Is your child easily frustrated by crayons? Often young children find pencils and crayons too hard, they require too much pressure to make a mark and the child fatigues easily and may give up in frustration. If your child doesn't like crayons or pencils, I suggest giving oil pastels a try. Oil pastels are rewarding; they make a mark with very little pressure, they are responsive, soft and smooth on the paper. Oil pastels come in a wide variety of colours, the colours are highly pigmented, vibrant and rich. They are affordable and easily accessible. Our local stationary shop has... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been focusing on drawing with oil pastels and creating with clay; however, every couple of days, I will also set up a new and interesting art tray. Some of these are just for fun, others are to help develop fine motor skills. Let's take a look at the last eight art activities we've tried! Salad spinner art - I cut some cardboard in a circle the same diameter as the bottom of our salad spinner. I presented this with some small squeeze paints (ours are from Kmart AU), the paints are small enough... Read more →


Grab your child and some clay. Today we are going outside to strengthen our hand muscles! It's been a while since I've shared a clay tray. When I've been studying, I've had little energy for messy play. Working with clay doesn't have to be messy, but it always has the potential to get messy and absolutely requires some emotional energy to wipe everything down. So if not today, save this idea for when you are ready. Or get your clay tray organised - so when the time is right, your tray is ready to go! I have three children and... Read more →


weather chart / movable animals / handwriting cards / animal lengths / insect tracing / read/draw/write I recommend following Marissa at Missy Montessori as she shares lots of classroom activities that can be used at home - without needing specific Montessori materials. Lots of her classroom ideas use printables from her online store. Many of these activities can also be DIYed, especially if you are good at illustration. Here are some of the Missy Montessori activities we've been using recently with our preschooler (4yrs). Weather Chart - we can use this every day as part of our daily rhythm or... Read more →


This week Sydney experienced a flood emergency. Families are displaced, rained in or have simply spent the week indoors to stay dry. So I've tried to post the easiest, the most engaging activity I could think of that would appeal to a wide range of children. It's also Plastic Free July so I've tried to set this activity up without using plastics. All of the materials for this activity I've found around our home. Above Otto (4yrs) is using our plastic-free Playdough Station. I created it as a surprise, knowing that he would love it even more if it was... Read more →


"Some objects are rapidly mass-produced by press or machine and are exactly alike. Others are made slowly by hand, and each is different from the other. The value of handmade objects is that each carries the individual imprint of the artist who created it." - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family. Today is Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. ❄️ Making candles is a lovely way to celebrate Winter Solstice and it's also a fantastic warming, practical life activity. Part of this practical life activity is simply learning the process of how to make candles. We melt the wax,... Read more →


My preschooler loves art. He loves getting his hands covered in paint and he's attracted to all kinds of brushes, stamps and printmaking. Here are six art trays that we've tried recently. Painting with a Spring Whisk. I found this spring whisk (similar) while out for a walk and immediately knew it would be fun for painting. The child can press the whisk down and it springs back up. It's good for printmaking and it's addictive! The child presses the spring whisk into the paint and then onto the paper. This was a huge hit and I'll remember to get... Read more →


I love baking with my children but we often end up making the same things (muffins or banana bread). A baking kit is a nice way to bake something different, something special. Baking kits like this one by Easy Peasy also contain a craft. Children's baking kits are a lovely gift idea, or nice to save for when grandparents, cousins or special guests come to visit! Most children's baking kits are made by small businesses which is just another reason to give them a go. Here are some children's baking kits that look fun and delicious! Australia: Easy Peasy Eco-Friendly... Read more →


In Montessori classrooms and homes, children often use real materials, real glassware, real utensils, real knives, real hammers and saws. The children are in a prepared environment that includes caregivers who provide supervision and support. We ensure the children are given the skills to gradually over time use real materials in a safe and age-appropriate way. We may provide alternative or safer versions like a knife with a rounded tip - but it's still a real knife. I've previously used a real hot glue gun with my children at four years. I've closely supervised and no one has got hurt.... Read more →


We are at the end of a 7-day isolation period. Staying at home and not being able to go out means I've been preparing more activities than usual for my preschooler! I've raided our art cupboard and art books to put together a few new art trays. These activities are generally appropriate for children 3-5 years old. 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.... 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 →


I love bath crayons but I know not everyone feels the same. Bath crayons are softer than regular crayons and some are really creamy and smooth. Using bath crayons in the bath is a fun alternative to drawing on paper, and the child is for the most part drawing on a vertical surface (bath or bathroom tiles). Bath crayons can be used on: windows glass doors perspex or acrylic sheets or easels mirrors tiles - we have spare white tiles that we also use for play dough and clay. If you already have bath crayons and don't want them in... Read more →


Do you have a really fantastic indoor play centre near you? Most of the play centres I've been to have large slides and ball pits. The Play Studio recently opened near us and it's a completely new concept. It's a truly wonderful space with great staff, ideal for playdates, somewhere to go on a rainy day or just somewhere interesting and educational to visit with your child. The Play Studio is a Montessori, Reggio and Steiner inspired play space. Some of the sessions commence with a teacher-guided process like an art activity or songs, in other play sessions, the children... Read more →


Are you looking for handwork ideas for your preschooler? We've recently started using a Knitting Fork (Lucet) and French Knitting. My four-year-old prefers the Knitting Fork, he finds it easier. Both are great options that may initially challenge the child but produce results fast, especially if you are using chunky yarn. These knitting ideas are fantastic for developing coordination and fine motor skills but they are also really good for showing children how to use raw materials to make something by hand. If using wool we could start by showing the child how wool is grown, we could do the... Read more →


The week before Christmas is fabulously quiet in our home. We are mostly Christmas baking and shopping for gifts. An easy at-home activity with children that requires very few ingredients includes making Salt Dough Ornaments. Salt Dough Recipe 2 cups of plain flour 1 cup of salt 1 cup of water. Combine and knead until smooth. Roll out and cut shapes out with cookie cutters. Add a hole for a string with a stick or straw. Bake in the oven at low heat until thoroughly cooked, dry and hard. We used an oven at 130°c for around 2 hours. Once... Read more →