What do you look for when choosing a good alphabet book? It's most important that the book is engaging, attractive to the child so they will want to read it and so they will interact with it! Calling to the child, sparking an interest, igniting a desire, these all come first for me. Things to remember when choosing an alphabet book from a Montessori point of view include: age appropriateness - this is particularly important when looking at the objects on each page. lower case letters - in Montessori we teach lower case before upper case letters. phonics-based - we... Read more →


Do you have a two to three year old who is showing an interest in letters and reading, and you don't know what to do next? Here are a few ideas. From around two to three years we focus on phonological awareness and this comes before teaching the child letters or reading. Phonological awareness includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language such as words, syllables, speech sounds (phonemes), onset and rime. Activities regarding phonological awareness do not necessarily have any written words in them, it is about the sounds that the words make, not about the letters we use... Read more →


Next month Otto turns three!! As he is super excited about his birthday I want to make sure we have some wonderful gifts for him. He is the youngest of three children (all with similar interests) and already has lots of toys so choosing gifts for him has not been easy. Here are five things we've picked out. Personalised Children's Cook Books - I adore this concept. Each book is a recipe book but can also be read like a storybook. You can personalise the name and appearance (skin/hair/eye colour) of the child and the adult helper (typically mum/dad/grandparents but... Read more →


Have you ever sought professional advice for a reading list for your children? Perhaps your children are happy finding and exploring books on their own? Teachers and librarians can be really helpful in finding good books for your children, especially if they know your children well. While Otis (9yrs) reads he isn't really 'in love' with reading. I want to help him find books he is enthralled by, that captivate him and totally draw him in. I was also looking for a book list, not just one book idea, or the next book to read. The school holidays seems like... Read more →


Want to take a peek into a really beautiful, colourful and vibrant children's art studio? Before the COVID restrictions came into place Otto and I loved attending the process art toddler class at the Little Ginger Studio in Sydney (Randwick). All of these pictures were taken in March (2020), a week before the studio closed due to COVID. The studio has now reopened but they are only running drop off classes (no parents allowed) for children over the age of three. You can see all of their classes listed here. Danielle Falk is the founder of Little Ginger Studio. Danielle... Read more →


Are you looking for a children's book about Maria Montessori? Here are a few that you might like! The first three are books about a wide range of women of which Maria Montessori is included. Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan and Sarah Walsh. Maria Montessori is included in this compilation of inspiring and powerful women who changed the world. For children aged 8yrs+. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli. A wildly popular compilation book that also features Maria Montessori. For children 8yrs+. The People Awards by... Read more →


Teaching consent is a part of Montessori education, and it always has been. But what does it look like in our home? In some ways I've found it easy teaching consent to a toddler, "you don't have to give Grandma a hug, only if you want to". Other ways it can be difficult, how do I get a toddler to wash, brush, wipe or get in the car when they realllly don't want to? When we teach children to respect themselves we are also teaching them to respect others. Respect is at the core of consent. We respect an infant... Read more →


Are you looking for grammar work that complements what your children are learning at school that is also fun and interesting? A few of my Montessori teacher friends have recommended Ruth Heller's Explore Language Series and they did not disappoint. The books we have in this series are beautiful and whimsical. They are imaginative, creative almost mystical. The colours and the clash of pattern make this series captivating, while the language is lyrical and fun. One reviewer rightfully said "a visual and auditory feast!". Let's take a look. This one is Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives. All of... Read more →


I looove children's books and I believe in a circular economy. We consume a lot of books, there are some books that we will keep forever but we also have children's books that we donate each year, some that my children have grown out of and some that just didn't land as I'd hoped. Since arriving in Sydney I have been searching for a convenient place to donate our children's books and I stumbled upon Street Libraries. Street Libraries aren't just for donating, we can take a book too!! Honestly, what a wonderful idea. I haven't lived anywhere previously that... Read more →


Today I want to share some fantastic children's books by Indigenous authors. This is not an exhaustive list, these are the books that we have and love. All of these are educational but you can see that these books are so much more, many have significant cultural value. If you live outside of Australia these are fantastic books use to learn about Australia and what could be better than supporting Indigenous authors. Welcome To Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kenndey - board book (pictured above). An Aboriginal ceremony of Welcome to Country is depicted for the first time... Read more →


How do we follow a child's interest in a Montessori way? We need to provide hands on, real learning opportunities, but how? Here are some ideas that I like to explore when following a child's interest: Materials that are age and developmentally appropriate. Materials displayed in a way that is attractive and accessible to the child - on children's low shelves or on a child sized table. A relevant field trip - if possible. You or the child can take some photos, you can print the photos out and use them to explore the topic further. Learning experiences that use... Read more →


If you are new to Montessori you may not have heard of Michael J. Dorer. If you are an experienced Montessorian or teacher it's likely you've read his work. I haven't heard him speak but he's a brilliant writer and storyteller. Hatching the Cosmic Egg is a new picture book by Michael J. Dorer that I absolutely love. The concept blew me away as I haven't read a book like this before. It is a story of the universe and humans. It is big picture story about human beings! I would recommend it for children from five years+, those in... Read more →


Silence can be harmful. I feel like I don't know enough about race to say anything but I don't want to be silent. I have a voice and I want to share some of the small actions I've taken this week. (Pre)Ordered: AntiRacist Baby Board Book – by Ibram X. Kendi (Author), Ashley Lukashevsky (Illustrator). The National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist has written a new board book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves. "A beautiful board book that shows parents and children... 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 →


Do you have a lot of children's books in your home? I assume you do. The problem for many families is we have a lot of books but want to rotate or only keep out a small amount for our toddlers. Older children can manage more books but we want toddlers and young children to be able to select their own books from the book shelf and then later put them away. This means we need book shelves that are low, accessible to the young child, preferably with forward facing book display and limited in size. Here is how we... Read more →