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 →


Have you thought about ways of supporting your child's developing independence at breakfast time? Perhaps you already have a great set-up? Once the child reaches around 18 months old there is usually a way they can participate in making breakfast. Perhaps for the very young child, it could involve dumping pre-measured cereal into their bowl and pouring pre-measured milk over the top. Perhaps it's as simple as the child picking out fruit while you add it to yoghurt or oats, peeling their own boiled egg, chopping their own banana, or spreading jam on toast. Want to see what breakfast looks... Read more →


Otto (3yrs) and I were looking for some new, healthy snacks to make. We found a few ideas in Little Green Kitchen. First, we made some fruit salad with Mini Watermelon bowls. This is an idea from Little Green Kitchen but all we did was make a normal fruit salad (with melons, strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries, apple, grapes, and banana) and put it in a Mini Organic Watermelons (AU)(similar US here). It looks so cute. We used a melon baller to make melon balls and to scoop out the watermelons completely. Then we chopped up the rest of the fruit... Read more →


This little apple corer/spiralizer has been in a couple of our Montessori toddler classrooms. Have you used one before? In our toddler classes, the children would line up to use it. It's fantastic to use for apples but it's also fun to use with potatoes!! It's not easy, the child needs to rotate the handle to turn the apple (or potato). It's important that your spiralizer has good suction so it doesn't move about. I've found the best suction is on our kitchen bench, rather than on a wooden table. It's wonderful for the child to participate in making snack... Read more →


In Montessori, it's important for children to use 'real' things. Children learn to carefully and respectfully carry and use real knives and forks, real glassware, and real ceramic mugs, plates, and bowls. As we expect breakages we generally use affordable options. Although occasionally in Montessori homes we also use wood or melamine. Here are some choices I'm loving from Etsy. Most of these are special pieces, which can teach children to look after items that are especially good. I also think it's nice for the child to have one or two special pieces that are just for them. I've ordered... Read more →


Have you heard of the term scaffolding - scaffolding skills, scaffolding learning, Montessori scaffolding, or Vygotsky scaffolding? Initially, I thought it was as simple as building one skill on the other, building the child's skills gradually one step at a time, but there really is more to it. Scaffolding in Montessori is also about providing the child just as much support as they need. The right support at the right time. Just like in building or construction, the scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support the workers to build the next level, when the structure is strong the scaffolding... Read more →


Today I'm sharing a few of our new practical life trays that are for older three-year-olds to four-year-olds. Otto pictured here is 3yrs and 8months (44 weeks) and these are all new to him, I would not have introduced them sooner as they require a bit of strength and coordination, but you know your child best. A couple of weeks ago I introduced filling the pepper mill and my child loved not only filling but using the pepper mill. So I've expanded on this mill/grinding type of activity. I hope you find some of these ideas useful! This Spice Mill... Read more →


My children love Sushi but when we make it at home Otto (3yrs) will play with and eat all of the rice. So I was thinking, why not make Onigiri. Onigiri are Japanese rice balls traditionally made in a triangular shape and wrapped with Nori. We've taken a slightly different approach and used children's rice moulds. Some Japanese parents use these moulds to make decorative rice balls for school lunchboxes. Onigiri can be left plain or have toppings or fillings. For now we've decided to keep our Onigiri plain. I presented Otto with various rice moulds, just cooked (warm) Sushi... Read more →


"Many cultures around the world stop for tea. It is a time to slow down, talk with one another, and renew the spirit. For children it can be a time to teach life skills, manners and socialization." "There is such pride for children to get to host a guest, serve food that they have prepared and then be trusted to carry the beautiful, fragile teacup. Shared social experiences follow. Children learn to chat and make polite conversation. They feel the empowerment of saying, please, thank you and may I get you some more? The children feel affirmed!" - Spring Tea:... Read more →


I'm never at a loss to find new practical life activities. I look around our home and think of all the things my three-year-old still has to learn! How about learning to fill the pepper mill or using a combination lock? Here are four new practical life activities we've been trying this week. Filling a Pepper Mill - dry pouring with a funnel, including opening and closing the mill. The funnel is interesting to use, if you pour in too much or too quickly in it will get blocked, the child needs to pour the peppercorns slowly and smoothly. We... Read more →


What are your children making today? It's a cold day and we are having friends over for dinner. So I was thinking of making homemade pizza. What goes best with homemade pizza? It has to be homemade garlic bread! I enlisted my three-year-old to help. Garlic bread doesn't need a recipe but I wanted to show you our steps. Just to say, we can, if we have the time, we can include our young children in the making and baking but also we can include them in hosting, in demonstrating hospitality towards our guests. Otto (3yrs) couldn't do this all... Read more →


I still like to pre-measure all of the ingredients when Otto (3yrs) is cooking. It makes his cooking time faster and so much cleaner. But I feel like it's almost time for him to measure his ingredients himself. So I've started to introduce him to measuring cups. To begin I presented him with the measuring cups, allowing him to look at them and hold them. Then I presented a measuring cup matching tray. I love these Rainbow Fractions Measuring Cups as they as visual measuring cups and are also colour coded. These visual measuring cups have the same radius so... Read more →


Have you tried making pasta with your children? It can be a bit messy and the children may need a little help, but it's worth giving it a go. I've seen pasta being made in Peta's toddler class! It's absolutely possible to make pasta with young children. We use 250 grams of 00 flour, but all-purpose or plain flour will work, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 whole eggs, and 3 egg yolks. We use a little more flour to flour the table and the pasta machine. Sometimes we need extra flour on the pasta dough... Read more →