Montessori has taught me a few things about how to keep my house organised and how to present children's materials! We know that children need their materials to be; accessible ordered beautiful, attractive, age appropriate, engaging simple, not overwhelming When it comes to art materials in the home simple is best. Art materials provide an opportunity for creative, independent work that uses lots of fine motor skills, develops coordination and concentration. It is so important. But we want to avoid mess and waste. Here are a few of my tips. Often it's best to present fewer materials or in lower... Read more →

Do you have a two year old? Are you wondering what you can do with them, what activities might be suitable for this age group? Here are some of the Montessori activities I was doing with my child when he was two. Above is Pasting. Threading/sewing work. Cut an egg (with a knife). Counting work. (Pictured Tumble Down Counting Pegs) Matching work. Mashing. Use a whisk (shell peas, peal a mandarin and cut cheese). Make orange juice. Wash the table (and so much more practical life work). Magnet work. Learn to peel. Use basic puzzles. (Pictured Geo Shapes Puzzles) Use... Read more →

Although today was filled with sunshine the next couple of days are forecast for rain. Time to wash and I could use as much help as I could get. Watching Otis do the washing made me think. He turns three later this week and he is doing exactly the same practical life activities as when he turned two. He's just doing them to a higher skill level. He is now proficient. He doesn't need any demonstration, advice or help. He is still in that sensitive period for practical life where he just can't get enough. He can't sit back and... Read more →

Do you have questions that you would like to ask a Montessori teacher? I always have lots of questions. I often ask them at parent teacher interviews or at parent education nights. Today I've asked Meghan Hicks a question I've had on my mind for a few weeks (by the way Otis doesn't turn three until April). Not only is Meghan Montessori trained she has extensive experience in Montessori schools and importantly she is also a parent of two boys! Here is a question that I've asked Meghan and her response follows. I have a three year old child who... Read more →

I don't often get my camera out on a Sunday. Sundays are usually a day of recharge. Rest combined with a little cleaning and baking. The most important aspect of Sundays is that we have no planned activities, we operate totally at our children's pace. Today we introduced mosaic tiles to our clay. All of our pots have holes as we plan to use them for plants. The boys loved adding the tiles and it's so sparkly and pretty. Caspar rolled some paper seedling pots. Using newspaper these are a fantastic idea. We have this paper pot maker from Biome.... Read more →

Caspar at six-years records the temperature. He could go ahead and graph it - maybe one day! He can read the thermometer though and that takes practice. We have a rain gauge outside and there is the potential for him to record that also. Otis at two-years is happy noting what kind of day it is (the weather wheel he is using is pictured below). How you do you record the weather? This is a wooden token set that we have and love, made years ago by Mama Roots. Felt weather tote by Sweet Gabbie. Felt weather chart by Blue... Read more →

I need to find some more locks to make this more challenging for Otis. He loves it and it can take him a while to get the key in and turn it. A simple lock and key activity. Less than five minutes to prepare if you have some spare locks in your home. Otis thrives on activities like this, an activity which will capture his attention and requires concentration. Concentration is calming and satisfying. In his busy world concentration requires him to slow down, be still. He needs concentration, coordination and strength. He uses size discrimination and memory/recall. He practises... Read more →

It is that time of year when we check the school uniforms to make sure that they still fit. Wow how kids can grow in the period of a few weeks. For Otis this will be his first year at school. When Caspar started school I was freaking out nervous. Cry in the carpark kind of nervous (I was pregnant with Otis and my husband was overseas and I'm already an emotional person). So with Caspar I cried. I agonised. Was I (I mean we) doing the right thing, was he ready? For Otis, perhaps it's just because he's the... Read more →

How are you going? I feel like I'm being pulled in a million different directions. Running but not actually get anywhere? Know the feeling? My house may be a mess (and the rest of my life too to be honest) but I'm getting a few things right. We are preparing and eating solid fantastic meals and my kids are getting lots of fresh air, space and rest. We have two weeks until school is back - I need to take a few deep breaths make the most of it. It must have been the recent hot weather as we are... Read more →

We don't always have a designated Nature Table. Often we have a basket, jar or tray full of items we have collected from nature. I thought I'd like to make Our Nature Table a regular feature. A few snippets of what we are exploring. Perhaps weekly, although there are some weeks when our items and displays don't change. We currently have a lot of items out on the table. We've recently changed our shelves around and the boys wanted to group these together. Recently Otis has been interested in the bowl of shells (these are farmed), he started to match... Read more →

These summer days bring so much light into our kitchen. The weather is nice and fruit abounds. The two year old is so capable. With each passing month his strength and coordination increases. We must give him things to do that satisfy him. Productive work is an important part of his day. Work that allows him to exercise his skills to increase his abilities. I see relation between building physical strength and strength of character, the child is continuously doing both but needs activity and exercise to challenge. They also need reward (intrinsic, satisfaction) and joy. They need to start... Read more →

You are your child's guardian, their advocate. It is your duty to do the best by them, always. It doesn't change for us at Christmas or when family are visiting. Often Christmas can be difficult when families come together. Often when different values come together, different life experiences. Having family visit or travelling can often be overwhelming for children. Consistency is really important. Otis has been a little more distracted lately and harder to settle at bedtime. I believe this is from a change in diet (more treats), later bedtimes and the excitement of Christmas. We no longer discuss Montessori... Read more →

Preparing for Christmas. Last year my husband spent Christmas working overseas. We missed him terribly and our Christmases will never be the same. We were changed by the experience and our priorities have changed forevermore. What is important to us? That we are healthy, safe and together. We've been spending as much time together at home as possible. Making. Hand made, child made - decorations, treats and gifts. I don't even have to think about it, I know this is the right message to send to our children. Otis has been so excited he has given presents already. Rather than... Read more →

Shorts and shirts are standard in our house. Dresses would (I imagine) be a little more difficult. Here is one of the earliest photographs I have of Otis in his care of self - dressing area when he was 13-17 months. The cube chair and sitting has really helped with this process which can begin once they can sit. I'm not going to pretend that you need help with this. I'm sure everyone knows how to dress their own child. I've actually been told numerous times that helping a child to dress while being behind them is helpful, that way... Read more →