My little nephew turned one this month. His birthday came at a busy time. We packed some well meaning gifts but I was disappointed we didn't send anything hand made. My sister recently sent me some pictures of a 'posting' toy she had made. Simple cards that can be 'posted' into a hole cut out of a shoe box. It reminded me of all the easy DIY, home made activities... Read more →


Do your children use a work mat at home? I wonder at what age it is introduced? In the past Otis has worked at his table or straight on the floor. This is the first time he has used a work mat. I felt like a real teacher rolling it out slowly and deliberately. As you can see Otis wanted to sit on it. I only have two rules. 1.... Read more →


Honestly when I first read about teething necklaces I thought the child must chew them. I hesitated thinking what a choking hazard! You know the child isn't supposed to chew the necklace at all, they simply need to wear it against their skin. Caspar wore his infrequently and it didn't appear to help at all. However Otis is happy to wear his all the time. He doesn't notice it and... Read more →


Along with shoes we also ordered these toilet learning pants from Michael Olaf. Otis has been wearing training pants for a while like the red ones in this post although as you can see they are bulky and absorb much like a nappy, neither Otis or I could even tell he was wet. I was looking for pants that were; Absorbent enough there is no puddle but the child still... Read more →


We bought Otis's first cube chair before he was born. I always liked the look of two chairs together, such a cute concept. Because these two chairs have different stains they don't match perfectly but I still love using them together. Otis used the Me-Do-It chair as a weaning chair. At six months he couldn't sit up like this, he needed the support. He is currently using the Me-Do-It chair... Read more →


I love seeing how children develop. Watching an infant creeping to a crawl. Cruising to walking. I have mentioned Otis walking with his walker wagon before (here and here). It's perfect for a beginner because it is so stable. Now that Otis is more confident on his feet he has taken to walking with anything. The Wheely Bug. He's not just cruising here. He's actually walking around the entire house,... Read more →


We had finished playing Connect Four when Caspar and Otis begun to fill the frame with tokens. No strategy just having fun putting all the tokens in. Watching Otis's hand action made me think he was ready for a coin box. I have not purchased a coin box and when Caspar was little I made one out of an empty yoghurt container. This DIY is a compromise. No natural materials... Read more →


During the school holidays it's important for us to take the opportunity to spend some days at home. I don't want my children to feel bored easily. I want them to use their minds and imaginations. Not to look to me for something to do, for entertainment. So we allow them as much free play as possible. Outside I try not to hover but stay nearby. Otis is frequently physically... Read more →


It's nice to remember that some of the best materials can be made with items already in our home. Here I have used empty spice bottles, some seeds, nuts and lentils. With beauty and the use of natural materials at the forefront of my mind. I copied the idea from Sara here. Sara used jam jars. I like the little jars our vanilla paste comes in but I didn't have... Read more →


Using a stacker is good for a child's hand eye coordination, concentration, focus and spatial awareness. Some stackers are also good for learning shapes and colours. These are the stackers we are using and rotating with Otis at twelve months. 1. Rainbow Stacker. This looks beautiful sitting on the shelf. 2. Ring Stacker with Colour Discs from Beginning Montessori. This stacker is a favourite of mine because it is really... Read more →


Breakfast cereal in a bowl with a spoon. Otis eats around three-four mouthfuls before he starts putting his hands in the bowl. I feed him a little then remove the bowl and give him his plate. He eats the rest of his breakfast with his hands. We take Caspar to school and come home to tidy the kitchen. Otis eats snacks from his snack draw. He's eating the green Organic... Read more →


Did you see Sara's post at Feeding the Soil of Henry helping in the kitchen? I loved it so much I recently tried something similar with Otis. He wasn't really interested though. He just kept on sitting down. Sara got me thinking. How young is too young to help in the kitchen? Well of course age is no limit. It's more important to think about the skills and interests of... Read more →