We've been playing with a new wooden marble run (AU here). It's a fantastic marble run that is recommended for children 36months+. As soon as we unpacked it I was taken back by the play guide. It is way too advanced for my child and too advanced for most children under the age of 7-10yrs. It made me think about how with play, we often set our children up for failure. This play guide is not developmentally appropriate for my child. Although it shows young children in the photographs. If we as adults build the marble run as shown in... Read more →


"Some objects are rapidly mass-produced by press or machine and are exactly alike. Others are made slowly by hand, and each is different from the other. The value of handmade objects is that each carries the individual imprint of the artist who created it." - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family. Today is Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. ❄️ Making candles is a lovely way to celebrate Winter Solstice and it's also a fantastic warming, practical life activity. Part of this practical life activity is simply learning the process of how to make candles. We melt the wax,... Read more →


Are you looking for free or low-cost science materials for your children to use at home? Last year we discovered the Spark! and Little Spark! Discovery Boxes (AU). The Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 8-12 years+, and the Little Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 3-5 years+. At our local Libraries (Randwick, NSW) the Spark! Discovery Boxes can be loaned using our standard library card (free). The Little Spark! Discovery Boxes require a Toy Library membership (low-cost, free for those with relevant concession cards). But check with your local library first for their conditions, if they don't have any... Read more →


Soft Play Shapes are one of the larger play items that are popping up in the homes of Montessori families, along with Pikler Triangles they are extremely popular. Play items that promote gross motor skills indoors have been valuable in the last two years with most children experiencing lockdown or isolation periods at home. Soft Play Shapes are extremely versatile, they can be used for: building lifting, carrying stacking knocking over crawling up rolling down, tumbling down or over balancing creating an obstacle course sitting or lying on Some of the Soft Play Shapes we've noticed include: Play Sets at... Read more →


We've been doing a ton of art lately, more than cooking or other practical life activities. I love to pair a book and an art activity, this week we tried two art activities with Leo Lionni books! ❤️ Pairing the two helps to create a connection between the child and the book and it makes us look deeper into the story. Here are six art trays that we've enjoyed. Remember to follow your child including their interests, developmental needs and skill level. These activities don't need to be presented on a tray. We can put them on our art table... Read more →


Are you looking for something new to bake with your child? Here are three things I make with my child (pictured here at 3 and 4 years old) using Filo/Phyllo pastry. Filo/Phyllo pastry can be crumbly and flaky so we need to embrace the messy parts and acknowledge with the child that the pastry will tear. We use premade fresh pastry from the supermarket. All of these recipes can be adapted depending on your likes and dislikes. The processes I've listed can be adapted to the age and skill of the child. Sometimes my children will stay with me for... Read more →


If you have a lot of model animals at home, this might be a fantastic sorting activity for you to try! Sorting Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals. We can use whatever model animals we have at home, plastic, wooden or stuffed animals, we use mostly Schleich. I made up and printed two labels, one for Nocturnal (night-time) and one for Diurnal (day-time). We could also add or discuss Crepuscular animals (mainly active at dawn and dusk). The child simply sorts the animals into the two categories. For younger children, we could use fewer animals and for older children, we could add... Read more →


My preschooler loves art. He loves getting his hands covered in paint and he's attracted to all kinds of brushes, stamps and printmaking. Here are six art trays that we've tried recently. Painting with a Spring Whisk. I found this spring whisk (similar) while out for a walk and immediately knew it would be fun for painting. The child can press the whisk down and it springs back up. It's good for printmaking and it's addictive! The child presses the spring whisk into the paint and then onto the paper. This was a huge hit and I'll remember to get... Read more →


I love baking with my children but we often end up making the same things (muffins or banana bread). A baking kit is a nice way to bake something different, something special. Baking kits like this one by Easy Peasy also contain a craft. Children's baking kits are a lovely gift idea, or nice to save for when grandparents, cousins or special guests come to visit! Most children's baking kits are made by small businesses which is just another reason to give them a go. Here are some children's baking kits that look fun and delicious! Australia: Easy Peasy Eco-Friendly... Read more →


This is an easy idea to help children learn about the weather, seasons, temperature and numeracy. Put a large indoor/outdoor thermometer at the child's height, near your entryway. We had a large outdoor thermometer in our children's garden area but as we aren't out there every day, I moved it to our front porch. This is an area we pass through many times a day. Sometimes the children are waiting here while I lock the door or look for keys, making it a great place to put the thermometer. To begin I tried to ignite interest in the thermometer by... Read more →


I was really interested in trying some symmetry drawing with my preschooler. It looks like a fun way to teach children about symmetry and art. I initially downloaded these insect symmetry drawing cards but once I had them I could tell they were way too hard for my four-year-old. I made up some of my own cards by downloading basic images and removing half of the image. As this was the first time presenting this work to my child, I gave him a mirror to show him what the complete image would look like. This was really tricky work. Flowers,... Read more →


Does anyone want to try some sorting with us? All of these activities use items we can find around the home! I wanted to dive into the concepts around recycling with my preschooler but first I wanted to make sure he had a good understanding of the different types of materials. These activities teach the child about the world around them, how the world works and what materials exist in our environment. First, we started with natural and man-made materials. As we sorted these for the first time, I spoke to my child about what is natural, in our natural... Read more →


My preschooler is a pre-writer who loves scribbling, drawing and other mark-making. We have lots of crayons and pencils (also charcoal, oil pastels, and, chalk) available for drawing but I still keep a look out for other interesting ideas that involve creative mark-making. My older children have enjoyed using Spirographs but we hadn't used the Spirograph Junior Set before. I was hesitant to try the Spirograph Junior Set as I couldn't find a detailed review and I didn't know how durable or suitable it would be for this age. I also couldn't find a set second hand, this needed to... Read more →


My children love pasta so I was thinking of a way to teach my preschooler the names of different types of pasta. We could use the correct terms when cooking or serving the pasta, we could use the correct names when ordering pasta delivery or when eating out. We could also use a three-period lesson to teach the different types. My preschooler doesn't love three-period lessons and I found some three parts cards that looked suitable. Instead of using all of the three-part cards, I've used just the first card and made up some matching work. The physical matching is... Read more →


The beauty of Lovevery Play Kits is that they contain stage-based play essentials. The idea is that through research we can present our child with the right toys at the right time. But... the Lovevery Play Kits don't only contain play essentials, they also contain practical life tools that are so useful and enriching that we use them every day! So just in case you were thinking Lovevery is all about toys, I want to prove you wrong and share some of the materials that aren't toys, that we use super frequently with my preschooler at 4yrs. Some of these... Read more →