When Otto turned three in September I knew we needed to make a few changes to his bedroom. We want the room to fit the child so we needed to size up with a few things. We swapped out: A small table and chair --> larger table and stool Low infant shelves --> higher shelves Small bookshelf --> greater capacity bookshelf The other significant change we made was to remove learning material like puzzles and only keep open-ended toys in this space. As Otto is now preschool age we've decided to keep most of his learning materials on his shelves... Read more →


I don't talk a lot about gross motor skill development at home. My children develop many of their gross motor skills through the work (and play) they do outside of the home including on nature walks, exploring, riding bikes and scooters, sports and climbing trees. However the children are now spending more time at home and we wanted some outdoor play equipment that would meet their needs individual needs for movement. We wanted something that the children wouldn't tire of easily and that could be used all year round. Trampolining it was! Our trampoline as pictured was designed by play... Read more →


I love Montessori Continent Boxes. As Otto (3yrs) isn't attending a Montessori preschool this year I want to set up some Continent Boxes at home. Continent Boxes are nice materials to have at home as you can personalise the contents and make them relevant to your family. The Montessori Continent Boxes are as much about Culture as they are about Geography. We show the child the physical location of the continent through maps and the globe. We share the culture of the people through photographs, models and artefacts. In a classroom, the Continent Boxes are likely to be complete. We... Read more →


There are lots of good reasons to include items from nature in our art trays. Nature items have different textures and smells and provide a different experience to using paper or other stationary items. Using items from nature also: demonstrates resourcefulness - using what is readily available in the environment promotes creativity and out of the box thinking promotes learning about seasons and seasonality - what resources are available and when respects our natural environment leads to further exploration and new ideas/discoveries in using nature in art Here are eight nature based trays we've used recently. Drawing on Paperbark -... Read more →


Converge = come from different directions and meet at one place, to move towards one single point. Convergent thinking = bringing our thoughts together to find one correct answer. Is a left brain process that may be logical, precise, systematic and ordered. Diverge = depart and go forward in different direction/s. Divergent thinking = generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. Uses left and right brain thinking. May be more free-flowing, less ordered, non-linear, and more spontaneous. Supports out-of-the-box thinking. I have been finding that in society, in our homes and schools there is a lot of value placed... Read more →


Do you have a child that needs to throw? I find having at least one throwing activity out essential during inside or 'stay at home days'. The last couple of days here have been very stormy, with hazardous winds so outside play has been limited. Bean bags are an obvious choice for throwing. We like to use bean bags for: throwing in or to a target such as in hoops or in buckets, or even a circle drawn with chalk onto the driveway outside. throwing at a vertical target such as a spot on the wall, marked out with painters... Read more →


Image Credit: The Post Oak School I hope you've had a good weekend. My children are on school holidays so even though it's Sunday night we are all still very relaxed. Here are a few links and things that I've been enjoying this week. 10 Ideas for Setting up a Montessori Space at Home for Your Toddler at The Post Oak School. This is a really good article, the images they've used are perfect! "Setting up a Montessori-inspired play space can be simple, without the need to buy anything! A Montessori environment is designed to encourage independence and concentration." How... Read more →


As I've show pictures of my toddler drawing and tightly grasping a pencil, I've been asked a lot about pencil grip. For a child in the first plane of development, especially in the child under three I would never correct pencil grip. Another one I'm asked about is how the child holds their scissors, unless it is a safety issue don't fix them. Role model and work along side them, surround them by peers of all ages (who can also role model), give clear and precise demonstrations but don't fix them, they are learning from the experience, and will learn... Read more →


Teaching consent is a part of Montessori education, and it always has been. But what does it look like in our home? In some ways I've found it easy teaching consent to a toddler, "you don't have to give Grandma a hug, only if you want to". Other ways it can be difficult, how do I get a toddler to wash, brush, wipe or get in the car when they realllly don't want to? When we teach children to respect themselves we are also teaching them to respect others. Respect is at the core of consent. We respect an infant... Read more →


There is a whole lot of hand-washing going on around here and it's a good thing! I've learnt that toddlers need to be standing up themselves to wash their hands adequately, you can't be holding them up. When you get home from being out (during this pandemic) you, the adult caregiver, need to help the toddler wash their hands. You need to make sure they use enough soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. See my recent study here. During the pandemic we've been using more liquid soap as I find it to be more effective (than bar soap)... Read more →


I looove children's books and I believe in a circular economy. We consume a lot of books, there are some books that we will keep forever but we also have children's books that we donate each year, some that my children have grown out of and some that just didn't land as I'd hoped. Since arriving in Sydney I have been searching for a convenient place to donate our children's books and I stumbled upon Street Libraries. Street Libraries aren't just for donating, we can take a book too!! Honestly, what a wonderful idea. I haven't lived anywhere previously that... Read more →


Here are some resources that I've found useful this week. All of these have been created by Montessori or like minded parents and educators. I'm listening, learning, and sharing. Our Big Work: Reflections on being Anti-Racist Montessorians at Montessori for Social Justice. Resources for Talking to Children About Race and Racism at Trillium Montessori. Talking to Your Child About Race and Racism at My New Life a Lovevery Podcast. This is hard but please listen. Jessica Rolph speaks to Julie Lythcott-Haims. Julie is an author, speaker, and activist based out of Palo Alto, California. She identifies as a black and... Read more →


Silence can be harmful. I feel like I don't know enough about race to say anything but I don't want to be silent. I have a voice and I want to share some of the small actions I've taken this week. (Pre)Ordered: AntiRacist Baby Board Book – by Ibram X. Kendi (Author), Ashley Lukashevsky (Illustrator). The National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist has written a new board book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves. "A beautiful board book that shows parents and children... Read more →


At around 2.5 to 3 years old children start asking questions, a lot of questions! Some questions are easy to answer and others not. What I know for sure is that the questions just keep on coming. Asking questions can be a way for the child to find out more about the world and the environment around them, but it can also be a way for the child to express concern or worry. We want the child to feel confident about asking questions and we want to be able to satisfy the child with our answers. First we need to... Read more →


Nature walks are an essential part of our day. For my older children it gives them a chance to step away from their school work and it give us all some fresh air, much needed time outside + a big dose of Vitamin D. While we try to vary where we walk inevitably we spend a lot of time in the same areas. To mix things up a little bit and bring some new interest to our regular walks we have started going into our nature walks with a theme! It really does help us to view the same area... Read more →