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 →

Do you remember the bath robe I made for Caspar? With the same pattern I made Otis an early birthday present. If you're not familiar with this pattern it is fantastic. It's based on using a bath towel and is beginner level. It can be found at MADE here. As it's his first robe and he is starting to get himself dressed, putting his arms through the holes, I decided to go with the short sleeved version. For simplicity I chose not to make a hood. Easy peasy, totally cute bath robe. As with Caspar's I made the addition of... Read more →

The Pre-Linguistic Period

The last couple of videos have shown Otis babbling. He is really vocal which seems to be a characteristic of his stage in development. He is 11 months old and within a week of turning one. This makes it the perfect time to talk about the pre-linguistic period of language development. Dr Montanaro writes (in Understanding the Human Being) the pre-linguistic period lasts from birth (or even before) to 10-12 months. My main interest is how can I best assist my child in this period. Dr Montanaro writes "In this stage all the work children perform is hidden within them,... Read more →

A pre-walker using a walker wagon

I've recently written how Otis likes to use his walker wagon. He has graduated to using it on tiles and hard surfaces. He has enough control to start and stop but usually ends up running into the furniture. He cannot at this stage turn the cart around. So we spend all day helping him turn around and navigate corners. Without the walker he can stand up independently but hasn't taken any steps. This walker wagon is currently available at Montessori Child here. Read more →

Otis packing up, putting away

I recently mentioned in the comments section that as soon as Otis could sit up we engaged him in packing up and putting away. It simply starts as telling him we are going to pack up as we slowly and deliberately put his things away with him watching. Then over time he helps. I rarely clean or tidy either of my children's rooms without them being present. I want them to have ownership over their own space. At the same time I don't expect an 11 month old or a four year old to totally keep their rooms clean and... Read more →

I receive many questions about sleep. However I've never felt comfortable writing about it. I'm not sure my answers will help other than to reassure you that all children and all parents are different. Here are my answers to my top six most asked questions about sleep. 1. We currently co-sleep with our 4-6 month old. Any suggestions on how to transition them in their own room and onto the floor bed? I suggest start with daytime sleeps. I frequently co-sleep with Otis during the night but during the day he sleeps on his floorbed. I have found that Otis... Read more →

Of course you can introduce it any way you like but this is how we did it. We simply left the walker in Otis's room from around nine months. He started investigating. Reaching. Climbing. Then pushing it around on his knees. Then one day wow. Up he goes. He's not walking, he's running. As fast as he can until he crashes into the wall or furniture. The walker is the same one mentioned here. The wagon isn't weighed down it contains these handmade soft blocks. We sometimes move the walker into other rooms but generally only those that have carpet.... Read more →

I am making some changes to Otis's room. Trying (yes, trying!) to incorporate a care of self area. You know, a small table with a mirror. I tried this mirror. It's actually a bit too heavy to attach securely for this purpose. While it was sitting on the floor Otis discovered it. It entertained both of them! What is it about children and their reflection? They just can't get enough. Read more →

To improve concentration and problem solving skills. To stimulate and strengthen the hand. To improve coordination. To create good work habits. To extend and challenge the child. Why not? For a keeping it real moment. What I'm sure every child does with the cup. As a side note Otis is now drinking from his cup with one hand all of the time. I think it's a true sign that he is observing us and following our lead. Read more →