Following yesterday's post here are a few of the activities I was doing with Otis when he was 18 to 23 months old. Age isn't so relevant, it's only a guide. It depends on what your child finds interesting, what skills they have and what skills they are working on. Children of this age are often more interested in gross motor activities - if your child at this age is more interested in moving and climbing that is totally fine too. Playing pegging/stacking game. Threading with pipe cleaners. Learning to brush teeth (note low mirror). Trying some pegging. Playing with... Read more →

There is never a time in a Montessori child's life when they are told to stop, slow down, quit learning and wait for the rest of the class to catch up. There is always the next stage, the next materials, the follow up lesson. It's really irrelevant where the rest of the class is at. . I try to live this at home too. Always (trying!) being one step ahead of Otis. Thinking of extension activities, wondering where he will go next. . Today was his first time matching picture-to-picture! Oh you think six cards is easy Otis? Let's try... Read more →

I don't want to hear that toddlers cannot be trusted. That they might break something. Hell no, don't give them a glass! I agree that some homes aren't set up to provide children with a real glass, that some parents aren't ready (and that's completely ok), but please don't say that a two year old cannot be trusted. If you believe (in general) that two year olds cannot be trusted with real crockery please visit a Montessori community, please book in to visit your closest Montessori school and see it for yourself. They can be trusted, they can be gentle... Read more →

Here is another activity that is quick and easy to prepare. It's totally free using recycled food containers. . We love open and close activities. Otis learnt to use a screw top really early and now can open just about anything. Closing is a little more complicated but he can now do that with most containers. These little 'fish' containers are just perfect for this purpose. . FYI when observing Otis I notice that he usually does this activity twice, open and closes each container twice and it takes about two minutes before he moves onto another activity. I think... Read more →

I have been working really hard with Otis to help him to dress himself. So often I take over. He can get his pants on. Once his head is through his shirt he can put his arms through. It's a process! On our block shelves I attached a photograph to help guide Caspar when packing up the blocks. He likes to put the blocks back in the same place but as his building work often uses all the blocks he has trouble remembering where they came from. This helps his sense of order. (We are using a playstand for shelving... Read more →

. Since Julia recommended Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy with Blocks my attitude towards these unit blocks has completely changed. This book is a complete block guide. There are so many things you can do, so many ways you can use blocks that I had never considered. Mindset changed! . As soon as I read about it I knew Otis would like this. I traced around twelve different sized blocks in pencil on A4 paper. Then I copied over the pencil with a black marker and laminated the sheet. Then I presented them to Otis with the corresponding blocks on... Read more →

With Otis turning two next month I thought it was time to refresh my memory about sensitive periods. I know at two years he is in or nearing the sensitive period for so many things. But what is a sensitive period and what should we expect at two years? What is a 'Sensitive Period'? Through observation Maria Montessori discovered the stages of development that all children follow. She found that children go through very specific and well defined periods of interest in certain areas of their development. Maria Montessori believed that the human brain is specially predisposed for learning during... Read more →

It's likely this will be our last toilet learning post. Otis has slipped seamlessly (and without fault) into night time toileting. We're at the end of our toilet learning journey. If you are at the start of your journey I have a few ideas and suggestions. Absolutely every child is different so we need to be flexible however your approach and your attitude are most important. It's not luck that Otis is toilet trained. We are very fortunate that he is healthy and that I am able to stay at home with him which helps. But what got him 'trained'... Read more →

I put some old coats and jackets into a basket and presented it to Otis. There are zips and buttons to explore. It's our home version of the dressing frames - a fun practical life activity. Over the period of a day Otis made a lot of progress. He loves the zips and snap fasteners. As I walk through the house and put away laundry I'm looking for other types of fasteners, buckles and the like. After school I found Caspar sitting at Otis's table working with some of the coats. It's really good for him too, especially lining up... Read more →

How far in advance do you think about birthday presents? If I leave it to the last minute I buy things I regret. I've done this so many times. The other thing I'm good at is thinking about gifts but not making the decision until the last minute - then panic that it won't arrive in time. Otis's birthday is in April so it's something I've started to think about. I've compiled a list of suggested Montessori and educational gifts for those turning two. This post contains some affiliate links. Schleich Animals. No gift guide of mine would be complete... Read more →

The Three Levels of Obedience

Discipline and obedience are not words you would hear in my house. I don't like the sound of them. They sounds rather harsh. Discipline isn't something I had to think about with Caspar. He is a very patient, well mannered and self disciplined child. Otis on the other hand feels like he's out of control sometimes. When I was reading the book Montessori Talk to Parents - The Road to Discipline I wanted to capture the section about the three levels of obedience. Understanding these three levels helps me to better understand Otis. Montessori shows obedience of the highest order... Read more →

How about Five Minutes with Oits? Playing with Bruder trucks. I've mentioned before that these are built to scale. These trucks get played with every single day. Morning tea. He's decided to eat at this table (his placemat and napkin are on his snack table). I'm not sure what is going on with the tokens but he's carrying this bag around everywhere (it has his schleich dogs inside). He's eating left over Chicken Fingers (that I've cut up) from Wholefood for Children. An excellent tip here which I was also told by Caspar's dietitian is to marinate the chicken in... Read more →

I love having a toilet trained toddler. Life is so much easier. All of the perseverance and pain was worth it. . At 22 months I feel like I can finally say that Otis is toilet trained - daytime only. We haven't approached night toileting but I must get to that soon. . It has been painful. For about three months his toilet learning just plateaued. By plateaued I mean one or two accidents everyday - for three months. Now I cannot remember his last accident. He sometimes makes a mess but that's associated with tricky clothing or dare I... Read more →