I've only recently discovered Alice Zaslavsky's children's food book Alice’s Food A to Z. It was the first cookbook to be given a Notable Book award by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. That says something! Alice is a former School Teacher, MasterChef contestant (2012), culinary correspondent on ABC News Breakfast, author of In Praise of Veg and soon to be food columnist in The Weekend Australian Magazine (replacing David Herbert). "This book is about encouraging kids to dip into the world of food and splash around to see what they can find. It aims to pique their curiosity enough... Read more →


Today I'm sharing the top materials ordered by HWM readers through Amazon (US) in the year 2021. This post includes a ton of product links, if that isn't your thing please skip this post. I hope you find this useful and that you get some great ideas for your children for now or for the future! Let's start by looking at toddler toys and materials. The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is popular year after year (mainly due to this article). My children adored the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Wooden Tower and the Galt Pop Up Toy... Read more →


1. / 2. (AU) / 3. / 4. / 5. Many Montessori parents choose to skip or limit the sippy cup phase and go straight to using a small glass for their children. My children started using a small real glass to drink water (#3.) at six months when we began weaning. Sure there are lots of spills and drips but the payoff is the child becomes careful with their glass and they become adept at using it pretty fast. A clear cup or glass is also useful for a child learning to drink independently as they can clearly see... Read more →


Have you started your Christmas or holiday baking? When I bake I usually have at least one child helping out so I'm always looking for tasty recipes that are child-friendly and generally fun and easy to put together. We have a few go-to Christmas recipes and some new recipes to try out. Here are three Christmas treats we made over the weekend. Baking with children is an excellent activity on so many levels. We love to empower our children and give them the skills and confidence to participate in everyday family activities. Baking is fantastic for cognitive development and also... Read more →


My preschooler recently transitioned from mostly using the Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Knife to mostly using the 'big kids knife', the Opinel Le Petit Chef Knife (AU here). The Opinel knife is much sharper than the Kuhn Rikon knife so we needed to go over our safety rules. Our knife safety rules include: Sharp knives are stored out of reach of young children. We keep our Opinel knife with our adult knives, our child has to ask to use it. Children only use knives under 100% adult supervision. There is no walking off or turning away. We encourage children to hold... Read more →


Do your children use chopsticks? Our 4 year old loves to use chopsticks but he tends to hold them like tongs. So I've been looking for children's chopsticks or chopstick helpers that will teach him how to correctly hold the chopsticks. Let me know if you have any advice!!! I recently watched a video of a Japanese toddler using chopsticks at 2yrs (so I know it can be done), using chopsticks can help the child to feel included if the adults and older children are using chopsticks and they can also help develop fine motor skills. We decided to try... Read more →


Are you looking for food prep activities for your one-year-old? Involving young children in food prep activities allows children to be connected to their food. Rather than the food appearing at the table, the child can see how it is made. Food prep activities allow children to explore food, its textures and tastes, it can show children what they are capable of and help them to develop coordination and fine motor skills. Let's see some of our favourite food prep activities for children 12-24 months. Please use the ages listed as a rough guide and full supervision of all activities... Read more →


Today I am sharing some practical life food prep ideas for two-year-olds! It is SO important to follow your child's development. Your child may be ready for some of these activities like peeling a banana earlier at 18 months. There are other activities that your child might not be ready for until they are three years old. You know your child best so please use these ideas as a guide only. I have listed these activities chronologically. The first activities are for younger children and the activities at the end are for older. There is a big difference in the... Read more →


Have you tried any new practical life activities lately? Here are five new practical life activities that we've been enjoying! Picking dried lavender. We have a lavender bush in our front yard that we can use but lavender is also available in small bunches in the flower section of our local supermarket. I've found this easiest if the lavender is dried, we cut lavender from the bush and leave it in the sun or in a window sill for a couple of days to let it dry. The child can pull the fragrant flowers off from the stem. It smells... Read more →


Setting the table is a practical life skill that we can introduce to our children from a young age. As soon as we start introducing solids we can use a Montessori Weaning Set (pictured two below). As soon as the child can walk they can begin to take their placemat and put it on their table followed by their fork, spoon, plate or glass. Without saying a word, simply by presenting the materials on the placemat, we are teaching the child where everything goes. By the time the child is a toddler, they may be able to set their entire... Read more →


Have you tried any new or different practical life activities recently? While there are activities that become favourites and the children love to do, we also like to introduce new activities depending on the season or what the rest of the family is engaged with. Occasionally I will try things that my child has struggled with previously to see if they are ready for it. I've tried garlic crushing many times with my three-year-old but he didn't have the strength to use the garlic crusher. This week we tried a new rocking garlic crusher, and while it was still difficult... Read more →


Do you bake often with your children? With my first child, I really had no idea how to bake with a child and I had to try really hard to make it happen. Now with my third child Otto (3yrs), we bake in some way almost every day. Sometimes he bakes alongside me on his kitchen helper at the kitchen counter. A couple of times a week I will also invite him to bake at his baking table. A baking table can be any low, child-size table. For a young child, we could use their weaning table. It just means... Read more →


Today I want to share some meaningful and purposeful transferring activities using mini tongs and ice trays. Transferring with mini tongs is fantastic for developing fine motor skills, coordination and concentration. Transferring herbs. If you have any leftover or excess herbs you can chop them up and freeze them in olive oil. There is a lot of transferring work here. The child uses mini tongs to transfer the herbs to the ice tray. The child also makes sure the compartments have an equal amount of herbs in them. Then we fill the ice tray with olive oil and freeze. Later... Read more →


When we think of gardening with children our mind often goes straight to planting in an outdoor veggie patch. But if we don't have an outdoor garden space or if the weather isn't favourable, there are still lots of wonderful indoor gardening options for children to enjoy. Recently we've been growing Microgreens. Microgreens are the young seedlings of edible plants (we are growing basil, chives, and parsley) that are harvested shortly after germination when the stem, seedling leaves, and first set of true leaves have grown. Microgreens are a great option for homes and classrooms ❤️🌱. The benefits of growing... Read more →


Today I want to share some skills that children can learn in the kitchen. Some of these are simple like mashing that children can begin at around 18 months, and some are more complex like grating which we would try at around 3 years+. These are fantastic practical life skills to have, they also help the child to develop confidence, concentration, fine motor skills, and coordination. Many of these skills require hand and arm strength and require the hands to work together in a coordinated way. There isn't a need to rush to teach our children these skills, hopefully, they... Read more →