We love to use our Ikea Flisat children's table as a sensory table or as a simple sand and water table. But the mess can be too much for indoors. We have put the table outside on our deck but sand still travels everywhere and the area around the table always needs sweeping. When we lived in the UK we would often use our Ikea Flisat table for sand and water outside. When it rained I would bring it inside or put it under our door table setting. It held up for over a year. But eventually it got a... Read more →


Do you have a lot of children's books in your home? I assume you do. The problem for many families is we have a lot of books but want to rotate or only keep out a small amount for our toddlers. Older children can manage more books but we want toddlers and young children to be able to select their own books from the book shelf and then later put them away. This means we need book shelves that are low, accessible to the young child, preferably with forward facing book display and limited in size. Here is how we... Read more →


Otto (2.5 yrs) has finally mastered self dressing! It helps that our weather is mild and he usually only wears a loose t-shirt and pants. Dressing has been a huge point of frustration for us so I want to share how we have got to this point. Why do we want a toddler to dress themselves? Out of respect for the child. To support the child's independence and developing autonomy. To help develop the child's sense of self and to develop self esteem. To teach practical life skills including fine motor skills. Because they can, they are capable if we... Read more →


Want to see some really lovely Montessori toddler spaces? These are all such good examples of a little space in the home (and one community) set aside for the toddler's toys and materials. I love the format of these shelves. This is an adorable version of the Sprout Luce Shelves. These would be super useful if you had a crawling or pull-to-standing infant. These shelves really do grow with the child. The rug is really cute too! This is from a toddler community in Chicago. It is a great account to follow especially for Montessori toddler teachers. The space is... Read more →


The first room I set up when we moved into this new house was Otto's bedroom. We had spent almost four weeks in hotel rooms and apartments. I knew that Otto needed his own space. Space to be himself, to play, to roll around on the floor. To learn, grown and concentrate. To play uninterrupted. He needed his very own refuge and safe space. He needs minimal supervision in his room as we've made it a 'yes' space. There are no toys with small parts. There are no large pieces of furniture. We have three puzzles on his shelves that... Read more →


A Montessori teacher once told me that she doesn't recommend anything (to parents) that isn't readily available (locally) or affordable. She said that parents had more important things to worry about than sourcing the same cutter or wavy knife that they use in the classroom. I've felt it too. Hearing that the 'best' Montessori knife/pitcher/toy isn't available or doesn't ship to your country isn't helpful. Regularly promoting materials or toys that are out of the reach or budget of the majority isn't helpful. Making it feel like Montessori materials are exclusive or that creating a Montessori home is unachievable, isn't... Read more →


Floor beds are becoming more popular!! By two years of age many children have also transitioned to a toddler bed. So before Otto gets any older (he's currently 27 months) I want to share some pictures and note what his floor bed set up looks like. At two years (27 months) we currently use: Cot Sized Floor Bed - c/o Sprout, we have one high side and one low side. Fitted sheet - we don't use a top sheet as it restricts movement. A fitted sheet is really important for the toddler as it doesn't bunch or come off. Hand... Read more →


Image: Minime Design What is your favourite part of Montessori parenting or teaching? Of course I love working and spending time with my children but I also enjoy designing Montessori inspired spaces. Over the last few years I've dabbled with helping friends work out some of their spaces. But in the new year I hope to do a lot more of it!! I can see the impact good Montessori design can have on children and their ability to move, to learn and, to create. If you are in Sydney need help putting together your child/ren's spaces in 2020 let me... Read more →


chowki: noun INDIAN a low wooden seat or stool. A Montessori Chowki is a simple Chowki that is sized proportionately for the child. Maria Montessori observed children using Chowkis in India. Since then their popularity has grown and the Chowki can now be found in Montessori classrooms around the world. What is so 'Montessori' about a Chowki? They can be child-sized so children can sit and use them comfortably. Chowkis promote movement, they promote flexibility in the classroom and can contribute to a dynamic workspace where children can develop to their highest potential. Chowkis can work well in small spaces... Read more →


Today I'm sharing some real Montessori bedrooms. You can see they have been put together with care and respect. While this style of bedroom is the norm for families like mine, they are very different from your typical nursery or toddler bedroom. It's nice to highlight them and share them with other interested families. This room has been designed for a 10 month old. I love that the picture has been taken from an infant's perspective. A crawling and sitting child can reach the toys, materials and books! This space now has a floor bed too which you can see... Read more →


You can see Montessori in almost every area of our home. I want to provide, as much as I can, an overall picture of what our home looks like room by room. Every space changes, it develops as the children get older however most of these spaces are the same from when our toddler was around 18 months to present at 26 months. Our home is far from perfect but it is a process of observing our children and making changes to meet their needs. Kitchen (above) - kitchen helper so that my toddler can reach the kitchen sink and... 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 during the colder months. They look stunning once flowering and it's magical for the children to watch. This is an amazing price too. VINTERFEST Star dish in red - and... Read more →


Having my toddler next to me in the kitchen is a part of my parenting practice. I couldn't parent as smoothing or as easily as I do without a kitchen helper. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and my toddler loves to be right next to me. Obviously the best option is to involve him in whatever I am doing, chopping, general food preparation, cooking etc. But there are times when I don't want his involvement (cutting meat/chilli/onion) or when he isn't interested in food prep. So here are a few activities that I try while my... Read more →


Our toddler wardrobe isn't a minimalist wardrobe, it is an age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate wardrobe. Perhaps your child can manage with more clothes, perhaps less. "Clothing that is easy to remove and to put on oneself enables the child to practice these skills. These are things to consider when picking out any clothing, from shoes to pajamas, to coats, for young children. A child's efforts at picking out her own clothes and dressing herself are satisfied if the parents hang up, within the child's reach, just two outfits, letting the child decide between them when she dresses in the morning. This... Read more →


Yes, you can now find your very own Montessori Children's Wardrobe designed and made in the USA! The Alba Montessori Children's Wardrobe is a new release by Sprout and is now available for pre-order. I love Sprout because I love Clark and all that his company stands for. He does more consultation with families and teachers on the ground than any other company that I know of. Sprout is driven by a desire to help families. What could be more helpful than a children's wardrobe? My only tip is not to overstock the wardrobe. Remember toddlers only need a few... Read more →