Otto (2.5 yrs) has finally mastered self dressing! It helps that our weather is mild and he usually only wears a loose t-shirt and pants. Dressing has been a huge point of frustration for us so I want to share how we have got to this point. Why do we want a toddler to dress themselves? Out of respect for the child. To support the child's independence and developing autonomy. To help develop the child's sense of self and to develop self esteem. To teach practical life skills including fine motor skills. Because they can, they are capable if we... Read more →


Q: We recently moved. We spent weeks travelling and staying in hotels. During this time we co-slept with our toddler. Now we are getting settled into our new home and understandably he doesn't want to sleep in his own bed. It is a new bed for him, a new bedroom and new surroundings. He is sleeping very well when he co-sleeps. We are happy to continue to co-sleep but would prefer for him to begin sleeping in his own bed again. How can we best support our toddler to sleep in his own bed in his room? A: Remember that... Read more →


The first room I set up when we moved into this new house was Otto's bedroom. We had spent almost four weeks in hotel rooms and apartments. I knew that Otto needed his own space. Space to be himself, to play, to roll around on the floor. To learn, grown and concentrate. To play uninterrupted. He needed his very own refuge and safe space. He needs minimal supervision in his room as we've made it a 'yes' space. There are no toys with small parts. There are no large pieces of furniture. We have three puzzles on his shelves that... Read more →


I've been reading Creative Children's Spaces: Fresh and imaginative ideas for modern family homes by Ashlyn Gibson. It's not Montessori in approach but there are floor beds featured (house beds) and good art display options. I love the idea of using a restaurant tab (or check) grabber for displaying art, or prints, or photographs so much that I ordered some straight away. A young child can use them easily and independently. I am also a fan of the slightly industrial looks. Perhaps in our next house I will put one in the kitchen, or living area or near the children's... Read more →


Floor beds are becoming more popular!! By two years of age many children have also transitioned to a toddler bed. So before Otto gets any older (he's currently 27 months) I want to share some pictures and note what his floor bed set up looks like. At two years (27 months) we currently use: Cot Sized Floor Bed - c/o Sprout, we have one high side and one low side. Fitted sheet - we don't use a top sheet as it restricts movement. A fitted sheet is really important for the toddler as it doesn't bunch or come off. Hand... Read more →


You can see Montessori in almost every area of our home. I want to provide, as much as I can, an overall picture of what our home looks like room by room. Every space changes, it develops as the children get older however most of these spaces are the same from when our toddler was around 18 months to present at 26 months. Our home is far from perfect but it is a process of observing our children and making changes to meet their needs. Kitchen (above) - kitchen helper so that my toddler can reach the kitchen sink and... Read more →


Our toddler wardrobe isn't a minimalist wardrobe, it is an age-appropriate, developmentally appropriate wardrobe. Perhaps your child can manage with more clothes, perhaps less. "Clothing that is easy to remove and to put on oneself enables the child to practice these skills. These are things to consider when picking out any clothing, from shoes to pajamas, to coats, for young children. A child's efforts at picking out her own clothes and dressing herself are satisfied if the parents hang up, within the child's reach, just two outfits, letting the child decide between them when she dresses in the morning. This... Read more →


"If we had to live just one day in an environment such as the one we prepare for our children, I believe we also would find it painfully uncomfortable...If these mothers prepared an environment at home for the child that conformed to his size, to his energy and to his psychic faculties, the child would be at liberty and a great step would have been taken toward the resolution of the educational problem - the child would have his own environment." - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family. "We must give the child an environment that he can utilize... Read more →


Today was a public holiday so I've just written a short post sharing some of the materials Otto has on his bedroom shelves. I like to have a few materials in his room for him to use before and after bedtime. The wonderful part of having a floor bed is that when he wakes he can turn on his own music, read a book or play with some toys. Also when he is getting sleepy he can play with his toys and slowly make his way to bed. We don't rotate the materials or books in Otto's bedroom as often... Read more →


Otto is almost 18 months old and it feels like a good time to revisit some of our Montessori home spaces. I'll explain how they work and how we troubleshoot. Our spaces are fluid, always changing. I hope these posts will give you a few ideas for your home environment. At almost eighteen months Otto can: Put on/take off socks independently - only loose socks, not socks that are tight. Wool socks are great. Put on/take off boots independently - only his rain boots and not always on the right feet. He can also take them off. Put on/take off... Read more →


I really wanted to write this post as this is may be the smallest house we will live in as a family. There are a few things unique about our current situation. We are living overseas for two years, so we don't have a lot of our things with us and our accommodation is temporary, we can't make any changes to our house. But there might be others in a similar situation or some of these ideas might apply to others renting or living in small spaces. It is so important for us to remember that bigger isn't better, we... Read more →


A month or so ago we moved Otto (17 months) into Otis' old room. Otis (7yrs) doesn't like sleeping alone and I always found it difficult at bedtime if I was busy with Otto. So now Caspar (11yrs) and Otis are sharing a room. Otto's new room is much larger. We haven't made many changes. Most of the furniture is the same. Above we've created a little reading nook. Previously Otis had his fossils and rocks/minerals on the wall unit but now we have some Schleich animals. We might even change it over to some of Otto's favourite Siku vehicles.... Read more →


I love the Montessori approach to wall art. Nothing too busy, distracting or overwhelming. Just simple and beautiful. In children's spaces, I like to use images from nature. It's a part of the Montessori approach to expose the child to reality-based imagery but what is most important to me is that the images are inspiring, uplifting, captivating. I want for my children to see the possibilities of the world, to want to explore the earth, its lands, sky and, oceans. When Otis was a toddler we used the Bits of Intelligence cards for wall art. They are lovely, the background... Read more →


I was going to give an update on Otto's bedroom - to show how he has grown into the space. But then I realised I only had photographs of half of the room. But this pretty much is it, out of picture he has a wardrobe, his weaning table and chair and his ball tracker. He has a lot of his toys and materials in our living area downstairs but we always keep a few things in his room to play with before or after bed. This is a favourite spot for reading and playing with his brothers. We've put... Read more →


Have you thought about making a 'yes' space for your baby or toddler? Some parents I speak to say they have baby-proofed their entire house, but it isn't the same thing. A 'yes' space is a room or an enclosed space made specifically for the child where the child can feel 100% safe and confident. They can move, touch, and, explore confidently knowing this space is for them and they won't be reprimanded or told 'no'. Magda Gerber, founder of RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) was an advocate for 'yes' spaces but it fits very well within a Montessori home.... Read more →