We know that toddlers can act crazy, often operating at great speed in unpredictable ways. However, we also know that toddlers are capable of considered and controlled movements, they are capable of being accurate and precise. Toddlers can concentrate and they can determine risk. My toddler loves to jump off steps and stairs. I can see him working out the risk... 'is this too high?' as he decides to jump off the second step rather than the third. Occasionally, he miscalculates and hits the ground a little too awkwardly or too hard, this is good feedback and will assist him... Read more →


There is something comforting and nurturing about making bread with children. The experience of making bread is extra special, it's the kneading, the lovely texture, the rising of the dough, and the warm bread at the end. It's also the surprise, will it rise at all? I keep in mind when making bread with a toddler that the dough can be unpredictable but mostly fixable. Too sticky, we can add some flour. Too dry, add just a touch of water. The child will often spill a little or a lot but we can make it work. What makes this activity... Read more →


Toddlers are naturally curious. We can use this curiosity to teach the child about the world around them. One way we can do this is through language development. We can provide the child with real and scientific names of things, like species or type names of flowers, birds or dogs. We can connect learning to things that have meaning to the child like sharing books and stories about their favourite pastimes or animals or vehicles. We can also teach them the parts of things that the child is familiar with, for example their body parts and anatomy, the anatomy of... 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 →


Earlier in the year I featured our little toddler snack area but I didn't show the whole kitchen. Today I want to share all the areas of our kitchen that our toddler uses. Above is our toddler/children's fridge, drink station and baking table. I want you to know that all Montessori homes look different. Do what works for you, I hope you find some ideas here. The key areas for me include access to fresh and healthy food, water, and, practical life tools like food prep tools and cleaning tools. The two main themes are independence and safety. Otto's weaning... Read more →


I wasn't intending on publishing an article on juicing, but this morning my toddler kept on asking to use the juicer, he got all the juicer pieces out and put them on the kitchen bench and just waited until I agreed. He was so eager to do this work! Have you used a juicer like this with your children? My toddler is 2.5 years old, a child closer to two years old might struggle with the strength but many children by three will be able to do this. This work is empowering, it's almost like magic - turning the fresh... Read more →


I recently watched a chef whip up an Arugula (rocket) and Pea Pesto to serve with pasta that I knew my kids would love. He made the pesto with a mortar and pestle (no food processor) and it was really fast. My first thought was - a toddler could do that! Yes, a toddler could do that, but they would need little guidance. My toddler (2.5 years) has done some mortar and pestle work before but it's been more like free play and exploration. This time I decided to work along side him as we needed to turn the arugula... Read more →


Do you have a toddler that loves to use scissors but is perhaps bored with the usual cutting strips? Here are some other engaging activities we've been using at 2.5 years. Above is an idea from Days with Grey. It is so much fun and the child can cut one handed - they don't have to hold a paper strip or other objects. I've put a small model animal into each section of a muffin tray. I've then used coloured craft tape to tape the animals in! Days with Grey use painters tape and I'm confident that Washi tape or... Read more →


I love looking in kitchen specialty stores and finding new treasures for me or for the children. Over the years we've collected a lot of 'adult' kitchen tools that also work well for children. Most often it's because the adult tools are made in a slightly smaller or mini size which makes them easier for the child to hold and to manipulate. I recently took out all of the kitchen tools that my children (2.5, 9 and 12 yrs) use and realised that we use more of one brand than any other. OXO almost flies under the radar as their... Read more →


Are you looking for a super easy and fast bread recipe to use with your children? This recipe is suitable for toddlers but an older child from 6-8 years may be able to make it by themselves. Yesterday my nine and two year old children made it together. Easy Turmeric Flat Bread Ingredients: 1 Cup of Self Raising Flour 1 Cup of Natural or Greek Yoghurt 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric ΒΌ Cup extra Flour for flouring board, rolling pins and hands. Method: Put the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix ingredients together until it forms a dough (a largish ball).... Read more →


I love a good sensory tub but I know there are more authentic sensory experiences for toddlers. Cooking can be a wonderful authentic sensory experience. Is there another activity where the child can use all of their senses? Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch? The thing about cooking is the child can experience heat - the sound, smell and feel of the food cooking. They can contribute to a family snack or meal. You know that toddlers can cook safely? Toddlers have been doing it for years in Montessori schools and communities. It is the Montessori approach that has inspired... Read more →


I have a family of five to cook for and I love it when everyone pitches in, yes even the toddler. While using a peeler might not have the same status as using a knife and cutting, it's still a very worthwhile skill for toddlers (and preschoolers) to learn. Can a toddler use a peeler? Yes, absolutely. But it requires practice and close supervision. The best peelers, those that are easiest to use are ones that are reasonably sharp, so you want to teach your child to use the peeler safely from the start, this includes using the peeler but... Read more →


This year has been difficult for Otto (2yrs). After moving in January it's taken us months to fully set up our prepared environment to the point that everything is working and functional. But it's so worth it, and it's worth taking time to get it right. As Otto's environment and little spaces in our home came together I noticed a change. Slowly he has taken on more responsibility for his personal care, slowly his level of concentration, patience, perseverance and ability to play alone returned. Having his own snack cupboard is just a small but important part of our prepared... Read more →


I've noticed a lot of parents using the Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook, so much so that I decided we needed to give it a try. Do you have this cookbook in your collection? It was only released last year so perhaps it's new to you? The Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together has 40 healthy mealtime (dinner or lunch), snack and dessert recipes. It also has: a good range of healthy and easy to find ingredients. good, clear, attractive photographs including a photo for each recipe. easy to follow instructions. instructions that are colour coded so... Read more →


This is my last post coming from the UK. My next post will be from Sydney, Australia. I wanted to publish this earlier in the week but international moves always take more time and energy than I expect. All of my children love to eat pasta and fresh pasta often tastes better. There are so many reasons to try making pasta with children; It's easy - making pasta is almost fool proof, it's easy to make and easy to correct mistakes, add more flour if its too wet. Only needs a few easy-to-find ingredients - like eggs, flour, water. We... Read more →