Does your child love role play or pretend play? My three-year-old went through an intense phase where he would play supermarkets all day (thanks to the cash register he received for Xmas), then later he played Doctors and now he plays Handyman. He will play alone but he will often ask me or his siblings to join in. This role play is valuable play and it's not something that needs adult intervention. It's deeply engaging play, I've seen my child immersed in this play for 30-40 minutes chatting away to himself while pretending to serve a customer. As time has... Read more →

Love. Companionship. A best friend. My husband just came out with it 'Caspar needs a dog'. My husband always had a dog as a child. He has fantastic, fond memories. We want the same for our children. Many readers will remember the passing of our last dog. It's too painful for me to even re-read the post. While it was well over a year ago I didn't feel ready for a new dog. But this isn't about me. This isn't my dog. It's for him. Tomorrow he turns six. Happy birthday sweet Caspar. Read more →

A small child can feel rather big when they have an apron on and a bucket in their hand. Or a broom, shovel or watering can. It's not about inflating their ego but rather giving them purposeful work. Real. Satisfying. Work. You know when your child feels it because you feel it too. The chores of practical life correspond exactly to what children are looking for at this age: an activity that requires their muscular energy, and that can lead to visible results that are useful to themselves and the persons who live with them. These present a unique opportunity... Read more →

Otis is learning to control his movements. He is learning to touch plants without damaging them. I would often ask Otis not to touch plants as I knew he would pull at them. I needed to turn this behaviour around and give him the opportunity to be gentle. . "They (children) are continuously given the negative message not to move and not to touch anything. As a result they arrive at the logical conclusion that their movement is not good, since it is not accepted, and that everything they do is not good. Indeed, they are often openly told that... Read more →

Pets add a feeling of warmth to a home. For a minimalist like me that's important. Pets allow us to observe nature up close. We can learn anatomy, behaviour patterns, eating habits, oh so much. I love these little critters. They have personality and are very active. They like digging, climbing, tumbling and eating. To start I wasn't sure. They require upkeep. Their water and food needs to be replenished frequently. Their water needs to be dechlorinated and they need a salt bath. You have to monitor their temperature. It's too much for Caspar so his responsibility is checking on... Read more →

The hardest day in my parenting life. I was up all night and morning comforting our dog. He didn't make it. We was old and had been with us for a very long time. He's family, like our first child. Caspar slept through it all. I didn't know how to tell him. How to talk about life, love and death with a four year old? I sat next to him with Otis playing in a different room. I was calm and clear. I used real words and told the truth. Caspar seems rather clinical about it. Perhaps he'll feel differently... Read more →

When I first walked into a Montessori toddler classroom it surprised me to see a fish tank located only inches off the floor. Were they crazy? Surely that's dangerous! I guess I had a lot to learn about Montessori. Over time I witnessed many children putting their hands into the tank, many times the glass lid fell in and occasionally children would fight over who got to feed the fish. But what was learnt in the process? So, so much. The benefit of having such an accessible fish tank clearly outweighed any negatives. While at home I loved the idea... Read more →