I hope you and your family are well. It's been such a stressful week for everyone. Here are a few things that I've been enjoying. 1. Juicing oranges. We love our electric juicer. For a toddler this really helps to set them up for success. Otto (2yrs) can make enough juice for the whole family, and it's a lot of fun too! Highly recommend! 2. Growing Beans! This is a fun activity for young children as the beans sprout and grow so quickly. Unlike when they are grown in soil, the child able to see the roots and all of... Read more →


We are starting to spend more time at home. While we aren't in total lockdown (my older children are still at school) Otto and I are home most of the time. Luckily we have a smallish but safe backyard to play in and the weather has been gorgeous. I have been heavily influenced by some of the process art I've seen at our toddler art classes. Our classes have been cancelled for now so along with a lot of other work, I'm making sure I offer some interesting art experiences. I love the idea of a painting texture wall. We... Read more →


We don't run to a schedule and almost every day looks different. But our days are child led. For us this means a whole lot of free play outside! Today I felt the need for some new materials. What was in order? A trip to the toy store, some online shopping? No! A morning visit to our local Reverse Garbage. I phoned ahead to make sure they were open and I spoke to Kirsten (Creative Director), who I have proclaimed an expect in early childhood loose parts play. Kirsten later greeted us at Reverse Garbage (Sydney) and showed us around.... Read more →


Today I'm sharing five things that I've enjoyed this week. Some of these are small moments but these are the things I treasure and want to make note of. We have been doing so much work, play and exploring outdoors. When living in the UK I kept a tally of how many hours we spent outdoors but here in Australia I don't need to, it's just not an issue. We are outdoors almost all day. Otis also walks to school so we are spending a lot less time in the car. This spot underneath a Eucalyptus tree is lovely and... Read more →


Today Otto (2yrs) attended his first toddler art class. The studio was beautiful, amazing and vibrant. I felt so inspired that I made some adjustments to our art shelves as soon as we got home. But what had me thinking was the focus on process art and how many product driven arts and crafts my other children did at the same age. I know that product driven art and crafts can be useful for a variety of reasons and are often used around cultural events (Easter, Christmas, at school fairs). But do children in the first plane of development need... Read more →


"The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence." - Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind. Hand strength is essential for activities like writing and using scissors but it is also essential for daily living tasks like doing up buttons, pulling on shoes, tying a bow or pouring a drink. Often we focus on coordination, the pincer grasp and the refinement of movements and touch, which are incredibly important but developing the strength of the entire hand is fundamental. How do our toddlers in the precious first three years of life spend their days? Are our lifestyles becoming too passive? Are our... Read more →


I've never met a toddler that doesn't love a little spray bottle!! Mini spray bottles are fabulous for developing hand strength and can be used for lots of practical life activities. Needs some ideas? Mini spray bottles can be used in the home for toddlers and preschoolers for: Care of Self Activities spraying hair, to smooth it in the mornings or to add a leave-in conditioner. cooking, spray water on bread before baking. Care of the Environment Activities window washing, or mirror washing. in the kitchen to wipe counter-tops, wipe down tables, clean out fridge, general dusting, to put in... Read more →


We often think about developing fine motor skills in order to prepare the hand for writing. But what about preparing the hand for drawing, isn't that just as important? Drawings are communication, they are expression, they are meaningful, they assist in developing individuality and creativity. We mustn't think that writing is always the end goal, drawing and creating is pretty important too. And guess what, your toddler can already do it! Fostering creativity through drawing is always a priority for our toddler. Because toddlers can't always tell us what they want, they don't always know they want to draw unless... Read more →


I've been reading Creative Children's Spaces: Fresh and imaginative ideas for modern family homes by Ashlyn Gibson. It's not Montessori in approach but there are floor beds featured (house beds) and good art display options. I love the idea of using a restaurant tab (or check) grabber for displaying art, or prints, or photographs so much that I ordered some straight away. A young child can use them easily and independently. I am also a fan of the slightly industrial looks. Perhaps in our next house I will put one in the kitchen, or living area or near the children's... Read more →


If you have more than one child creating a safe and enticing art area can be difficult. While I have three children only my eight and two year old use this area. Previously I've set up this area just for my toddler and I had six or so activities on trays. Now we have a combination of loose materials and a few trays out. This area is in our playroom and often my toddler is here being supervised by my (super relaxed) husband and sometimes by my twelve-year-old son. So for safety and to reduce scribbling on walls, I have... Read more →


Over the weekend I presented Otto with his first sewing tray. He does a lot of threading so this feels like the next step. I needed to demonstrate but it didn't take him long to get it. It felt a little like two steps forward and one step back as he like to poke the needle through and then reposition it and poke it again, without threading it. But toddlers (and perhaps all children) like to test, they like to experiment and in their own time they will find their way. I don't feel like there is a need to... Read more →


Montessori Sewing Ideas for the Home and Classroom - Toddler to Primary

Today I put together Otto's (25 months) first sewing tray. It's wonderful to see him use it. Before I made his sewing tray I looked for a few ideas and inspiration. Here are some fabulous ideas for toddlers to primary. Above is an adorable sewing kit from Etsy. The colour coordination is perfect. This set is designed for primary age children. Details here. I'm loving the handmade protective cases for the needles and scissors. This set is by the same supplier. Again the colour coordination is lovely. Details here. These sets include buttons, beads, an assortment of sewing cards, Aida... Read more →


My toddler is crazy about play dough!! It is used every.single.day! He loves it. One of the reasons it keeps his interest is because we rotate the play dough and most of the tools and materials. Every week or so we add new materials that are usually related to an interest such as toob insects, flowers or mini diggers. When he was younger, from 10 months, we offered coloured craft sticks and coloured matchsticks as toddlers this age like to poke and prod the play dough. At around 18 months my toddler really became competent in using the rolling pin... Read more →


When I set up our toddler 'writing' station I put our block crayons into a cute crayon holder. I had put them in the crayon holder previously when presenting the crayons in a tray, but this time it was different. This time my toddler (at 22 months) was much better and more consistent with putting them away and more specific with the colours that he wanted to use. I could see how practical and useful the crayon holder had become. The crayon holder promotes order - the child can easily find the colour crayon they are looking for, it's easy... Read more →


I have a toddler (22 months old) who loves to draw. He likes to draw on his legs, he likes to draw on the walls. He will draw wherever he can. I don't want to stop him from drawing, I want to support him! He has an innate need to draw, to scribble, to make marks. We know that a scribble is more than a scribble. It's emotion, expression, creativity, it's communication. The more the toddler can express themselves and be heard, the better!! I want more scribbling, more expression. It's also concentration, focus, autonomy. I've set up a small... Read more →