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 we planning a holiday? We can start to research and explore these areas. Do I have anything new or interesting that I would like to try - incorporating the children... 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 I completely independently introduce the children to a topic most of their activities, their interests just flow, they evolve from one step, from one area to another. Flowing from one... 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 area, a nature table! My boys love the beach and our nature table is now consumed with items from the ocean. A large conch shell, some star fish and a... Read more →

I want to share these two Montessori activities with you because they are super easy to set up, they use items found around the house, they explore scientific concepts and they are fun! Both of these could be used with toddlers (be careful with small items) right through to preschoolers. Otis loves both of these. To begin with I look around the house for useful items - here I have collected; pinecones, sponge, feathers, wood piece, button, branch, metal screw, bull clip, small padlock, rock, mini wooden peg, paper clips, shell and a glass gem. I put all of these... Read more →

We tried something a little different with our baking today. I wanted to create a recipe that Otis could follow independently. I typed out the recipe and included images of the exact ingredients he would be using. I printed out two pages one with the ingredients and one with the method. I laminated the pages so Otis could cross off the items and steps as he used them. This was a good idea especially for the ingredients as Otis loved marking them off as they went into the bowl. Such a fun process. I put all the ingredients and all... Read more →

1. Soap Grating at My Montessori Journey, 2. Carrot Grating Tray at How we Montessori, 3. Cheese Grating Tray at How we Montessori, 4. Nutmeg Grating at Trillium Montessori, 5. Grating Activity at Montessori Design by Nuccia, 6. Bread Grating at Itty Bitty Love, 7. Cinnamon Grating at Itty Bitty Love, 8. Soap Grating at Montessori Teachings, 9. Cheese Grating at The Wonder Years, 10. Grating Zucchini at Wee Cooking Class, 11. Carrot and Apple Grating at Montessori Nature, 12. Soap Grating at How we Montessori, 13. Cheese Grating at How we Montessori, 14. Grating Soap at Chasing Cheerios, 15.... Read more →

Have you seen this toy? It's absolutely fantastic. You will see it on our shelves for a while as Otis is just on the starter level and it's challenging him. It's one of those logic games that I love. It is recommended for ages 5+ but a four year old will definitely be able to have a go! The child moves the plastic tiles to match or make the same image as to what is on the page. Oh my goodness, loving collage and Otis is loving those sparkly stars. We are using a fantastic transparent storage container from Ikea.... Read more →

While it's still warm here I've been thinking about Parts of a Flower work. We love flower arranging and to be real it's something we do almost daily. I love having flowers in the house and even if it's flowers (or blossoms, branches or leaves) from our own garden. Flowers are a constant although it's not often we cut them up and have a look inside. It's time we expanded our vocabulary and knowledge of the anatomy of a flower. I've found some inspiration in the materials above but first - time to pick some flowers! 1. Learning Resources -... Read more →

Our summer school holidays are slowly coming to an end and it's time for us to think about going back to school. In our home this means going over some of the basics just to feel like the kids haven't forgotten anything over the break. Otis has been doing lots of language work, lots of reading and writing. Our movable alphabet, sandpaper letters and sand tray have along with books from the library become essential in our at home learning. I've mentioned previously that there are many options to the traditional Montessori Sandpaper Letters. Pictured here are the Lakeshore Lowercase... Read more →

The Moveable Alphabet has provided us with many moments of joyful learning. Learning where the child realises they can do something for the first time - such as writing their first word or forming their first sentence. The Moveable Alphabet can be used for the child to write words and to copy words. Otis loves to write all the names he knows. However what I am finding now is a real gift - the Moveable Alphabet provides my four year old the opportunity to create his first pieces of expressive writing. While he is doing lots of work to develop... Read more →

OK, this is a really easy one. Ready? Do you have a magnifying glass? Good! Go and get it and put it in a basket with a few interesting things. Got it? Perhaps in a basket (or a tray) with some fabric scraps, wool, cotton or silk. Perhaps in a basket with some shells, flowers from the garden or leaves or seedpods. Perhaps in a basket with a few vegetables or herbs. The more interesting and attractive to the child the better! A young child such as a toddler might need some help, perhaps a demonstration on how to hold... Read more →

Introducing tongs to a child as young as eighteen months is a great way to build hand strength, develop fine (finger, hand) and gross motor (arm, shoulder) skills, build coordination and provide an opportunity to cross the midline. Using tongs with transfer work allows the child through repitition to develop focus and concentration! All of these tongs (pictured above) are from Amazon or Montessori Services. Although I recommend having a look if you are near a kitchen specialty store - often it's easier to get a feel for the tongs in person. Searching mini tongs, sugar tongs, ice tongs or... Read more →

Have you tried marbling? This was our very first time. I really had no idea how it worked or if it would be ok for Otis to do. Supervision is required (I filled and emptied the water in the tray) but this was a fantastic experience. It's not at all messy, it's all contained and it was great to experiment with. I love the hands on experience with colour! The boys are now on school holidays and this is one of the activities I had ready for them. This turned out to be perfect for both of them. While the... Read more →

Our Christmas preparations so far have been extremely modest. Over the weekend we made some decorations which is a real tradition for us. Salt dough ornaments are a favourite because they are so easy and I love their simplicity. We are aiming for a modest and simple Christmas. I have the boys' presents organised (should I build Otis' eco house or give it to him in the box?), their Christmas pyjamas are ready to go and I will probably only pick up one or two more things. Over the upcoming weeks we will continue to make a few more ornaments... Read more →

What is the greatest risk; children using knives or children not using knives? Does the risk lie in teaching a child the skills required to use a knife or is the risk in not allowing a child to use a knife and denying them important life skills? As a Montessori parent my children started using knives as toddlers. They started with a butter knife (or other dull round tipped knife and also vegetable choppers) to cut something soft like a banana. As the child gets older the knife gets sharper and the food gets harder or more difficult to cut.... Read more →