to the coastline. Sea Creature Wooden Imaginative Play Blocks - blocks for open-ended play featuring beautiful watercolour illustrations. By the Sea Notebook - for journaling or sketching. Narwhal Rubber Stamp - usually I like more realistic stamps but I know my narwhal loving preschooler would adore this! Watercolor Seashells... Read more →


This term we decided not to return to our Forest School class. Instead, we are trying a little of our own Beach School. One or two (or three) mornings a week we make our way to the beach to explore, have fun and learn a little. The beach provides an ideal learning environment for children who can learn in-situ, hands-on and be able to run and jump and generally make as much noise as they like. It makes sense to choose one or two regular spots to visit each week so the children can observe the changes in the environment... Read more →


Do your children like playing and exploring with a measuring tape? I recently introduced some measuring activities to my preschooler and found the activities that included a measuring tape were the most popular. Note that we used a children's measuring tape. Please check your measuring tape carefully before giving it to a child, at this age I would only provide a children's measuring tape or use a soft fabric style measuring tape. Metal measuring tapes can be sharp and can retract quickly and aren't suitable for young children. Our measuring tape is from The Lovevery Problem Solver Play Kit. Learning... Read more →