As part of my studies, I recently read The 21st Century School Library: A Model for Innovative Teaching and Learning. It's an excellent book that considers different literacies including textural literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, digital literacy, technological literacy and racial literacy. The author covers some of the ways he teaches these literacies in a school library setting. While I consider these literacies in my studies I also consider these literacies at home with my children. The author writes one way he addresses visual literacy is by setting up a Pattern Play station in the school library. "Pattern Play. This... Read more →


Paper weaving has meaning in both Montessori and Froebel philosophies. No matter your style of parenting or education preference, paper weaving is a great activity for developing fine motor skills, spatial awareness and early mathematical skills. In Montessori, weaving is a practical life activity. In Froebel, weaving is both a gift and an occupation. Have you read about Froebel? There are lots of similarities between the Froebel and Montessori approaches. Froebel believed that children gain a deeper understanding of the world around them when given opportunities to interact with concrete activities and use carefully selected hands-on manipulatives. Sounds familiar, right?... Read more →


Is your child easily frustrated by crayons? Often young children find pencils and crayons too hard, they require too much pressure to make a mark and the child fatigues easily and may give up in frustration. If your child doesn't like crayons or pencils, I suggest giving oil pastels a try. Oil pastels are rewarding; they make a mark with very little pressure, they are responsive, soft and smooth on the paper. Oil pastels come in a wide variety of colours, the colours are highly pigmented, vibrant and rich. They are affordable and easily accessible. Our local stationary shop has... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been focusing on drawing with oil pastels and creating with clay; however, every couple of days, I will also set up a new and interesting art tray. Some of these are just for fun, others are to help develop fine motor skills. Let's take a look at the last eight art activities we've tried! Salad spinner art - I cut some cardboard in a circle the same diameter as the bottom of our salad spinner. I presented this with some small squeeze paints (ours are from Kmart AU), the paints are small enough... Read more →


Have you ever thought about how to integrate chess into your Montessori environment? My two older children learnt to play chess at their (Montessori) schools. Many of their schools also had chess clubs, so they could practice playing with their peers. Until now, I've never had to teach a child how to play chess. I am thankful that Otto (4yrs), the youngest of three children, has two patient older brothers to play chess with, but he still has to learn the basic skills. If you want to know more about learning chess in a Montessori way, you must read No... Read more →


Have you used drawing prompts with your children? It's something I really love to do. I believe in process art and believe children benefit from free and open access to art materials. But I also like to present art activities to stretch their minds and their imaginations, to introduce new concepts and to encourage exploration of art, form, colour and materials. We recently had little visitors, and I put out some drawing prompts, paper, oil pastels, markers and pencils. It was a complete success! The four and five-year-olds loved the spirals, stairs and hearts. The seven-year-old loved drawing arrows and... Read more →


I've been getting a lot of questions about the moon lately. Perhaps it's because we've just come out of winter, and the nights have been long, perhaps it is all the excitement over the launch of NASA's Artemis I moon rocket. 🌙🚀 Young children learn best through real hands-on experiences, and this can be difficult when learning about the moon at school. It's a great idea to explore the moon at home where can go outside and see the moon at night. To encourage my children to closely observe the moon, we've been using a moon journal. The journal encourages... Read more →


It was Father's day today here in Australia. To celebrate Otto (4yrs) made waffles for the whole family. This is a wonderful idea for children who love to play cafe or shops. Our waffle-making station is on a child's table, so it is at the child's height. This is useful for the child who needs to run around take orders, make the waffles and then deliver them, there is no getting up or down from the kitchen counter. We use honey, icing sugar, strawberries, banana and blueberries. I made the waffle batter in advance, but the child could easily do... Read more →


Grab your child and some clay. Today we are going outside to strengthen our hand muscles! It's been a while since I've shared a clay tray. When I've been studying, I've had little energy for messy play. Working with clay doesn't have to be messy, but it always has the potential to get messy and absolutely requires some emotional energy to wipe everything down. So if not today, save this idea for when you are ready. Or get your clay tray organised - so when the time is right, your tray is ready to go! I have three children and... Read more →


Has your child ever asked what the difference is between a turtle and a tortoise or between a crocodile and an alligator? Children are curious and often notice similarities and differences in the things around them. Sometimes looking at similarities and differences means looking closer, paying attention to the smaller, finer details. When asked about turtles and tortoises, the only difference I could think of is that turtles like water and tortoises don't. I also didn't want to give my child the answer; I wanted us to find out the answer together. Pursuing the idea of similarities and differences, I've... Read more →


I've been super busy studying, and studying at home with a four-year-old has been much harder than I anticipated. Otto asked me for some new activities, which he has never done before. It was a reminder to update his shelves. I don't have a lot of time, I just finished one assignment and have another due on Monday, so I made some simple printouts that I hope would appeal to him. I can download and print the Etsy activities straight away, so I don't have to look for workbooks or wait for something to be delivered, within half an hour... Read more →


weather chart / movable animals / handwriting cards / animal lengths / insect tracing / read/draw/write I recommend following Marissa at Missy Montessori as she shares lots of classroom activities that can be used at home - without needing specific Montessori materials. Lots of her classroom ideas use printables from her online store. Many of these activities can also be DIYed, especially if you are good at illustration. Here are some of the Missy Montessori activities we've been using recently with our preschooler (4yrs). Weather Chart - we can use this every day as part of our daily rhythm or... Read more →


We've been attending a Waldorf/Steiner playgroup for almost two years and it's changed my approach to parenting (more songs, easier transitions). I've noticed changes in Otto (4yrs) too. Now he sings and tells stories every day. After one week of going to playgroup, Otto started asking me to join him for storytime. Storytime with oral stories using toys and dolls, not stories from a book. For his birthday last year, we gave Otto a felt mat and some felt animals like the ones he sees at the playgroup. He will set up his playmat with animals and props. We will... Read more →


Have you made fruit gummies at home? A friend recently put some fruit gummies in her daughter's lunch box and they looked fantastic, hers were in a heart shape and were very cute! She assured me they were easy to make so I had to give it a go. It's winter and berries are expensive so we don't want any to go to waste. This is a good way to use leftover berries and we can get the children involved. There are lots of recipes and online tutorials on making fruit gummies - the recipe at My Kids Lick the... Read more →


This is the first in a new series about mindfulness with kids. I want to share some practical, easy and fun ways to bring little pockets of quiet, calm and focus into your life and the lives of your children. Today we are starting with children's yoga. Yoga is one of my favourite mindfulness activities. I've attended yoga classes throughout my life, in all different life stages it's been there for me. My three children are very active with sport so they enjoy the physical aspect of yoga. It's a way for them to physically slow down and listen to... Read more →