I love to get my children's brains going, I love to see them think in different ways. I like to get those neurons firing! Online I have seen many visual perception exercises but when I tried to track them down they were all overseas (not in English) and expensive workbooks to get here. So once I tracked down some resources that are accessible I thought I definitely need to share them. Firstly though - what is visual perception? Visual perception refers to the brain's ability to make sense of what the eyes see. Visual perception is the ability to interpret... Read more →

The team at Brainy Kit recently sent us their Polar Kit for review. Brainy Kits are designed for children aged 3 to six which means this kit suited Otis perfectly! As you can see the kits are heavily influenced by Montessori and the lesson plans would work perfectly in a Montessori home and in many cases a classroom. Stickers, puzzles and a sensory tub - a delight to a three year old. The kit doesn't just contain materials for formal lessons but lots of materials intended for and suitable for free play. The sensory tub we made with the Instant... Read more →

I have just a short post for tonight. I thought I would share some fun links but I have a post almost ready for tomorrow reviewing a Montessori subscription service - so please check back in tomorrow if that is something you would like to read. This weekend Meg Hicks and I joined forces on an Instagram account. Come and see us at kylieandmeg!! It's such a fun process. So far I have been taking the pictures and Meg has been writing the captions. I love how expressive Meg is. I am still on Instagram at howwemontessori if you'd like... Read more →

It's obviously important that any work we do at home doesn't conflict or duplicate the work done or the work that will be done at school. However as Otis is only at school for half the day (9am-12pm) and there is still a lot of time at home where he is interested in working. I would go so far to say that he is ready for a second three hour work period. Besides the natural environment his undeniable attraction is to letters, numbers and shapes. There is lots of identifying these in our environment, there is lots of 'I Spy'... Read more →

Etsy, Mader, Herman Miller, Etsy, Etsy, Etsy, Etsy, Mader, Mader, Etsy, Bauhaus, Etsy. I never would have thought to put spinning tops on toddler (Montessori) shelves if I hadn't received a little wooden handcrafted top (below) from a friend. When Otis was younger I presented spinning tops in a tray, this is a good option for a child learning to use the tops as the tops are contained in the tray and the child doesn't need to spend all their time picking them up off the floor. You can see how I presented them in a tray in this post... Read more →

Otis is a typical three year old. There are times often months when he is happy to brush his teeth and then suddenly he starts refusing. He will put on his shoes independently for weeks then he starts asking for help. Montessori has taught me a few ways to promote care of self activities so I thought I would take some time to share. Knowledge and Skill. The child needs to have knowledge of and the skills required to complete the task. In most cases the child will need the steps of the task broken down. The child depending on... Read more →

This week we made two new additions to the bathroom. A box of tissues and a bin. Although Otis has been here before a lesson on blowing and wiping his nose and a discussion on the importance of hygiene was required. Otis isn't currently coughing or sneezing however are these are good grace and courtesy lessons. The children have access to tissues in the cupboard but when a cold strikes it's best we put them in a more visible location. Without a bin prominently displayed my children tend to 'pile' the tissues on the counter, so a bin near the... Read more →

What do your children do while you cook dinner? Often it's the time that Otis doesn't want to be working or playing independently. It's nice to have him by my side and I can always find something for him to do. It usually involves carrots - peeling, cutting. We can always add carrot sticks to a meal. Sometimes he likes to play in the sink but there is always some mashing, grating, peeling, slicing to do. I think this might have been Otis' first time peeling a potato and it took a fair bit of concentration. Around the internet I... Read more →

Wow! What a busy week it was. The boys started back at school which meant our days were really full. As Otis spends the mornings at school (he finishes at 12) we have one-on-one time until it's time to pick Caspar up (he finishes at 3). It's been so nice to have quiet, concentrated time with Otis. Our afternoons have been spent doing lots of practical life and fun, relaxing work. Above on Tuesday Otis learnt to use the egg beater - which is genius, so easy for him to use once he got the action and coordination right. Our... Read more →

Bathrooms are a room where independence is so important. And yet we let the bathroom slide a little. Thinking, it's ok, the boys can reach, they can see the mirror. However it became apparent that it wasn't ok and there were a few changes we could make to encourage independence and get this bathroom a little more like our previous bathroom. The wall behind Otis isn't fully tiled which makes attaching things to the wall a little more difficult. So we've put a smaller mirror (but it attaches very strongly with a suction cap) on the shower wall, along with... Read more →

There are a few people in our lives that we don't let know how much we appreciate them (I'm thinking cousins, Aunts). Some are single and some are widows - how nice it would be to send them a small, handmade, child made Valentine's Day gift. Something little for them to enjoy. I've purchased baths salts many times (I love using Etsy) and recently I've been using a store bought 'magnesium foot soak'. It didn't take me long to discover these products can be easily, simply and cheaply made at home. And I'm talking no compromise on quality. So I... Read more →

Today's making and baking required a lot of patience and persistence. I've tried to awaken a sourdough culture many times without success. It's really maintaining the warm/high temperature that I have struggled with. Luckily in our current heat maintaining the temperature of my culture was not a problem. This sourdough was three days in the making but the good news is I have a lovely culture waiting for me to use next time in the refrigerator. Kids and bread baking are a perfect match. I think it's all the time children have spent using play dough that they know their... Read more →

Today I thought I would try something different and take a more candid approach to capturing Montessori in our home using my iPhone. This is Montessori in it's everydayness. Getting dressed. Pouring a drink. Sweeping. Or not. Learning with letters. Learning about animals. What's inside animals? Working with their hands. Caspar learning latch hook - it's turning out pretty amazing. Baking. Beetroot and chocolate cake - via Organic Sisters. Being proud. Feeling satisfied. Montessori smelling bottles. Icing. Finishing the job! A reassuring bed time story. Good People Everywhere. I hope you had a lovely day too! Read more →

This morning I literally searched online for 'rainy day activities for kids'. I didn't find anything even remotely interesting. It may be summer but it's also the wet season. Above Otis puts labels on body parts. As he labelled each body part I gave him some new information about that particular part. This is Otis' body traced, cut out and freely drawn on by him. A great activity for body awareness which children of this age seem to love. Perhaps the beach? My goodness, this might be one of my new favourite places. Thank you to good friends with good... Read more →