Montessori inspired tracing boards at so popular right now! They are not Montessori materials but rather inspired by the Montessori way of teaching. They are a tactile way for the child to learn to form letters. The child traces the letters with their finger or a stylus until they memorise the way it is formed, muscle memory develops. Much like how a child would use the sandpaper letters. While I understand the benefits of cursive some of the letters are hard to form. Both of my children struggled with learning cursive 's', 'f' and 'r'. These tracing boards would have... Read more →

Montessori maths looks a little different at home compared to what you may see in the classroom. At home, I aim to make maths a part of our everyday living and I aim to do it seamlessly and effortlessly! At home with my toddler I want to build mathematical vocabulary and mathematical literacy. Maths is everywhere around us. We don't need to teach it to our children as much as we need to provide them the opportunities to explore math concepts themselves. We also can't discount the learning that happens during open-ended play, Otto pushes his tractor fast down a... Read more →

Monday is the Autumn Equinox and we could not be more excited. Autumn is just the most colourful, temperate season. Think pumpkins, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg. It's also our last Autumn in the UK so we are sure to soak it all in. Our essential Autumn practical life materials include our wheelbarrow and rake, we have so many leaves to rake in our yard. But here are a few other practical life materials that would be useful too! Autumn theme toddler aprons. Apples or Leaves. Apple Slicer. Apple Pie Dish. Nut Cracker - we love walnuts but this cracker works on... Read more →

Etsy is a constant source of inspiration. Here are a few Waldorf and Montessori finds that I'm loving and buying from Etsy. Waldorf Wool Felt Birthday Crown - Otto is turning two next month and I've been looking for a birthday crown for him, isn't this one lovely? The crown that I decided to order is this one with interchangeable numbers. Apfelmaus - the mouse in the apple. We have this on our shelves (for open ended play) and it's adorable, Otto loves it. Garden Play Dough Kit - fresh play dough inspiration, ordered! I love how the play dough... Read more →

Did you know that Beginning Montessori are closing? After ten years of making (by hand) quality Montessori materials, Carrie and Shane have decided to close up shop. Beginning Montessori has a special place in my heart as my children have used almost all of their materials. When Otis was little, Beginning Montessori were one of only a few stores making infant materials. I wish Carrie, Shane and their two sweet daughters all the very best for the future!! When you order from Beginning Montessori you know you are ordering from the best. Carrie was part of the first class of... Read more →

Montessori Glue and Paste Box

I have just ordered our first Montessori Gluing Box. Previously we've used a gluing tray, with a small dish for the little bits and pieces. The Montessori Gluing Box is one of those 'at school' materials that I never thought we needed at home. However, I'm about to introduce Otto (21 months) to gluing, none of my children currently attend a Montessori school and we don't have any spare trays. Gluing is always such a popular activity for my toddlers that it just makes sense to have a dedicated box! But what goes in one, what is it supposed to... Read more →

For toddlers, I love to set up a nature or observation tray rather than a nature table. I like to keep all the small pieces contained within the walls of the tray. My toddler understands he can observe, touch and manipulate all of the items but they must stay in the tray. Only now at 21 months are we moving away from a nature basket which has served more as an exploration/treasure basket to a real observation tray. A Montessori observation tray is not small world play, it's not small parts play, it is about observing up close and with... Read more →

Are you looking for some beautiful Montessori toys for your children? Only recently I took the plunge and ordered some materials from Heir+Loom Kids. I love the combination of the timbers they use and how well they work with the Montessori philosophy. While they have traditional Montessori materials like the interlocking discs, palmer and pincer grasp blocks they also have new materials like the toddler peg toys and the first jigsaw. You can tell someone with a Montessori mind is behind this company. It should come as no surprise that Janishi Hightower designer, maker, and, owner of Heir+Loom Kids has... Read more →

Have you seen some of the children's spaces at Tanglewood Hollow? I've long admired Allyson's homeschool and Montessori influenced spaces. In particular, I'm finding inspiration from the way Allyson uses bunting and flags. Not only do they add colour and are a focal point, but they are also so, so beautiful. I've recently ordered some garden creature bunting from Etsy and I'm thinking of using it in Otto's bedroom. Here are some of the other Montessori, Waldorf and nature inspired flags and bunting that I'm loving: Our World Fabric Bunting. Bless this Garden Prayer Flags. Garden Herbs Flag. Green Prayer... 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. There are so many reasons to love handmade! Etsy is my favourite source of handmade materials. There is so much knowledge and skill within the Etsy Montessori community. I love all of these items. We have 1-4 put aside for Otto for when he is ready, but all... Read more →

Our daffodils are starting to open and there are butterflies and even a few bumble bees in our garden. Spring cannot be too far away! Here are a few things I'm loving on Etsy for Spring: Loose Parts / Build a Nest Activity - we make our own nests almost every year. It's a good hands-on learning activity for Spring. Bunch of Daffodils Card - I love the idea of using cards for art and why not use plant prints which celebrate the season. First Signs of Spring Print - these first signs of spring/summer/autumn/winter prints are brilliant, we have... Read more →

Since moving to the UK I've loved observing how those in Europe decorate their homes and children's spaces reflecting on the change in seasons and celebrations. I've loved observing European traditions especially at Christmas time! I've been seeing a lot of these cozy De Noest lamps and I couldn't resist their warm glow and ordered one for our home, it now sits on the children's shelves in our living area. It gets darks here really early, around 4pm, so having a lamp in this area adds a touch of warmth and light. Here are a few other Waldorf Style Christmas... Read more →

Today on Etsy I ordered my children matching Christmas aprons, they are so cute. So I thought I would share some of the other Montessori Christmasy things I am loving on Etsy and a couple of things I'm intending to DIY. Etsy is always such a huge source of inspiration for me! Christmas Stickers - for making cards, putting on gift labels and decorating presents! Christmas Card Making Set - perfect, just put out all the supplies and have the children make their own Christmas cards. Paint a Christmas Ornament - this is a lovely idea if you don't have... Read more →

I love Etsy for shopping but also for DIY ideas! Here are a few things that I am loving, buying and DIYing from Etsy this Autumn: Autumn Children's Placemats - we love to celebrate the season with themed placemats and napkins, these are easy to DIY with the right fabric. Acorn Tree Puzzle - we have this one and the Apple Tree Puzzle, these are fantastic for nature or seasonal displays as they allow the child to focus on one aspect of the tree - the acorn or apples, they aren't too busy. Autumn Pocket Hitchhiker Print - we have... Read more →

Today I'm sharing some of the handmade materials that I am loving, buying and DIYing on Etsy. Aren't these beautiful? Set of Eight Sun candleholders gradient-coloured. We have this one and I think it's a lovely alternative to the stacking rainbow. Wooden Stacking Sun. This is a sensory set for a treasure basket, I'm taking inspiration from this one to DIY and add some texture to Otto's baskets. Heuristic Play Baby Basket. Loving this, if it was in the EU I would order it immediately. Flower Paint Jar Holder. The only reason this one isn't in my cart is because... Read more →