I've been looking for new ways to connect with my children in the evenings. We often work on a puzzle together (we just finished this one), sometimes only for 15-20 minutes. Sometimes the boys will work on it together when I'm busy with Otto. We don't have many board games with us so I thought we would try the RSPB Guess Who. It is so much fun and like the puzzles, the boys will play nicely together even when I'm not there. What surprised me was how educational it is. I thought I knew animals fairly well but occasionally, I've... Read more →

With the school holidays approaching I've pulled out some of our science experiments books and bought a few new ones. I've given the boys each a pack of sticky notes and asked them to put them next to the experiments they would like to try. This will keep them busy and engaged over the summer break. I thought I would share the science experiment books we have and use the most. The age recommendations are very general and are to be used as a guide only, all of these experiments require adult supervision. 1. The Everything Kids' Science Experiments Book... Read more →

Once your child grows out of the toddler to preschooler stage there really isn't a lot of advice available on how to create Montessori home spaces. When it comes to my children's rooms my aim is to create a space they can be themselves in, that they can grow in, relax in and be at peace in, that they can use to explore the world. It needs to be warm and comfortable. Their rooms also in some way will reflect their individual personalities and interests. Many families like bedrooms for sleeping only and therefore will only contain a bed and... Read more →

How was your week? Otto has been teething, so there hasn't been a lot of sleep going on around here. On a positive note, it's now Spring and the school holidays start next week! Here are a few articles that I've been enjoying. If you have a toddler you must read this - and take look at the gorgeous pictures. The Development of the Will: Movement in the 0-3 Year Old Child at Villa di Maria Montessori School. Montessori Basics: What is the Montessori work period? at Bergamo Montessori School. If you are a teacher you might enjoy this, A... Read more →

Otis (six years) loves being in the kitchen. He loves making and baking. He loves his kitchen gadgets and appliances almost as much as I do! The boys have school holidays next week so I'm already thinking about what food and snacks we'll need. It has me thinking about the children's favourite kitchen appliances. It should be noted that not all of these appliances are made for or targeted at children. Also as a Montessori family, we may introduce some of these appliances at a younger age than other families. Mostly Otis will use them independently but always under close... Read more →

This is my second post in a monthly series on children's clothing. Clothing that we love, clothing that is fun, practical and true to our Montessori values! Clothing is so important for children and more so for infants. Otto (six months) spends most of his day on the floor on a movement mat or on a play mat at friends or curled up in his brothers' arms. Having soft, comfortable clothing that keeps him warm and allows him to move is a priority. Previously Otto was wearing soft woolen booties when we went out visiting or at home, just for... Read more →

Today I'm sharing some of the books we've been enjoying recently! Otto - six months When I search for Montessori baby books, the same titles keep on coming up. It could be because these are the tried and true and it could be because we aren't reviewing new baby books. Books like Priddy's First 100 Words will never go out of fashion in Montessori homes - the clear realistic images on plain backgrounds, of every day objects, is just perfect. The whole Priddy series is fantastic. Another series that I love for babies is the DK Baby Touch and Feel... Read more →

What is the right age for the child's first pocket knife? If the child has been raised in a Montessori environment and is familiar with using knives, I'm thinking around five or six years of age? By seven, eight or nine years old - absolutely! Of course, it depends on the child and it is to be remembered that pocket knives are real tools, not toys. Otis has Forest School once a week and it has left him feeling inspired. On his first day, he learnt how to make and light a campfire - and then they toasted marshmallows! He... Read more →

We moved to the UK mid January however some of our (new/rented) furniture is still arriving and we only recieved our personal items from Australia last week. Finally, some shelves for Otto! This is a part of our living area, it is next to our dining area and adjacent to our kitchen (which is also our laundry!). This area is so well placed, I can be in the kitchen/laundry and still supervise him. I can be close if needed but he can have his space too. Because it's so close to our dining and kitchen, I think I might put... Read more →

I've been looking for ways to extend Otis' woodworking, to increase his skill level and to take him past the basic hammering he's been doing to date. It's the perfect time to introduce some measuring and the use of a saw. Here are a few of my thoughts and ideas on woodworking with young children. First, where do you find wood? I am no expert but I look for softer wood such as balsa or even pine. You don't want something that will split easily but some woods are so hard they are really difficult to hammer into. Some times... Read more →

We make regular trips to the library however, there are some books which you just want to own. These two books have been on my wishlist for a while. I knew that Otis would love them immediately. They are both really beautiful and deliver information to the child in an interesting and engaging way. In the Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals children are invited to examine ten skeletons and with several hints and clues determine which animal they belong to. The skeletons are all record-breaking for different reasons including the smallest, longest, shortest, heaviest, spikiest bones, fastest growing bones... Read more →

Today Otis and I made these cute little Christmas tree meringues as gifts for our friends and neighbours, and perhaps a few for the Christmas table too. The idea came from our favourite macaron shop Marché du Macaron, although we made ours much smaller, almost bite size. As it should be when baking with children, they turned out perfectly imperfect. The recipe is really simple, we used Margaret Fulton's (Australian cooking icon) recipe using only three large egg whites and 1 cup of caster sugar. While the egg whites and sugar were being whisked in the electric mixer we put... Read more →

I've been thinking about gift ideas for Montessori children around five to six years old. Most of my ideas end up being STEM related. This list is naturally influenced by my own children, what they have loved over the last few years and the toys they still hope to receive. Children of this age are often inquisitive, wanting to learn more about the world (and universe) and finding out how things work, often they like to make and create with their hands. For many Montessori families, this is an appropriate age to introduce technology and many children love early coding... Read more →

Otis has been making lots of little gifts for his new brother. He makes lots of paintings for Otto's bedroom walls. Recently he made a cute little heart pillow and scented it with a 'Love' essential oil blend! Otis loves this heart cake tin and decided to use it to make a heart shape. He traces the cake tin and cuts out his fabric. Yes, the fabric needs an iron then pin the two pieces together. And then sew. Our fabulous children's sewing maching is c/o Parent Direct. If you are not sure about the point of a children's sewing... Read more →

Have you been through the process of teaching your children sight words? It can be a little difficult to make the learning fun. Sight words can include puzzle words and high-frequency words. Puzzle words are words that cannot be sounded out or decoded by the child and therefore need to be memorized, making them extra difficult to learn. I've asked teachers for help with this before and have simply received a list of the sight words my child should know. Recently I asked another Montessori teacher friend and she gave me a handful of interesting and creative ideas to try!... Read more →