Otto (3yrs) asks to paint almost every day. Getting the paints out is such a hassle I was starting to feel bad about saying no. So I decided to do something about it and set up a painting station. This painting station is on our back deck. Although it's undercover we need to put most things away when it rains or gets windy, so everything here is easy to move. We don't have any space inside for large-scale easel painting, so it works to do this outside. It's nice too that we can also move this painting station into the... Read more →


Today I want to share with you the most beautiful Montessori toddler classroom I've ever seen. When I first entered this room I was overcome with emotion, it is just that striking. The natural timber furniture, the huge windows full of green, and the bright colourful materials are breathtaking. Before you take a look around I need to tell you there is something special about this environment. This is a Montessori Parent-Toddler Classroom that has RIE and Pikler influences. Director of the Parent Toddler and Nido program at Cameragal Montessori School, Peta Gibson has an AMI Assistants to Infancy (0-3)... Read more →


Teeth brushing can be a battle in our home. My three-year-old Otto loves to brush his teeth but he resists fiercely when I try to have a look in his mouth and when I try to follow up with adult brushing. At three years we allow him to lead the process, but there is no way to get around that we still need to brush his teeth. We haven't conquered this, but as dental hygiene is so important I still want to discuss our overall approach. How do you approach teeth brushing in your home in a respectful and peaceful... Read more →


Today I'm sharing some important points about the Prepared Environment by Meghan Hicks. Meghan is Montessori trained 0-18, she has worked in various Montessori schools, homeschools her two sons, tutors students privately, and is a Montessori teacher trainer/lecturer. Meghan has vast experience in Montessori homes and schools and this article is as equally relevant to teachers and guides in the classroom as it is to parents in the home. I hope you find it useful! _________________________________________________ There are six principles to preparing the environment for the child, and they are all met through the exercises of practical life. Freedom Our... Read more →


Today I'm excited to share a Montessori make-over for these play/work shelves. What would you do to make this space more functional and engaging for a two-year-old? What would you change? These shelves are in the living area of a Paddington (NSW, AU) terrace. This is home to Nadia (2yrs), Theodore (6yrs), and their parents. This is a multi-purpose living area used as a play space and music area with a piano and guitar just out of view. There isn't enough room here for a children's table and chairs as it would take up most of the available floor space.... Read more →


We wanted to upgrade Otto's (3yrs) bed to a full single-size bed. His previous bed served us well, the Montessori floor bed in this room was made specifically to fit into a small nook in his UK bedroom. His bedroom here in Australia is much larger but I still wanted a bed low to the ground. A mattress direct on the floor can work wonderfully especially for those in the infant or early toddler stages, but lots of families like to have their children's beds just off the ground for ventilation or to avoid spiders and bugs, and I also... Read more →


Let's Try Something New - Unbound Learners Circle Time

Want to try something that's fun and easy to do with your young child? Otto (3yrs) and I have been using Unbound Learners Circle Time and have found it to be a wonderful and enriching experience. Otto isn't currently attending preschool. During the week he attends a Forest School session and a Playgroup. We try to loosely follow Montessori scope and sequence as I haven't found a Montessori online curriculum that suits us. We still do a ton of Montessori work and Circle Time is a nice way to start the day, it takes the pressure off me for a... Read more →


Susan Stephenson would have to be the most prolific writer of Montessori parenting and homeschooling books in modern times. As a young parent, I craved her words of wisdom in the Michael Olaf catalogs. Now Susan has at least eight books in publication including the latest Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom. Susan has AMI diplomas for 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12. She has a Degree in Philosophy from San Francisco State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. In the past fifty years, Susan has worked in various roles in Montessori education in thirty-two... Read more →


Do your children have toys or materials in their bedrooms? I was recently told that Montessori bedrooms do not have toys in them so I thought I would explore this idea further. 🤔 In Montessori from the Start Polk Lillard and Lillard Jessen suggest that for an infant Montessori bedroom parents consider four main areas including areas for sleeping, changing, feeding, and for activity. Polk Lillard and Lillard Jensen go on to suggest parents create a bedroom that encourages concentration and that furthers self-formation "into complete human beings capable of independence, coordinated movement, language and will". For a child in... Read more →


We have stayed home this week. My nine-year-old has been unwell and unable to go to school, I could feel he was down and getting more frustrated as the days went on. Sport is his release but this week he hasn't left the house. I wanted to try a large-scale art activity to help him relax and unwind. "Creating art also helps children wire their brains to regulate stress. Art gives them the tools to learn how to calm themselves down. Tactile cognitive processing occurs when children create art; the neural networks in their brains fire up and signal their... Read more →


It's almost been a year since I first shared our snack shelves so it feels like a good time to give an update. It makes sense to show you the children's fridge at the same time to see all the food the children have access to. Both of these areas are used by my three and nine-year-old. The food here is for snacks, morning and afternoon tea, and often we will use food from here to make lunch too. The snack shelves also contain cereal and the fridge has milk which the children will use for breakfast. These areas don't... Read more →


Last weekend I attended a felting workshop to make a Waldorf/Steiner birthday placemat and birthday crown. I loved the process (and outcome) so much I couldn't wait to try felting again. I wanted to make an ocean/beach theme play mat for Otto (3yrs) like the ones I'd seen on Etsy (here and here). There is something powerful about making toys and playthings by hand. They are made with love and intention and made specific to the child. The child can see the time and effort that goes into it. It can also show the child how we can work with... Read more →


Montessori parents understand the importance of risk-taking in the development of the child. However, often we need help in navigating risk in the home as the child ages. What kinds of risk should we be exposing the child to, and at what age? My children are 3, 9, and 13-years-old. Their risk profiles are all significantly different. Risk is something that is frequently on my mind as I allow Otto (3yrs) to climb higher and higher in the climbing tree at Centennial Park, after recently catching him mid-fall from a significant height. Or allowing Otis (9yrs) who already walks to... 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 →