Two-piece part-whole perception puzzles can look simple but they can be difficult, they go to the core of what puzzles are about - matching pieces and forming a whole. Part-whole perception puzzles help the child to understand 'part' and 'whole' relationships, that two parts can come together to form a single shape or a single whole picture. They allow for hands-on discovery and exploration of shape, colour, form and spatial relationships. There is growing evidence that spatial skills exercised during puzzle play are foundational in supporting learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. "Through infant age, toddler age and in... Read more →


We've had these on our back deck for weeks and they look so beautiful. Otto is using them for sorting and transferring but when the sunlight passes through them it's all about the colour! Have you seen these before? They are Colour Treasure Tubes. The Colour Treasure Tubes come in red, blue, green and yellow. There is also a clear set available. The aim is to promote exploratory play ✨. The round, transparent tubes are stackable and have a removable lid at one end. My toddler can independently take off and put the lid back on. These open-ended materials, more... Read more →


I've spent hours searching for a new yoga mat for Otto. He has been using his brother's yoga mat but it's time he has one of his own. It needs to be cute, grippy, tough, comfortable and hopefully biodegradable. Is that possible? What you do think of these options? Moon Child and Rainbow Yoga Mat by Sunchild Yogi - 100% natural tree rubber base with microsuede top, eco-friendly, biodegradable and recyclable, free of PVC, latex, silicone, phthalates, chlorine, and odour. Printed Kids Yoga Mats at Mindful & Co Kids - This is the Sweet Print. Made with 100% recycled tree... Read more →


The weather here has been gorgeous. We've had plenty of rain but also lots of wonderful sunshine! ☀️Otto and I have been spending most mornings in our garden or on our back deck doing a little planting. Yesterday we were out there for four hours. Here are four garden and planting trays that we have been using and loving! Seed Planting Tray. Above is one of my all time favourite gardening trays, a simple seed planting activity. We are using terracotta pots (there are three on the tray, but as they are stacked you can't see them all). I cannot... Read more →


To celebrate International Mud Day (Monday 29th June) we spent the morning in our garden getting dirty and a little muddy! Digging lots of holes and filling them with water. The only tools we used were a trowel and a watering can. And a few seeds and seedlings. Today was a bit of a wake-up call. We really haven't done any mud play since leaving our UK Forest School. We know that mud play is just so good for children. So I have a few ideas of a mud play area I can create with some water, buckets, and a... Read more →


What do you put on your clay tray or with your toddler clay work? In the past I've presented clay with lots of bits and pieces like small craft sticks, mosaic tiles, dried beans, gum nuts and other items from nature. This week our clay tray includes more tools, rather than sticking things in the clay I want my toddler to explore the clay with his hands, to change the shape of the clay, to model and mould it. A toddler size spray bottle to keep the clay moist. Textured rolling pin. "Clay has a utilitarian purpose—it can make bowls... Read more →


Are you looking for some new art trays to try? Here are eight that we've tried this week. Tape - my toddler is in a huge scissor phase so he likes this tray, I have coloured tape, children's scissors and card. The card is from Reverse Garbage but the back of cereal containers or other card packaging would work well too. The child cuts pieces of tape and arranges it on the card. Mirror - painting with a cotton bud on a mirror, fantastic for developing fine motor skills. We loooove using our pencil crayons on the mirror too. Car... Read more →


I've been thinking about the Indigenous educational materials present in our home. I would love to see more Indigenous representation in our art (and art appreciation studies), in the foods we eat, in the music we listen to and in the clothes/designers we wear, and I'm making changes in those areas. We have a few children's books by Indigenous authors and we love to explore with Ochre. What about other educational materials like games, puzzles and manipulatives? Are there early learning materials by Indigenous creatives that are suitable for a Montessori home? It turns out there is a lot and... Read more →


Otto is sleeping in extra long this morning so I though I would quickly upload some photos I took of our recent number hunt. I've found that as children get closer to three they are able to visually identify numbers. We are using the Tumble Down Counting Pegs and I'm sure this helps. Once I pointed out a couple of numbers Otto got so excited "three!!" and so it continued, seeing numbers everywhere! Identifying numbers in our neighbourhood is like reading! It's all about visual discrimination - identifying shapes and lines and interpreting them, using memory to know what that... Read more →


Much to the delight of my toddler we found an awesome garbage truck puzzle. This puzzle has a photographic image and has the image on the background so it's easy for the toddler to see where each pieces goes. (AU link, UK link). So many circles! Otto's drawing at 33 months. Using the Stabilo Woody 3-in-1 Crayon Pencils. He is working hard to control the pencil. Where is the first place you go when the pandemic restrictions lift? Perhaps your local bookshop? I've been twice now, the first time I didn't take Otto due to the number restrictions in the... Read more →


I wasn't intending on publishing an article on juicing, but this morning my toddler kept on asking to use the juicer, he got all the juicer pieces out and put them on the kitchen bench and just waited until I agreed. He was so eager to do this work! Have you used a juicer like this with your children? My toddler is 2.5 years old, a child closer to two years old might struggle with the strength but many children by three will be able to do this. This work is empowering, it's almost like magic - turning the fresh... Read more →


I recently watched a chef whip up an Arugula (rocket) and Pea Pesto to serve with pasta that I knew my kids would love. He made the pesto with a mortar and pestle (no food processor) and it was really fast. My first thought was - a toddler could do that! Yes, a toddler could do that, but they would need little guidance. My toddler (2.5 years) has done some mortar and pestle work before but it's been more like free play and exploration. This time I decided to work along side him as we needed to turn the arugula... Read more →


a. / b. / c. / d. / e. / f. / g. / h. / i. / j. / k. / l. / m. / n. / o. / p. Perhaps it is the wind and rain, although we are still going for our nature walks we are spending more time inside and my toddler is loving ALL the cutting, pasting, and sticker work! Sometimes we use sticker books how they are intended, by sticking the stickers in the books often on predetermined pages. Most of all we use stickers for collage work, presented on a tray. Although we... Read more →


This is a friendly reminder that there are huge benefits to using paste and a brush before using a glue stick - especially for toddlers and preschoolers. Montessori schools often have young children apply paste with brushes or small spreaders as opposed to glue sticks. It serves as an opportunity for the child to develop their fine motor skills and pincer grasp preparing their hand for writing. If at home you are going to do some collage or pasting work with a young child try using paste and a brush or a little glue spreader, we don't need to set... Read more →


Do you have a toddler that loves to use scissors but is perhaps bored with the usual cutting strips? Here are some other engaging activities we've been using at 2.5 years. Above is an idea from Days with Grey. It is so much fun and the child can cut one handed - they don't have to hold a paper strip or other objects. I've put a small model animal into each section of a muffin tray. I've then used coloured craft tape to tape the animals in! Days with Grey use painters tape and I'm confident that Washi tape or... Read more →