The new school year is almost here so it feels like a good time to share some lunch box tips for Montessori families and those attending Montessori schools. Please know that we are not perfect, these are things that we strive towards: allow the child to participate in the making and packing of lunches - young children can slice vegetables or peel eggs or simply put the ingredients into their lunch box. Montessori from the Start recommends children from five years start to prepare their own lunch. This allows the child to have some input into and ownership over their... Read more →


Are you looking for a few new art activities to try at home? I suggest most of these activities for children from around three years however some like the nature clay collage would be suitable or adaptable for toddlers. All of the materials the child needs are presented on the tray. I use melamine trays (similar) as they are super easy to wipe clean and will contain spills. Some of these trays contain two-step activities. It doesn't matter if the child doesn't follow the steps however they provide a good opportunity for the child to learn to follow steps and... Read more →


We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity,... Read more →


Do you have a good toy library near you? We've recently discovered our local toy library and it is fantastic. Our local 'toy and games library' is located within our public library which makes it super accessible (easy to find, central location, easy parking, good opening hours, safe) however, there is a membership fee and a separate borrowing card. We can borrow up to eight toys at once, which we've found is more than enough. Our toy library caters to children from 6 months to 12 years of age. We've found all the toys to be high quality, in good... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been trying out two new children's kitchen and chef knives. Of course, I want to share them with you! I've also included in this review two children's knives that are made by small Australian businesses. So if you are in Australia, I've got you covered. All these photos were taken in one day so this will also give you a good idea of how we use children's knives in our home. For a review of Children's Kitchen and Chef knives worldwide (EU & US) read here. "Arranging the cooking and dining areas for... Read more →


Do your children willingly and enthusiastically clean up spills and breakages at home or do they need a little prompting? To encourage our young children to clean up spills and breakages at home we start with good role modeling and continue will a lot of patience and a few child-size tools. We consider: Good role modeling - clean up our own spills slowly and precisely if the child is observing. Starting young - once the child can walk confidently, they can swat down and swipe up a spill, from around 18 months many children will be able to wipe up... Read more →


Life has changed for everyone in the last twelve months. We've all been isolated in one way or another. In Sydney, we've had lockdowns and closed state borders separating us from loved ones. Some of our toddler and preschooler classes have been canceled and others are running with restrictions. When attending a class it's been relatively easy for us to follow new requirements (check-in, hand sanitiser, social distancing) but it's been harder to navigate playdates where they are no rules. In the Montessori classic The Joyful Child, author Susan Stephenson tells us that "Gregariousness (being with others)" is a child's... Read more →


At the start of the New Year, the entryway feels like a good place to start with a refresh and a tidy-up! The entryway can be a key area in maintaining order and organisation of things like hats, coats and shoes, which otherwise might be a stressor. The entryway can be an important part of a smooth transition from the comfort of the home to the outside world. I've always found the more organised we are the smoother the transition. Children who are organised may feel calmer and more confident when leaving the home. I also want to acknowledge the... Read more →


I love the idea of creating something new using what we already have at home. It's the ultimate in creating because you have to be resourceful and smart. Today I'm sharing a semi-successful dying project using materials we already have and that is safe to do with children. Have you tried tie-dying with your children? We've tie-dyed before using a kit but the children needed to be extra careful with the dye and wear gloves. Recently at our Bush School class, the children tie-dyed using found items (leaves, wild berries) and mud. The mud is said to be high in... Read more →


Most of our garden areas are child friendly. We have a few vegetables planted in our front yard and Otto (3yrs) has his own little patch for digging and a pot for strawberries. Recently Otto planted a small herb garden and I could see how much he enjoyed tending to it. Over the last couple of weeks, we decided to provide another gardening area for Otto that was child-centered and entirely his own. Previously his gardening tools were piled up in our garage and this space allows us to have all of his garden tools together and organised. The thing... Read more →


I'm always interested to see what tools and toys other Montessori families use in their homes. Today I have compiled a list of the top materials ordered by HWM readers through Amazon in the year 2020. Some of these were predictable but there were also a few surprises! This post includes a ton of product links, if that isn't your thing please skip this post. I started writing this as a list of the top five items but for a few categories (like books), I found the list so interesting I just kept on going. The best selling items were... Read more →


In the days since Christmas, we've been writing "Thank you" notes to friends and family. "Thank you" notes require the children to stop and consider what they are thankful for, to show gratitude for the things they have received. Writing thank you notes is more than an exercise of language and writing, it is an exercise of thoughtfulness and reflection. ""Thank you" notes should be a regular part of a child's life from as early as possible." - Susan Mayclin Stephenson - Child of the World: Montessori, Global Education for Age 3-12+. "Children need little urging to draw or write... Read more →


It's Christmas Eve and our house smells like lovely beeswax and gingerbread. The rain has stopped and my children are all asleep in bed. I hope tomorrow and over the holiday season that you stay safe and that you are able to be with your loved ones. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a few precious moments here with me. It's been a chaotic and trying year. 2021 offers hope and promise. I'll be back here with just one more post before the New Year. Take care and Merry Christmas. xx Read more →


Today Otis (9yrs), Otto (3yrs), and two friends used Glass and Porcelain Markers to decorate plain white plates. The decorated plates would make lovely gifts for Grandparents or other family members. Our friends will later wrap their plates and give them to their parents as surprise gifts for Christmas. Decorating plates (or bowls, mugs) is a fun group activity as younger (3yrs+) children can participate as much as the older children and it doesn't require a lot of time or set up. Otto enjoys drawing and was really into it. The finished plates were so individual and completely adorable. We... Read more →


Today I want to share some activities and last minute printables we've been using this festive season. Some of these activities we put on our shelves but some (like the I Spy) we will use with our family on Christmas day. The two-piece puzzles or the bingo (#6) also make it to our kitchen table for our three-year-old to play with his siblings. We don't do a lot of themed activity trays but I like using a few to add a festive touch to these last days before Christmas. Personalised Montessori Christmas Placemat - I've made these for our children... Read more →