One of the most important aspects of Montessori in the newborn stage is understanding the Symbiotic Period (the first 6-8 weeks of life). In this period the infant learns to trust the outside world by having their needs met, being held close, and having warm contact. The infant will use their senses to connect with their caregivers through points of reference - our voice, scent, the feeling of being held close and hearing our heartbeat. We also learn to care for the child while being respectful, gentle, and responsive. We follow the child's cues regarding sleep and feeding. This is... Read more →

I recently found Otto (3yrs) taking tissues out of the tissue box and folding them. Perhaps he had observed me at some point taking a tissue out, folding it, and putting it in my pocket. It was a great reminder to get out and use our Montessori Folding Cloths. Montessori Folding Cloths are available on Etsy but are also easy to DIY, we can sew the lines, or draw them. Otto has also been learning about halves and quarters, recently he spontaneously cut play-dough balls into halves and then quarters, so the timing is just perfect. We started with the... Read more →

It's National Science Week here in Australia and next week is Book Week. To celebrate both, today I'm sharing four really fantastic books about MICROBES!! These books are for children around 5-10years but I still read them to my preschooler. These books are really rich in scientific language. The illustrations help children learn about the world around them, their environment, and what is happening in their bodies. Let's start with Tiny Creatures. Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies. The illustrations are so charming! To help children understand the scale of microbes first the comparison is made of... Read more →

Are you looking for Montessori-style activities for your six to twelve-month-old? One of the fundamentals of Montessori for this age is freedom of movement. So what you don't see here is just as important as what do you do see. To support freedom of movement we don't use baby walkers, baby jumpers, or baby swings. We don't prop the child up in a seated position. We allow the child to play on their movement area (playmat) with just a few toys and allow for natural development as much as possible. With these activities I've included the age of the child... Read more →

I recently attended an online workshop to assist parents during the pandemic and especially during periods of lockdown. The workshop was very useful. Some of the tips that really made sense to me were to: Maintain the magic in the everyday. Maintain or establish a daily and weekly rhythm. Make weekends look and feel different from the weekdays. Think about service and how we can serve our community. It was also suggested that puzzles might be a fun family activity. Puzzles can be reassuring, they offer certainty in uncertain times. Each piece of the puzzle fits perfectly, all the pieces... Read more →

My three-year-old loves listening to a story but at times he struggles to sit still. I often put together little story baskets for him so that he can play while I'm reading and still be engaged in the story, or when he reads to himself he can extend his learning or continue with the story afterwards. The materials in our story baskets aren't specifically for the child to recreate or retell the story but rather in their own way, further explore the topics and themes. Above we put a child's stethoscope in the basket along with the book Hear Your... Read more →

Are you looking for some new activities to try at home using what you already have? Colour mixing activities can often be altered to suit children of various ages and many of these activities use household items. To create colours in our colour mixing activities we use: liquid watercolour paints food colouring colour bath tablets I find it nice to use white trays as they provide a neutral background. I've used these activities with my three-year-old so I've started with primary colours only. While he knows a whole range of colours, it's good to give the child a really good... Read more →

Have you seen the new Lovevery Play Kits for Three Year Olds? We've had ours for a couple of weeks and we've been able to fully test everything out. So it's time to share. What do we think?? First I need to say that I work with Lovevery in an advisory role. I have seen first hand how their designers work and I know these are the very best toys for our children. Each Lovevery Play Kit is designed to support learning at home and is designed to complement a Montessori education, not duplicate what your child is doing at... Read more →

I recently discovered two fantastic science experiment books for children 3-5 years. I hadn't seen science experiment books for preschoolers before. I was so surprised. The experiments are easy to follow, some of the experiments are familiar and some are new. We've also had a lot of success with the experiments so I really wanted to share. Our most used science experiment book for 3-5 years is Big Chemistry Experiments for Little Kids, we've done almost all of the experiments. I also really like Big Engineering Experiments for Little Kids in the same series. The books are super easy to... Read more →

Are you looking for some Montessori-style at-home activities for your child at 12 to 18 months? Here are some of our favourite activities for this age. These activities are listed in chronological order, starting at 12 months. If your child is 18 months please see my previous article Montessori Activities to Try 18-24 Months. Remember that children develop at different rates and we have access to different materials. Please use these ideas as a guide only. Above, independently reading small books. Pincer Grasp Block. Yes, children can use the pincer grasp this young! Ball push box. Play with a wallet... Read more →

Today I want to share some skills that children can learn in the kitchen. Some of these are simple like mashing that children can begin at around 18 months, and some are more complex like grating which we would try at around 3 years+. These are fantastic practical life skills to have, they also help the child to develop confidence, concentration, fine motor skills, and coordination. Many of these skills require hand and arm strength and require the hands to work together in a coordinated way. There isn't a need to rush to teach our children these skills, hopefully, they... Read more →

Learning happens in every area of our home. Perhaps most of the learning including language and maths happens in our kitchen or outside. We have a children's table on our back deck where we work when it's not windy, but we also have this little corner of shelves at the end of our lounge/living room. This is what I call my three-year-old's 'work area'. I want to share this space with you as compared to examples I've seen online, this is a very simple set-up. We don't have a playroom or a study and that's ok, we do the best... Read more →

My three-year-old doesn't attend a Montessori preschool (yet!) so he is doing all of his schooling at home. While we have some traditional Montessori materials like Sandpaper Letters, I find myself reaching for additional activities that will appeal to him. In the classroom, children are influenced by their peers and will often choose work that they see other children using. At home, we don't have that option. I will give my child multiple demonstrations and I often do the work with him, but we also try a few activities that aren't traditional Montessori but are still generally aligned with my... Read more →

What is the Montessori approach to teaching manners? Most manners can be taught through Grace and Courtesy lessons at home and in the classroom. We don't teach manners to have quiet and obedient children. We teach manners to promote friendship, respect, family values, citizenship, and social cohesion. We can teach children about manners through: Lessons/Demonstrations - this can be serious or fun and silly. We can role-play situations. Both the adult and child can act out what to do, and what not to do. In Montessori schools, children are taught how to carry and push in their chair quietly, how... Read more →

Are you looking for some Montessori style activities for your 24-36-month-old? Remember that every child and every family is different. There is a lot of variation in the skill level of a child at 24 months compared to 36 months, it is so important to observe your child and their skill level and not make comparisons between children. These activities are designed as a guide only. I've included some toys that we use at 24-36 months. These toys are compatible with Montessori at home, however, they are not specifically Montessori materials. Above the child begins to pick up their own... Read more →