There are a lot of books that can help prepare your child for significant events like going to the doctor or dentist. However, there are very few books that are non-commercial (without licensed characters) and that have real, photographic, relatable images, that would be preferred by many Montessori parents. I recently discovered this Toddler Prep series, that uses real images and a variety of children. Toddler Prep books can help children of all ages prepare for unfamiliar environments, sounds, equipment and people, strange noises, waiting, lining up and being touched by medical professionals. The Toddler Prep books walk the reader... Read more →

We've been doing a ton of art lately, more than cooking or other practical life activities. I love to pair a book and an art activity, this week we tried two art activities with Leo Lionni books! โค๏ธ Pairing the two helps to create a connection between the child and the book and it makes us look deeper into the story. Here are six art trays that we've enjoyed. Remember to follow your child including their interests, developmental needs and skill level. These activities don't need to be presented on a tray. We can put them on our art table... Read more →

Research has shown that Australian children want to learn First Nations words more than other, foreign languages. We have a few books with some Indigenous words but I knew I could do better to expose my children to our First Nations languages. Why should we introduce our children to First Nations Words and Languages? To acknowledge and raise awareness of First Nations Languages. To help strengthen and preserve the languages and to increase demand for language-specific resources. To help build connections between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities. To increase knowledge of and respect for First Nations People. To provide the cognitive... Read more →

Did you know that Ashley from Hapa Family has released a new book? The Montessori Home: Create a Space for Your Child to Thrive (AU here)(UK here)(World Wide) was released last month. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and I wasn't disappointed! There are a lot of Montessori books around but Ashely has written a book about what I feel was missing. That is the parent's point of view of Montessori in the home. Although Ashley is a certified Montessori guide (0-3) this is written from a parent's perspective, and it's a welcome change. The communication really... Read more →

The beauty of Lovevery Play Kits is that they contain stage-based play essentials. The idea is that through research we can present our child with the right toys at the right time. But... the Lovevery Play Kits don't only contain play essentials, they also contain practical life tools that are so useful and enriching that we use them every day! So just in case you were thinking Lovevery is all about toys, I want to prove you wrong and share some of the materials that aren't toys, that we use super frequently with my preschooler at 4yrs. Some of these... Read more →

We are mid-way through a 7-day isolation period and my preschooler has been desperate for some new activities. It's also been rainy so my mind goes straight to art. I've raided our art cupboard and put together a few new art activities! These activities allow the child to focus on one activity or one skill at a time. The art trays can be used: to introduce a new skill. to introduce new materials. on the kitchen table for the children to work on after breakfast. after preschool/daycare/school alongside a healthy snack to relax and decompress. in the afternoon while the... Read more →

At home, we like to draw and paint self-portraits. I've been thinking of ways to encourage my child to see the details in his face and to notice features like eyebrows and eyelashes, things that were missing from his drawings. I set him up with a mirror so that he could look closely at his own eyes. We used a simple eye diagram to identify parts of the eye at a preschooler level. It's a good reminder to use correct and accurate terms with our children, a four-year-old can absolutely learn iris and pupil! Then together we tried observational drawings... Read more →

I decided to try a few Montessori workbooks with my preschooler and I was so surprised I had to share them with you! Montessori workbooks especially for the 3-6 yr age group feel like a bit of an oxymoron. We want the children's learning to be hands-on, using real-life experiences as much as possible. But for the child learning to write and needs a lot of practice, a Montessori workbook may be very helpful. Times have changed too, now more than ever parents are teaching their children at home. Montessori workbooks are affordable and easy to use. If your child... Read more →

It feels like an inappropriate time to be blogging. The senseless war in Ukraine, the loss of life and the loss of personal security is unfathomable. It can be difficult to know how to help. Today we are donating to the UNHCR Ukraine appeal. Please leave a link, especially if you have personal experience of agencies we can support in and around Ukraine. I found this article useful Talking to Kids About Hard Things by Emily Oster. For many people, Etsy shops are their only source of income. Marina from Wooden Toys for You in Kyiv (we love their Continent... Read more →

Wednesday 2nd February 2022 is World Read Aloud Day!! The purpose of World Read Aloud Day is to celebrate the power of reading aloud. I love reading aloud to my children but often I worry if I should be doing it more, if they are really listening, if I'm choosing the right books and perhaps if I could be doing a better job at it. I've been reading a ton about reading aloud and here are some of the best tips and quotes I've found that have put my mind at ease. "Reading out loud is probably the least expensive... Read more →

Did you know that the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) publishes children's books? I only found out a year or so ago and since then we've been amassed a small collection of their books. We love CSIRO children's books because: they contain scientific terms and names - the storybooks all have science interwoven into the story. we can learn about lesser-known and often endangered animals - like the Spotted Handfish or the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect. we can trust the science - many of the authors are scientists first that are writing about their area of professional... Read more →

As you may remember we like to use story baskets (or trays). We don't retell the entire story through puppets or props but I like to add a few things to make the storytelling fun, to hold the child's attention and to further the child's learning. Often my preschooler will use these baskets and trays independently. He will flip through the book and then engage with the materials. Story baskets (or trays) can: Give the child something to hold while reading. Enhance the read-aloud/storytime experience. Stimulate and provide further ideas for exploration, discovery and learning. Expose the child to real... Read more →

I've only recently discovered Alice Zaslavsky's children's food book Aliceโ€™s Food A to Z. It was the first cookbook to be given a Notable Book award by the Childrenโ€™s Book Council of Australia. That says something! Alice is a former School Teacher, MasterChef contestant (2012), culinary correspondent on ABC News Breakfast, author of In Praise of Veg and soon to be food columnist in The Weekend Australian Magazine (replacing David Herbert). "This book is about encouraging kids to dip into the world of food and splash around to see what they can find. It aims to pique their curiosity enough... Read more →

What are the best libraries in Sydney for children? Sydney has amazing libraries, we have so much choice. Today I want to share with you my local library and three other libraries with outstanding children's areas. I live in the Eastern suburbs and all of these libraries are within a 25 minutes drive. Our most visited, local library is the Margaret Martin Library. It is not our closest library but it is the most convenient for us, and convenience is important for a library! The Margaret Martin Library is located on Level 1 of the Royal Randwick Shopping Centre. The... Read more →

Today I'm sharing the top materials ordered by HWM readers through Amazon (US) in the year 2021. This post includes a ton of product links, if that isn't your thing please skip this post. I hope you find this useful and that you get some great ideas for your children for now or for the future! Let's start by looking at toddler toys and materials. The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is popular year after year (mainly due to this article). My children adored the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Wooden Tower and the Galt Pop Up Toy... Read more →