We don't run to a schedule and almost every day looks different. But our days are child led. For us this means a whole lot of free play outside! Today I felt the need for some new materials. What was in order? A trip to the toy store, some online shopping? No! A morning visit to our local Reverse Garbage. I phoned ahead to make sure they were open and... Read more →


My children love using cookie cutters! My eight-year-old has a huge cookie cutter collection. Today I'm sharing some activities to do with children using cookie cutters. Most of these are suitable for toddlers and some are for older children too! Cookie cutters are good for building hand strength, coordination and life skills. They can help build creativity within food preparation activities and art. Above, we borrowed these heart shaped cookie... Read more →


Play dough is one thing that is guaranteed to keep my toddler (27 months) happy for a very long time. He may use his play dough tray anywhere from five minutes to an hour and five minutes. It's lovely. But I need to remember to rotate the play dough and some of the materials every so often. We recently removed our Autumn themed play dough and put in some Christmas... Read more →


When selecting gifts for children we like to make an activity kit or bag with a few items that the child can use and play with. We think about the child's interests and choose a theme. These activity kits feel a little more personalised than giving a toy alone and they feel a little more put together. Hopefully the children find them fun and useful! Here are some of our... Read more →


My heart skips a beat when I walk into Ikea and see there is new stock out! Here are a few new products that I am loving that may be suitable for a Montessori home, perhaps a few for the classroom too. All of these are new to me however, stock can vary country to country! HYACINTHUS Potted plant bulb (UK) - these are so, so lovely to have inside... Read more →


My older two children are on half term break. We've had a few stormy and crazy windy days, so they've spent more time than usual inside (we still aim for at least three hours a day outdoors). I love to try new art materials with them and I've been holding onto this gorgeous beeswax modelling clay for just the right opportunity. It is a beeswax clay, not a pure modelling... Read more →


Over the weekend I presented Otto with his first sewing tray. He does a lot of threading so this feels like the next step. I needed to demonstrate but it didn't take him long to get it. It felt a little like two steps forward and one step back as he like to poke the needle through and then reposition it and poke it again, without threading it. But toddlers... Read more →


When I set up our toddler 'writing' station I put our block crayons into a cute crayon holder. I had put them in the crayon holder previously when presenting the crayons in a tray, but this time it was different. This time my toddler (at 22 months) was much better and more consistent with putting them away and more specific with the colours that he wanted to use. I could... Read more →


In Montessori, we often hear "buy the best art materials you can afford". But what is the best, and what is your budget? Often I am guided by the materials I see in our Montessori classrooms and if I'm not sure I'll ask the teacher. Often teachers have used the materials for many years and with many children, they've seen what works. Our most used toddler drawing materials are paint... Read more →


Following Spramani's series on Montessori toddler art I've been focusing on the skills my toddler is developing during his art experiences. We can focus on the process, not the product. What is my child learning or achieving during the process? I'm observing: What does he enjoy? What skills is he working on? What are his hands and arms doing? What is he most focused on? How can I further assist... Read more →


Art is as important in the Montessori environment as practical life, language or mathematics. It should not be dismissed (by parents or teachers) as less than, or as simply 'play' not 'work'. However, as a parent, I find there is more information available on the benefits of reading to a toddler or cooking with a toddler. Yes, these are important but today, let's talk about art and specifically about clay.... Read more →


Today I thought it would be fun to share some of Otto's art experiences. We started the morning with painting outside. I put the cover on our water table and it's perfect for Otto to paint on. We have some acrylic A3 sheets, paint, toddler paint brushes, pinecones, wool, paint pots and spoons (for spooning out the paint). Otto also picked up and used some sticks and feathers. Spooning out... Read more →


Do you have art materials freely accessible to your toddler/s? I have found it's helpful, it means the art materials get used more and there is no need for the child to continually ask for permission. We have an art easel, large chalkboard and often paints outside, but what about inside? We definitely want less messy art inside. Here is how we make it work. Art materials are stored on... Read more →


Easter is near and this week I started preparing our Easter baskets. I thought it would be fun to share some some of our Easter basket, craft and book ideas! Counting Eggs, Loose Parts / Easter Egg Puzzle / Lacing Rabbit Hollow and Fillable Wooden Eggs / Colour Matching Egg and Cups / Coloured Nesting Eggs Pastel Crochet (Sensory) Eggs / Rabbit Breakfast Board / Wooden Rabbit Puzzle Easter Crayons... Read more →


When we talk about children playing outdoors we often refer to the use of gross motor skills. But there is no reason children can't use their fine motors skills outdoors too. I have found that some children can concentrate better outside, the fresh air and open space can be calming. Every week our Forest School toddler class has an open ended craft activity. They aren't the usual craft activities. They... Read more →