Did you know that Beginning Montessori are closing? After ten years of making (by hand) quality Montessori materials, Carrie and Shane have decided to close up shop. Beginning Montessori has a special place in my heart as my children have used almost all of their materials. When Otis was little, Beginning Montessori were one of only a few stores making infant materials. I wish Carrie, Shane and their two sweet daughters all the very best for the future!! When you order from Beginning Montessori you know you are ordering from the best. Carrie was part of the first class of... Read more →


a. / b. / c. / d. / e. / f. Otto hasn't always liked stacking toys. It's a good lesson to follow the child and not to compare your child to others. Now at 15 months Otto frequently chooses stacking materials and will work on them repeatedly. First he started with the ring stackers at around nine months (a. & b.) and then the discs on the vertical dowel (c.). Each one is progressively more difficult. Now at fifteen months he is using the cubes on the vertical dowel (d.) and has really mastered this material. So today I... Read more →


Today I want to share with you a subscription service that is a game changer! There are a lot of Montessori subscription services available. Until now there hasn't been one I would recommend. I am actually really disappointed that I've only now found Lovevery as they are for children from birth to 12 months. But if you are a new parent or are expecting, I'm excited that you may like and use this. I get a lot of emails from parents who don't know what to do with their new babies - this is for you! In the months after... Read more →


Can you believe we are currently on holidays in France? It's such a wonderful experience for the boys. They have French lessons in school but this is a real immersion into French culture. We just got back from the supermarket and it was so fun looking at all the different products, reading the different labels and greeting others in French. As we are in France, I wanted to highlight some wonderful materials from around this beautiful country, most of these are for infants or toddlers and all are handmade, some might inspire you to DIY. Not all of these are... Read more →


I'm loving anything thrifted, handmade or repurposed. There are some lovely Montessori materials that I'm going to invest in but I like to DIY a few things too! Here are three DIY materials that we are currently using and loving with Otto at nine months. These are suitable with supervision once the infant is sitting, perhaps from 6-12 months+. Above is a ball tracker made from an egg rack (similar here). I've seen this used a few times in Montessori toddler rooms, but I can't find any examples right now. Unlike traditional tracking toys, the infant isn't tracking from side... Read more →


Have you tried a stacking toy with your little one? They are very popular but most stacking toys given to children look a little like this or like this, with graduated rings. There is a simpler stacking toy to start with, that can be used by the sitting infant to help them develop concentration and coordination, it's the First Stacking Toy with Rings like those pictured above. You can present it with one to three rings. To start, make the rings the same size and fairly large. Once the child has mastered it you can present the same toy but... Read more →


"One of the most thrilling achievements for a child is learning to move himself through space to get to a desired object. Infants have many different ways of doing this—backwards, tummy on the ground, sideways, creeping, crawling, rolling, lifting tummy alternately with arms and legs. This is important work! Sometimes a child grunts or yells as he works, or falls asleep for a few seconds between “push-ups.” The child enjoys the process of experimenting and learning as much as he enjoys the final success of being able to crawl. We can help the child in this valuable work by not... Read more →


I am sure that I have missed many of my children's developmental milestones. Often it's because I don't know what I'm looking for and they just pass while I am blissfully unaware. However, when it comes to the development of the hand, I watch my children like a hawk. I prepare the infant's environment for grasping. I watch and smile as I see the child bring their hands together for the first time or grasp with intention. I take note when they start hand to hand transfer - and this is where we are right now! Above are our Interlocking... Read more →


Around here this week, this is just a snapshot of some of the materials Otto is currently using at three months! He constantly has his fingers in his mouth and is chewing on his hands. After finding Otto gnawing on the Skwish, I ordered what is known as a Montessori Teething Ball or the Perfect Pacifier. I ordered ours from here (Australia). I need to pass it to Otto but he can independently hold it, bring it to his mouth or throw it away. Montessorians prefer it as it is easily manipulated by the child, it provides relief (from the... Read more →


Before Otto was born I went into one of our local baby/toy stores. I wanted to see in person the baby car seat we had chosen, normally I'm happy ordering online avoiding such places. I was totally overwhelmed. The store was so bright and overstimulating, I wanted to leave immediately. It made me appreciate the Montessori knowledge and materials that we have accumulated over the years. It also made me understand how confused and overwhelmed many new parents must be, thinking they need all of these things, possibly not knowing there is another way. Most of the Montessori materials are... Read more →


Awesome Montessori Playgym Ideas

I'm starting to look around for ideas for Otto's playgym. You know I'm hanging his ball and perhaps a bell on a ribbon, ring on a ribbon and a few other interesting toys. I've been looking around for some inspiration! "When the infant, who has been looking at a toy hanging above him and intuitively reaching for it, finally reaches it and makes it move, this is an exhilirating moment. Instead of just being cared for and acted upon by others, the infant has reached out and intentionally acted upon his environment. He has literally "changed the world." Carefully selecting... Read more →


Image: Claudiahausen. Many Montessori parents are attracted to the Pikler approach when their children are infants. There are a lot of similarities between Montessori and Pikler (focus on free movement, respect for the child) but also differences (Pikler has a simplified environment, no mobiles or hanging toys, no high contrast images/low art). I love to read about early childhood education and find Pikler's approach interesting. I also love to read about and explore materials used in early childhood education. I recently came across the Pikler Ball. We have a very similar ball, which is woven from New Zealand flax, so... Read more →


I've been making a list of a few toys and materials that Caspar (9yrs) and Otis (6yrs) can make for Otto. I'm thinking of small stuffed toys or perhaps a pillow scented with lavender. Otis would love to do some more sewing. A few other toys come to mind immediately, toys inspired by the Montessori Grasping Beads, Ring on a Ribbon and the Bell on a Ribbon. We've used: a variety of wooden beads a variety of bells - coloured and silver wooden rings thick cotton cord transparent stretch cord embroidery needle (can be useful for threading the beads) scissors.... Read more →


I'm at the stage in my pregnancy where I can't get a good night's sleep. Remember what it is like? Not able to get comfortable no matter which way you lie? I'm also at the stage where I wished the nursery was finished. Well, it's getting there. I've put up some pictures and a fabulous friend passed onto us the most gorgeous wooden bed. We still have our low shelves from when Otis was little (a friend borrowed them but we now have them back!). So I have started to tinker and move things around a little. It has me... Read more →


Do I have an unhealthy obsession with Etsy? Perhaps so. Here is what I am loving (and possibly buying) on Etsy this week! Butterfly Mobile - Etsy is the best place to find Montessori mobiles and I am always drawn to the butterfly mobile. Montessori Grasping Beads - includes wooden and coloured rubber beads. Organic Plush Topponcino and Hyde Park Organic Cover - I have ordered this cover, I love neutrals but I love this design too. Wool Puddle Pad/Change Mat - a reminder that you don't need a plastic, non-compostable/recyclable baby change mat, there are better options! Butterfly and... Read more →