I'm not sure how it started but we have been using a lot of stencils this week. Stencils can be fantastic for developing fine motor skills they also encourage the hands to work together. One hand controls the paintbrush or pencil while the other needs to hold the stencil or paper in place. As you can see on our stencil trays, I have secured the stencil to the tray with tape. The child still needs the supporting hand to keep the paper in place and to hold the stencil down. These trays are for a three-year-old, for an older child... 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 →


Today we spent a lot of time in the kitchen so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some practical life work. Above Otto is using an electric juicer. This is super efficient compared to a manual juicer. The child needs strength to hold the orange and press down. When pressure is applied to the juicer it rotates to juice the fruit. It's also faster than using a manual juicer, Otto can easily juice a bag full of oranges. The pouring part is a little tricky. Remember to have a small sponge nearby. A tasty treat and... Read more →


Are you looking for ways to involve your child in grocery and food shopping? One of the things we've tried recently is using a visual shopping list. We get most of our groceries delivered but during the week we need a couple of short trips for fresh fruit and bread. I looked around for a printable that would work for us. I couldn't find one that was perfect for us so I made our own. I went to our grocery store's online site and saved the images of our most frequent mid-week purchases. I put them together into a list... Read more →


We like to provide our children with a wide range of drawing materials. Recently we've been exploring beginner graphite pencils. Graphite pencils can be soft and smooth providing the child with a lovely drawing experience. Until recently I didn't know there were so many beginner graphite pencils to choose from. I selected four to try with my preschooler. After observing my child draw with all four pencils I found the qualities to look in beginner graphite pencils include: soft - easy to leave a mark, provides good feedback, smooth strong - leads won't break short - the shorter the pencil... Read more →


Toddlers can peel - HWM I get most of my Montessori at home ideas from activities I've seen in Montessori classrooms. I've learnt how to put together trays, which tools to use, and how to present the work. It's also useful to observe children in the classroom and see how they respond to the work. But what if you can't get to a Montessori classroom, perhaps watching videos or images online is the next best thing. Today I'm sharing peeling (with a vegetable peeler) work. Not all of these examples are from classrooms, many are from Montessori homes. Adventures in... Read more →


Today I want to share with you a little basket I've put together for Otto (3yrs) about Cicadas. Otto is fascinated by the Cicada shells frequently found at his Bush School class. I didn't know a lot about Cicadas so I started researching. They are SO interesting! I wanted to share some of this knowledge with Otto so I put together an interest basket. Have you used basket like this before? They can be used to spark an interest or to further develop an interest. The idea is to observe the child and follow what captures the child's attention and... Read more →


This year I want to bring you more relatable home tours, ideas for smaller spaces, and ideas that suit a wide range of budgets. Today I want to share some really practical and creative ideas for Montessori wardrobes. All of these ideas are low to no cost, many require the use of materials that are second hand or that are repurposed! This is a wonderful example! The wardrobe is height adjustable. The parents have some clothes up high for them to reach and will lower the branches when their child is old enough to dress themselves. "This is how I... Read more →


The new school year is almost here so it feels like a good time to share some lunch box tips for Montessori families and those attending Montessori schools. Please know that we are not perfect, these are things that we strive towards: allow the child to participate in the making and packing of lunches - young children can slice vegetables or peel eggs or simply put the ingredients into their lunch box. Montessori from the Start recommends children from five years start to prepare their own lunch. This allows the child to have some input into and ownership over their... Read more →


Are you looking for a few new art activities to try at home? I suggest most of these activities for children from around three years however some like the nature clay collage would be suitable or adaptable for toddlers. All of the materials the child needs are presented on the tray. I use melamine trays (similar) as they are super easy to wipe clean and will contain spills. Some of these trays contain two-step activities. It doesn't matter if the child doesn't follow the steps however they provide a good opportunity for the child to learn to follow steps and... Read more →


We've been reading Busy Little Hands Activities for Preschoolers: Food Play by Amy Palanjian. Amy has a refreshing approach to food and this is reflected in Food Play. I love the article on Yummy Toddler Food about the importance of exposure "We can expose kids to a wide variety of foods by eating it ourselves, by having them be involved in the preparation of it, by taking them to the grocery store. We can expose them to a lot of foods without putting that insane pressure on ourselves.". The conversation about the five internal drives to eat (hunger, togetherness, curiosity,... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been trying out two new children's kitchen and chef knives. Of course, I want to share them with you! I've also included in this review two children's knives that are made by small Australian businesses. So if you are in Australia, I've got you covered. All these photos were taken in one day so this will also give you a good idea of how we use children's knives in our home. For a review of Children's Kitchen and Chef knives worldwide (EU & US) read here. "Arranging the cooking and dining areas for... 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 →


At the start of the New Year, the entryway feels like a good place to start with a refresh and a tidy-up! The entryway can be a key area in maintaining order and organisation of things like hats, coats and shoes, which otherwise might be a stressor. The entryway can be an important part of a smooth transition from the comfort of the home to the outside world. I've always found the more organised we are the smoother the transition. Children who are organised may feel calmer and more confident when leaving the home. I also want to acknowledge the... Read more →


Most of our garden areas are child friendly. We have a few vegetables planted in our front yard and Otto (3yrs) has his own little patch for digging and a pot for strawberries. Recently Otto planted a small herb garden and I could see how much he enjoyed tending to it. Over the last couple of weeks, we decided to provide another gardening area for Otto that was child-centered and entirely his own. Previously his gardening tools were piled up in our garage and this space allows us to have all of his garden tools together and organised. The thing... Read more →