We've recently discovered a new Montessori picture book and I think you will like it!! The Little Montessori Me Picture Book (US) and (UK) by Inez Bunclark. It takes the reader gently through the day of a young child starting with a walk to a lake, practical life activities like emptying the washing machine, sweeping, watering plants, then onto playing with toys, gardening, climbing a Pikler triangle, reading, art, care of self activities like brushing hair and cleaning hands, working in the kitchen, mealtime, rest and sleep time. A full day! It is wonderful to see a book written about... Read more →


Susan Stephenson would have to be the most prolific writer of Montessori parenting and homeschooling books in modern times. As a young parent, I craved her words of wisdom in the Michael Olaf catalogs. Now Susan has at least eight books in publication including the latest Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom. Susan has AMI diplomas for 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12. She has a Degree in Philosophy from San Francisco State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. In the past fifty years, Susan has worked in various roles in Montessori education in thirty-two... Read more →


Do you have a toddler or preschooler who has started to ask questions about the moon and stars? I've found that at around three years of age my children start to ask about the moon and begin to point out things they can see in the night sky (and tell me when they can see the moon during the day). We have a lot of children's space books so I wanted to share with you some of our favourites. As a Montessori family accuracy is important to us. Many children's space books are cartoonish or overly simplistic. These books all... Read more →


Montessori parents understand the importance of risk-taking in the development of the child. However, often we need help in navigating risk in the home as the child ages. What kinds of risk should we be exposing the child to, and at what age? My children are 3, 9, and 13-years-old. Their risk profiles are all significantly different. Risk is something that is frequently on my mind as I allow Otto (3yrs) to climb higher and higher in the climbing tree at Centennial Park, after recently catching him mid-fall from a significant height. Or allowing Otis (9yrs) who already walks to... Read more →


Our family loves to read poetry. We read all kinds of poetry. I like to have at least one poetry basket out for my three-year-old. We also have poetry books, we like to perform or recite poetry on our family fun nights and occasionally we will write poetry. The theme for our next Friday Family Fun Night is Michael Rosen, my children love his writing. You will know Michael Rosen from We're Going on a Bear Hunt. He has also written books for older children and for adults. Our favourite Michael Rosen poetry book is A Great Big Cuddle: Poems... Read more →


We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity,... Read more →


I've started to look for a journal for Otis (9yrs) for the new year. Otis likes to use a journal, he doesn't write a lot but he likes checkboxes and he makes lots of little comic drawings. Journals and importantly gratitude journals can be a wonderful way of connecting with your child, and for them to unwind and reflect on their day. I've found that a gratitude journal helps: make gratitude a priority in our home establish a gratitude ritual provide a space for open communication between parents and children promote record and memory keeping the child unwind and de-stress... Read more →


(Christina's children James and Lilah reading Montessori abc's) There is a new book on our shelves and I know you are going to love it. It's an authentic Montessori style alphabet book written and photographed by Montessori parents! Montessori abc's (AU link here) is written by Christina Clemer (Montessori-ish Mom) and photographed by Nick Karwoski. It's wonderful to see a Montessori style alphabet book that is so true and genuine. Christina decided to publish Montessori abc's after making a similar book for her son James. Montessori abc's has: a simple easy-to-follow layout engaging and interesting images phonetic words/images a single... Read more →


I recently put together some poetry and story baskets for my preschooler (3yrs old). The baskets ensure I am intentional about the poems I share and they also provide my child with the opportunity to hear a poem when he chooses. Poetry and short stories can help develop phonemic awareness and memorization skills. They are also a good way of developing a love of language. We know that early literacy skills are about listening and speaking rather than about reading and writing. We want to build our child's vocabulary, we want the child to hear and identify sounds, rhyme, and... Read more →


This term Otis (in yr 4) is an Eco-Warrior representative for his class. This means he gets to take out the compost and do other environmentally responsible tasks. He started a discussion about what we could do to reduce our waste at home. Otis and I thought about starting a worm farm. We previously used the Bokashi composting method but it was no longer suitable for our growing family. We decided to try a worm farm. Otis helped to set it up and does most of the maintenance. A great flow-on effect is the whole family has been involved in... Read more →


Cook books are a wonderful way to introduce children to cooking. We can use cook books to promote healthy eating and for the development of a whole range of practical life skills. Alone or add an apron or utensils, cook books are also awesome to give as gifts. There are cook books designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. Here a few that I like the best!! Personalised Banana Muffin, Zucchini Muffin and Rainbow Fritter Cook Books. These are by Story Antics who have many other personalised cook books perfect for the age ranges of around three years+. They are cook... Read more →


Yesterday we launched our very own Children's Street Library. A Street Library or Little Free Library is a small box you put on your street to share books with your neighbours. It's a wonderful way of supporting the circular economy and building connections within your community. To begin the process we spoke with our neighbours and friends on our street to share our ideas. Otto and I visited six or so Street Libraries within walking distance of our home to see what they look like and to see what books they stock. We wanted to make ours a Children's Street... Read more →


I love children's books about the natural world. Today I am sharing a few children's gardening books that are particularly beautiful and that have inspired me to take action in our own home. Easy Peasy: Gardening for Kids - This is absolutely the most beautiful children's gardening book. The illustrations are so bold and vibrant. This is also a little whimsical and supports reusing materials from the home and making do with what we have. Includes 20 activities that promote gardening anywhere and everywhere (pots, containers, balconies). Extremely easy to follow. Also contains non-activity pages that include facts and information... Read more →


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 →