We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity,... Read more →


Today Otis (9yrs), Otto (3yrs), and two friends used Glass and Porcelain Markers to decorate plain white plates. The decorated plates would make lovely gifts for Grandparents or other family members. Our friends will later wrap their plates and give them to their parents as surprise gifts for Christmas. Decorating plates (or bowls, mugs) is a fun group activity as younger (3yrs+) children can participate as much as the older children and it doesn't require a lot of time or set up. Otto enjoys drawing and was really into it. The finished plates were so individual and completely adorable. We... Read more →


1. Bunny Peek A Boo / 2.Night & Day / 3. Castle Logix / 4. Trucky 3 / 5. Three Little Piggies / 6. Duplo Matching When I choose games and toys I look at the educational benefit to the child. The problem I have is finding activities that my preschooler is attracted to and will use. We want the child to feely choose their activities, and we want the activities to speak to the child! These types of cognitive development games help to develop skills including: logic reasoning problem-solving persistence concentration matching positioning visual perception order some strategy &... Read more →


Have you thought about playing cooperative board games with your children? With the school holidays coming up I know my children will be spending more time together so I've got out a few of our favourite cooperative board games. I only discovered cooperative games while reading about Montessori in the home. Why are they recommended? Why do Montessori parents choose cooperative board games, especially for younger children? "Results showed that cooperative behavior increased and aggression decreased during cooperative games; conversely, competitive games were followed by increases in aggressive behavior and decreases in cooperative behavior. Similar effects were also found during... Read more →


Over the weekend I ordered a few stocking fillers from Etsy. Many items if in stock locally are still available for delivery before Christmas. If you are new to Etsy, you can log in or enter your location and you can receive a shipping estimate/date of arrival before you place an order. At this stage in December I'm only shopping from local stores but here are a few fabulous gift ideas that I've added to my Etsy favourites that you might like too. Most of these are educational and suited to Montessori families. Dinosaur Temporary Tattoos (US) - temporary tattoos... Read more →


Are you looking for gifts ideas for a three to five-year-old? These are the types of gifts that I love to give! These are gifts that I will often give to friends and there are also lots of ideas here that would work in Christmas stockings. Many of these gift ideas can be adjusted to suit the child's age and stage in development. Baking - Child size wooden spoon, Montessori-style baking apron and The Ultimate Kids' Baking Book. Other children's cookbooks that I like to give include The Tickle Fingers Toddler Cookbook, Little Helpers Cookbook and Cooking Class. Etsy is... Read more →


I am concerned that children (including mine) are spending more time learning about bugs with plastic models and books rather than by using and observing the real thing. Even though many bugs and insects can be found right on our doorstep, backyard, and neighbourhood nature strips. "A child, who more than anyone else is a spontaneous observer of nature, certainly needs to have at his disposal materials upon which he can work." - Maria Montessori, The Discovery of The Child. Children are natural explorers, they are curious and love to look, touch, listen and observe everything that is going on... Read more →


Next month Otto turns three!! As he is super excited about his birthday I want to make sure we have some wonderful gifts for him. He is the youngest of three children (all with similar interests) and already has lots of toys so choosing gifts for him has not been easy. Here are five things we've picked out. Personalised Children's Cook Books - I adore this concept. Each book is a recipe book but can also be read like a storybook. You can personalise the name and appearance (skin/hair/eye colour) of the child and the adult helper (typically mum/dad/grandparents but... Read more →


We are about to spend three weeks on the road (and air). There are a few little bits and pieces that I always keep an eye out for when travelling. Some of these are to remember our travels, some are for more academic purposes and some are to add interest to our home and collections. This is not to promote consumerism but to help create a collection of thoughtful and meaning materials, from around the state, country or world! Many of these items can be found at markets, gift shops, handmade stalls and at festivals. Some can be found at... Read more →


My children use knives in the kitchen almost from the moment they can stand unassisted. They typically start with a crinkle cutter and cut soft foods like banana. My toddler (now at 27 months) uses a whole range of knives, none of them sharp enough to cut his skin and all with a rounded tip for safety. I believe a good knife can inspire children in the kitchen. A good knife can make work like slicing food be it hard squash for soup or a ripe tomato for a sandwich, a whole lot easier. A knife that doesn't cut easily... Read more →


Our most played with toy on Christmas day was the Lovevery block set! The blocks are so colourful and modern, they are versatile and fun!! Otto just kept on going back to them. I want to share this block set with you as it is a little out of the ordinary and significant in terms of learning to follow and support your child's development. "We went into more than a hundred families’ homes and discovered that classic blocks were not a staple for many. Bricks and other block alternatives had pushed blocks aside. We knew we had to do something,... 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 →


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 gift ideas for our friends and family. Most of these ideas can be adapted to other themes depending on the interests of the children. We will wrap the individual items... Read more →


A toddler-friendly Christmas tree? Is it possible? There are a few options that are toddler-friendly and depending on your decor and your child, you may be able to find one that fits your family. In the past, we've decorated our main tree very lightly with toddler safe decorations but toddlers looooove to take things on and off. Christmas trees look pretty and it's hard for toddlers to resist. While I can't guarantee your toddler will leave your main tree alone, here are a few options that allow for hands-on play, repetition (= concentration) and ownership for the toddler. I've read... Read more →


Today I want to share with you some wonderful personalised Montessori inspired materials for the home, and perhaps some for the classroom from Benedykt and Sylvester. Personalised materials with the child's name on them are fantastic for letter and name recognition, and for making the child feel extra special! Some of my favourite products include: Personalised Solid Acacia Wood Children's Place Mat - we have this and love it, it's durable and easy to wipe clean. Personalised Set of 6 Wooden Children’s Paint Brushes - perfect stocking stuffers or as gifts to friends and family. (I've just ordered these for... Read more →