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 →


Have you thought about using visual timers with your children? Visual timers can help children: understand the concept of time independently complete activities for a given amount of time set a timer for simple activities transition from one activity to another We use visual timers for: brushing teeth reminding us to check on bread that has been left to rise baking bread and other goods in the oven boiling an egg, cooking rice and other timed kitchen activities learning about time Visual timers could also be used for: timing screen time (for older children) timing baths or showers (for older... Read more →


It's almost been a year since I first shared our snack shelves so it feels like a good time to give an update. It makes sense to show you the children's fridge at the same time to see all the food the children have access to. Both of these areas are used by my three and nine-year-old. The food here is for snacks, morning and afternoon tea, and often we will use food from here to make lunch too. The snack shelves also contain cereal and the fridge has milk which the children will use for breakfast. These areas don't... Read more →


Today we spent a lot of time in the kitchen so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some practical life work. Above Otto is using an electric juicer. This is super efficient compared to a manual juicer. The child needs strength to hold the orange and press down. When pressure is applied to the juicer it rotates to juice the fruit. It's also faster than using a manual juicer, Otto can easily juice a bag full of oranges. The pouring part is a little tricky. Remember to have a small sponge nearby. A tasty treat and... Read more →


Are you looking for ways to involve your child in grocery and food shopping? One of the things we've tried recently is using a visual shopping list. We get most of our groceries delivered but during the week we need a couple of short trips for fresh fruit and bread. I looked around for a printable that would work for us. I couldn't find one that was perfect for us so I made our own. I went to our grocery store's online site and saved the images of our most frequent mid-week purchases. I put them together into a list... Read more →


Toddlers can peel - HWM I get most of my Montessori at home ideas from activities I've seen in Montessori classrooms. I've learnt how to put together trays, which tools to use, and how to present the work. It's also useful to observe children in the classroom and see how they respond to the work. But what if you can't get to a Montessori classroom, perhaps watching videos or images online is the next best thing. Today I'm sharing peeling (with a vegetable peeler) work. Not all of these examples are from classrooms, many are from Montessori homes. Adventures in... Read more →