Until recently Otis (7 yrs) didn't have a work area downstairs, he would often work at the dining table which really wasn't suitable, he often wanted to use it around dinner time and didn't want to pack up his work. It was an unhappy situation. If I was going to create a space for him downstairs, it was going to have to be a dynamic space, it would need to be flexible and suitable for everyone to use. It would have to be somewhere Caspar (10 yrs) and Otto (10 months) could comfortably work too. Perhaps it could be a... Read more →

Tidy Bookshelves 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 Books! We all have them. Some of us have a lot of them. How do we best store them? We want to protect the books, we want to display them beautifully and we want them to be easily accessible to our children. For babies, toddlers and preschoolers it's definitely best to display them forward facing, so the child can see the cover. It's also best to avoid overcrowding or overwhelm, you can observe your child but it's never a good idea to overcrowd a bookshelf! In a... Read more →

Do you use loose parts in your home? They are not a Montessori concept. Montessori materials have a clear purpose and a control of error. Loose parts are simply open-ended toys and are often materials you can find around the home. Lots of our loose parts/toys have been inspired by the RIE approach, you can see a list of recommended toys and materials here. If you want to know more about the RIE approach, I have enjoyed listening to and reading Baby Knows Best. We are still using a lot of discovery baskets in our home too. Here are a... Read more →

In our home, it's all about board books!! Otto cannot be trusted with any type of paper book, it would be quickly destroyed, ripped and/or eaten. But I also want to provide a wide range of books for him, not just the usual baby board books. So I've found a few nature-based board books that I love, that I'm happy to have in our home (that spark joy!!) and that will last through toddlerhood. American Museum & Natural History ABC Birds - this is a gorgeous and large/oversize board book. It is striking and would make an impact as a... Read more →

Ten months is such a lovable age. The child is getting into everything, exploring often with their hands and mouths and crawling around, climbing and pulling up on things. Their coordination and verbal skills are increasing. Here are five things I'm noticing at ten months. Object Permanence. Object permanence materials are well used at this age. Otto has the coordination and concentration to use his object permanence box with tray, his object permanence ball push and his ball tracker which has an object permanence box repeatedly, with intent and focus. Peek-a-boo with play silks and even hide and seek behind... Read more →

On a cold rainy morning is there anything better than some warm lavender playdough? Otis and Otto love using playdough together so I put a few baby-friendly materials in to a little caddy for them to use. I put some playdough, playdough stampers, textured rolling pins and jumbo wooden craft sticks into a metal caddy. I was really determined not to use any plastic materials in this and it was totally achievable. I knew that Otto would have issues opening any container so I decided to use beeswax wraps to keep the playdough fresh. Otis can help him to wrap... Read more →

We are now home from France but this is a picture of Otto at 10 months walking around our Paris apartment using the play gym for support. A couple of French books that we purchased on our holidays. I love these so much for little ones and toddlers. All of the images are real images/photographs and the sounds are real sounds (you press a button on each page to make the sound of the animal pictured). At what age can children independently use the weaning chair? At around 9-10 months. Otto can independently get in and out of his weaning... Read more →

For the first time parent who may wonder what are Montessori infant shelves and how are we supposed to use them? The shelves promote independence as the child is able to access them by themselves, and they promote order, the child is able to see all of their materials and when they are slightly older will be able to put them back where they got them from! The shelves can be in the child's room or in a shared space such as a living room or playroom. The shelves are: Low. So that the crawling infant can see the materials... Read more →

It's the school holidays and my children have been spending a lot of time reading. They have been reading lots of poetry. Otis in particular likes to read poetry out loud. He takes so much pride in projecting his voice, in expressive reading, he loves it. The poems are mostly short, with short sentences, they are easy for him to read, I can see that it's building his confidence too. Poetry is so good for children of all ages! For the beginner or early reader, poems are often a good choice as they can feel a sense of accomplishment when... Read more →

You know I love a good floor bed! All of my children have slept in floor beds. We start using the floor bed almost from birth for daytime naps and for nighttime sleeping when we feel they are ready. Caspar and Otis used a single mattress on the floor and it worked perfectly. We didn't have any mold or mildew and I just vacuumed underneath it weekly. It takes a while for the child to find the edge and learn how to get down but it's fantastic for their spatial awareness and of course independence. Today I want to show... Read more →

Otto has just turned 10 months old so I thought it was time to show you his updated Montessori room. We moved into this house in January, after an international move we barely had any toys or furnishings. Now the room is starting to look and feel more lived in and we are working out the best way to use the small space we have available. Above he is playing with the bells and cube c/o Montessori Shop. As Otto is now crawling and climbing, we've been careful to remove any hazards in his room, including low plants and small... Read more →