"Some objects are rapidly mass-produced by press or machine and are exactly alike. Others are made slowly by hand, and each is different from the other. The value of handmade objects is that each carries the individual imprint of the artist who created it." - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family. Today is Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. ❄️ Making candles is a lovely way to celebrate Winter Solstice and it's also a fantastic warming, practical life activity. Part of this practical life activity is simply learning the process of how to make candles. We melt the wax,... Read more →


Have you thought about putting up a Street Library or a Little Free Library? We've had our Street Library in since October 2020. Being a Street Librarian has been rewarding and I encourage you to consider it. Studies have shown the more books in a child’s home, the better their educational outcome. I hope the same can be applied to books in the neighbourhood, perhaps Street Libraries can influence neighbourhood educational outcomes? There are social reasons to install a Street Library too. Neighbours and passersby will often stop and chat while visiting the Library, some will sit and read at... Read more →


Are you looking for free or low-cost science materials for your children to use at home? Last year we discovered the Spark! and Little Spark! Discovery Boxes (AU). The Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 8-12 years+, and the Little Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 3-5 years+. At our local Libraries (Randwick, NSW) the Spark! Discovery Boxes can be loaned using our standard library card (free). The Little Spark! Discovery Boxes require a Toy Library membership (low-cost, free for those with relevant concession cards). But check with your local library first for their conditions, if they don't have any... Read more →


Today I'm sharing six art activities that we've tried recently. We have art shelves which are open to my preschooler, but these are specific activities presented on a tray for us to work on together. The first two are based on books, there are a few activities included that also involve some science!! Water Colour Painting with Drop - Have you read Drop: An Adventure through the Water Cycle by Emily Kate Moon? It's a fantastic picture book about the water cycle. The publisher recommends for 4-8yrs, but I'd recommend from 3 years+. I love that this activity combines reading,... Read more →


Are you looking for something new to bake with your child? Here are three things I make with my child (pictured here at 3 and 4 years old) using Filo/Phyllo pastry. Filo/Phyllo pastry can be crumbly and flaky so we need to embrace the messy parts and acknowledge with the child that the pastry will tear. We use premade fresh pastry from the supermarket. All of these recipes can be adapted depending on your likes and dislikes. The processes I've listed can be adapted to the age and skill of the child. Sometimes my children will stay with me for... Read more →


If you have a lot of model animals at home, this might be a fantastic sorting activity for you to try! Sorting Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals. We can use whatever model animals we have at home, plastic, wooden or stuffed animals, we use mostly Schleich. I made up and printed two labels, one for Nocturnal (night-time) and one for Diurnal (day-time). We could also add or discuss Crepuscular animals (mainly active at dawn and dusk). The child simply sorts the animals into the two categories. For younger children, we could use fewer animals and for older children, we could add... Read more →


My preschooler loves art. He loves getting his hands covered in paint and he's attracted to all kinds of brushes, stamps and printmaking. Here are six art trays that we've tried recently. Painting with a Spring Whisk. I found this spring whisk (similar) while out for a walk and immediately knew it would be fun for painting. The child can press the whisk down and it springs back up. It's good for printmaking and it's addictive! The child presses the spring whisk into the paint and then onto the paper. This was a huge hit and I'll remember to get... Read more →


I love baking with my children but we often end up making the same things (muffins or banana bread). A baking kit is a nice way to bake something different, something special. Baking kits like this one by Easy Peasy also contain a craft. Children's baking kits are a lovely gift idea, or nice to save for when grandparents, cousins or special guests come to visit! Most children's baking kits are made by small businesses which is just another reason to give them a go. Here are some children's baking kits that look fun and delicious! Australia: Easy Peasy Eco-Friendly... Read more →


This is an easy idea to help children learn about the weather, seasons, temperature and numeracy. Put a large indoor/outdoor thermometer at the child's height, near your entryway. We had a large outdoor thermometer in our children's garden area but as we aren't out there every day, I moved it to our front porch. This is an area we pass through many times a day. Sometimes the children are waiting here while I lock the door or look for keys, making it a great place to put the thermometer. To begin I tried to ignite interest in the thermometer by... Read more →


Does anyone want to try some sorting with us? All of these activities use items we can find around the home! I wanted to dive into the concepts around recycling with my preschooler but first I wanted to make sure he had a good understanding of the different types of materials. These activities teach the child about the world around them, how the world works and what materials exist in our environment. First, we started with natural and man-made materials. As we sorted these for the first time, I spoke to my child about what is natural, in our natural... Read more →


In Montessori classrooms and homes, children often use real materials, real glassware, real utensils, real knives, real hammers and saws. The children are in a prepared environment that includes caregivers who provide supervision and support. We ensure the children are given the skills to gradually over time use real materials in a safe and age-appropriate way. We may provide alternative or safer versions like a knife with a rounded tip - but it's still a real knife. I've previously used a real hot glue gun with my children at four years. I've closely supervised and no one has got hurt.... Read more →


We are at the end of a 7-day isolation period. Staying at home and not being able to go out means I've been preparing more activities than usual for my preschooler! I've raided our art cupboard and art books to put together a few new art trays. These activities are generally appropriate for children 3-5 years old. These activities allow the child to focus on one activity or one skill at a time. The art trays can be used: to introduce a new skill. to introduce new materials. on the kitchen table for the children to work on after breakfast.... Read more →


I love bath crayons but I know not everyone feels the same. Bath crayons are softer than regular crayons and some are really creamy and smooth. Using bath crayons in the bath is a fun alternative to drawing on paper, and the child is for the most part drawing on a vertical surface (bath or bathroom tiles). Bath crayons can be used on: windows glass doors perspex or acrylic sheets or easels mirrors tiles - we have spare white tiles that we also use for play dough and clay. If you already have bath crayons and don't want them in... Read more →


Every couple of months I re-read one of Susan Stephenson's books. Susan is adamant that there is no place for Montessori Materials in the home. For the most part, I agree with her. If you want to see how she homeschooled you can read Montessori Homeschooling: One Family's Story. We do have a few Montessori materials in our home but one that you DO NOT need is the Montessori Dressing Frames. I picked up these dressing frames in the UK but there are lots of other, free alternatives if we just look around our home. There are lots of dressing... Read more →


Do you have a really fantastic indoor play centre near you? Most of the play centres I've been to have large slides and ball pits. The Play Studio recently opened near us and it's a completely new concept. It's a truly wonderful space with great staff, ideal for playdates, somewhere to go on a rainy day or just somewhere interesting and educational to visit with your child. The Play Studio is a Montessori, Reggio and Steiner inspired play space. Some of the sessions commence with a teacher-guided process like an art activity or songs, in other play sessions, the children... Read more →