1. Oh Happy Day - featuring this wall paper wall map, 2. Wallpaper Mural Ideas, 3. HGTV, 4. Geosafari Wonder World Wall Map Set, 5. Children's Illustrated World Map and 6. Decowall World Map Wall Stickers. Caspar's previous Cycle Two classroom in Canberra has a huge world wall map. I love it and think it is such a good idea in the Cycle Two Classroom (6-9 years). Since seeing this... Read more →

I am on the hunt for really good lunch box ideas. Things like our favourite carrot and zucchini slice (that we also made today), something we can bake and use for snacks and for school lunch boxes throughout the week. I am loving the lunch box ideas at Weelicious so I trawled through the website and found some Vegetarian Baked Samosas. Even though Otis made ours they still turned out... Read more →

During the school holidays I always have a couple of act activities planned. I put away the materials until just the right moment - when there is a rainy day or a rest day or just when the boys are getting bored or restless. I like to ensure that the boys are challenged, that they are learning and are exposed to new experiences. Foam Printing is a really good activity,... Read more →

A treasure hunt - we look around the house to find items that match the phonogram in this case 'ch'. Chocolate milk, cheese, chair (from Otis' dollhouse), chalk, chicks, chicken, cheetah and chimpanzee. 'I Spy' is a good game to play also. We have a basket of items that match the phonograms Otis is currently learning. He can pull the items out of the basket and form the words. Otis... Read more →

It's been on my mind for a while. I had been making Otis' school lunches for him and I felt really bad about it. I honestly just wasn't organised enough. I often made his lunch late at night, baking at the last minute to fill the lunch box. Argh not ideal. It's not really about being organised it's about priorities, knowing what is important and just finding the time to... Read more →

1. Primary Shapes Template Set, 2. Geometric Stencils, 3. Montessori Shapes (a plastic version of the Montessori Metal Insets), 4. Child's First Stencil Set, 5. Animal Shapes Puzzles, 6. Kindergarten Stencils. Using stencils is a really good way to help the child's developing hand control. Otis started by using simple shape stencils (circle, square, triangle) and he moved on to more complex stencils of animals, vehicles and other shapes. Otis... Read more →

Otis has always enjoyed puzzles and working with his hands. When he turned four we started using Ravensburger Puzzles. They have such a wide selection of puzzles that are life like and many of them are really beautiful. Child.com.au recently asked if we would like to try some of their Ravensburger Puzzles and of course we jumped at the chance. All of these puzzles are suggested for 4+ years and... Read more →

I found out about this Montessori concept years ago (thanks to Eve) but it wasn't until this week that I printed this calendar and introduced it to my children. La poutres du temps - the time beam is an excellent, concrete way of introducing a child (or a classroom) to the concept of days, months and years. It is a linear calendar. Our calendar is three meters long and the... Read more →

We tried milling our own flour a couple of weeks ago. Today we decided to make it easier and put the grain mill at the kids low kitchen prep table. For these hand crank devices it's much easier for Otis if he can stand on the floor, he has more leverage. This is a really valuable experience teaching children where food comes from. We are using organic spelt grain and... Read more →

Montessori language materials are presented to the child in a carefully orchestrated sequence. Metal Insets (for hand control), Sandpaper Letters and the Movable Alphabet are all part of this sequence and the process cannot be hurried and stages cannot be skipped. Montessori sees the child as an active learner, a motivated doer and that children have the power to educate and teach themselves. Young children with good phonetic awareness are... Read more →

There is so much focus in Montessori on fine motor skills I think at times we as parents overlook the importance of gross motor skills, the development and coordination of those large, gross motor muscles and movements. In the classroom gross motor movements would include movement around the room (moving tables and chairs, walking), lifting and pouring, practical life activities like window washing or table scrubbing, walking the line. Otis'... Read more →

I recently found this really fun idea. I was looking around for Montessori, nature, sensory, play inspiration. What I love about this idea is that the child is working in a natural setting and using real items. It challenges the child to look closely at their natural environment, using all of their senses. This idea is something that will work in almost any natural setting, today we used it in... Read more →

How do I decide which activities to present to my children? How do I decide which activities and materials to put on their shelves or what toys to buy? There are so many things that I consider! What is the family currently working on? Are there any family projects such as gardening or baking that we can all get involved with. Are we choosing new plants for the garden? Are... Read more →

One thing I love about Montessori is that it really has no limits. A young child even as young as four is encouraged to learn and to delve deeper into a topic until their thirst for knowledge has been temporarily satisfied. The resources aren't limited by age. The child can just keep on going. I also love that Montessori is so child led, interest based. While there are times when... Read more →

When Otis was younger he collected sticks and stones. We had a pile of sticks just inside our front door where Otis would meticulously place each new find. When he would find something extra special perhaps a pinecone or seedpod he would carefully put them in a nature basket. Nature baskets some times over-flow. Some times we have specimens we want to set up in a display, a nature discovery... Read more →