What is the Montessori approach to teaching manners? Most manners can be taught through Grace and Courtesy lessons at home and in the classroom. We don't teach manners to have quiet and obedient children. We teach manners to promote friendship, respect, family values, citizenship, and social cohesion. We can teach children about manners through: Lessons/Demonstrations - this can be serious or fun and silly. We can role-play situations. Both the adult and child can act out what to do, and what not to do. In Montessori schools, children are taught how to carry and push in their chair quietly, how... Read more →


Are you looking for some Montessori style activities for your 24-36-month-old? Remember that every child and every family is different. There is a lot of variation in the skill level of a child at 24 months compared to 36 months, it is so important to observe your child and their skill level and not make comparisons between children. These activities are designed as a guide only. I've included some toys that we use at 24-36 months. These toys are compatible with Montessori at home, however, they are not specifically Montessori materials. Above the child begins to pick up their own... Read more →


Have you thought about ways of supporting your child's developing independence at breakfast time? Perhaps you already have a great set-up? Once the child reaches around 18 months old there is usually a way they can participate in making breakfast. Perhaps for the very young child, it could involve dumping pre-measured cereal into their bowl and pouring pre-measured milk over the top. Perhaps it's as simple as the child picking out fruit while you add it to yoghurt or oats, peeling their own boiled egg, chopping their own banana, or spreading jam on toast. Want to see what breakfast looks... Read more →


To prepare our children's hands for writing and using scissors it's important they have lots of hands-on play in the early years. It's imperative that our children are given opportunities to learn through tactile experience that strengthen the hands. Using clay is the best multi-sensory art experience I know for developing fine and gross motor skills. I prepare a lot of activities using play dough as it's easier for us to use inside, but at least once a week I like to break out the clay for all three of my children to use. Generally, our clay play involves open... Read more →


I'm always looking for new ways to use the learning materials we already have in our home. Presenting existing materials in a new way may make them more attractive to the child and may spark a new interest. We've had geometric solids on and off our work shelves but they haven't been a favourite until I presented them in a shape sorting activity (above top left). Then I felt inspired to try them with playdough and some riddle cards. I've now found ways for them to be used almost daily which is fantastic for a preschooler to learning geometric shapes... Read more →


Are you looking for some Montessori style activities for your 18-24 months old? Remember that every child and every family is different. Above is a child's bedroom at 23 months. It is very simple. Note the choice of two tops in the wardrobe, a low chair for dressing, low floor bed, and low bookshelf. Everything is at the child's height. I've included some toys that we use at 18-24 months. These toys are compatible with Montessori at home, however, they are not specifically Montessori materials. When we introduce Montessori activities we generally give the child a demonstration (show the child... Read more →


Otto (3yrs) and I were looking for some new, healthy snacks to make. We found a few ideas in Little Green Kitchen. First, we made some fruit salad with Mini Watermelon bowls. This is an idea from Little Green Kitchen but all we did was make a normal fruit salad (with melons, strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries, apple, grapes, and banana) and put it in a Mini Organic Watermelons (AU)(similar US here). It looks so cute. We used a melon baller to make melon balls and to scoop out the watermelons completely. Then we chopped up the rest of the fruit... Read more →


Flower Arranging is one of my favourite Practical Life, Care of the Environment Activities. Flowers can bring so much joy and beauty to our lives. This morning we received the most gorgeous flowers (c/o Bloom & Bud, Sydney) and I decided to share them with Otto (3yrs) and do some Flower Arranging together. Materials we use: vases - thick glass or transparent vases are useful for children learning how to pour, and knowing when to stop pouring, empty jars can work well too. funnel - useful for filling vases with narrow openings. pitcher with water - or we can provide... Read more →


Do you have Montessori sandpaper letters at home that are not being used as much as you'd hoped? Here are four different ways we are currently using sandpaper letters in our home. I call this a letter jumble as I jumble all the letters in the basket, then ask my three-year-old to sort them! It's easy for him to do and it really helps with his letter recognition. Here I've only used nine letters but I could put out the whole alphabet. I have included sandpaper letters, felt letters, and letter tiles. If we are playing this together I might... Read more →


We have spent the two weeks at home and our art trays have been well used. I've presented a different painting tray each day. Want to take a look? Our painting trays from this week include: round paint stampers - while these are fun to use, they can also help us to talk about size - small, medium, and large or smallest and biggest. uv glow paint - at first this paint doesn't look special but it lights up and glows under ultraviolet light. paint bellows - used with liquid watercolours. The child squeezes the bellows to squirt the watercolours... Read more →


gentleness noun 1. the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. 2. softness of action or effect; lightness. There are many ways that Montessori Practical Life exercises teach gentleness. What do we mean by gentleness? We mean refined movements, movements that are controlled, light and considered. Think about a child peeling a hard boiled egg, the child is gentle so they remove only the shell and leave as much of the egg as possible. The child is then rewarded with a lovely egg for snack. Think of a child dusting a leaf. If they are gentle the leaf is left... Read more →


This little apple corer/spiralizer has been in a couple of our Montessori toddler classrooms. Have you used one before? In our toddler classes, the children would line up to use it. It's fantastic to use for apples but it's also fun to use with potatoes!! It's not easy, the child needs to rotate the handle to turn the apple (or potato). It's important that your spiralizer has good suction so it doesn't move about. I've found the best suction is on our kitchen bench, rather than on a wooden table. It's wonderful for the child to participate in making snack... Read more →


Are you looking for some new scissor activities to try? I've been looking for some new scissor activities that are at my child's skill level but are also interesting and will attract the child. There is no use in preparing these activities if the child doesn't choose to do them. We need to update the children's activities as their skills develop but also as their interests change. We've found all of these activities interesting and fun: Pizza Cutting - these have been the biggest hit. We've used the half fraction right up to sixths. Dinosaur Cut Out Shapes - I... Read more →


Have you tried observational drawing with your children? My three-year-old has been enjoying a lot of observational drawing so I want to share some of my thoughts about it. I want to encourage you, no matter your child's age, to give it a go. Why try observational drawing? Observational drawing can: help strengthen memory - as the child looks at the object and remembers what they see. develop fine motor skills. develop spatial awareness. develop concentration and focus. develop observational skills - the child will look closely at the object and notice certain details, sometimes what the child notices are... Read more →


Today I'm sharing a few magnetic activities that I've used with my preschooler. Sorting Magnetic and Non-Magnetic items is a well known Montessori activity but what else can children learn about magnets in the early years? Wand Magnet & Iron Filings - the child can use the wand magnet to attract the iron filings and move them around the case and out of the red coloured sand. Wand Magnet with DIY Cases - including paper clips, short lengths of chenille twistable stems (pipe cleaners), and metal rings. The child can use the magnet to attract and move the items in... Read more →