Paper weaving has meaning in both Montessori and Froebel philosophies. No matter your style of parenting or education preference, paper weaving is a great activity for developing fine motor skills, spatial awareness and early mathematical skills. In Montessori, weaving is a practical life activity. In Froebel, weaving is both a gift and an occupation. Have you read about Froebel? There are lots of similarities between the Froebel and Montessori approaches. Froebel believed that children gain a deeper understanding of the world around them when given opportunities to interact with concrete activities and use carefully selected hands-on manipulatives. Sounds familiar, right?... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been focusing on drawing with oil pastels and creating with clay; however, every couple of days, I will also set up a new and interesting art tray. Some of these are just for fun, others are to help develop fine motor skills. Let's take a look at the last eight art activities we've tried! Salad spinner art - I cut some cardboard in a circle the same diameter as the bottom of our salad spinner. I presented this with some small squeeze paints (ours are from Kmart AU), the paints are small enough... Read more →


It was Father's day today here in Australia. To celebrate Otto (4yrs) made waffles for the whole family. This is a wonderful idea for children who love to play cafe or shops. Our waffle-making station is on a child's table, so it is at the child's height. This is useful for the child who needs to run around take orders, make the waffles and then deliver them, there is no getting up or down from the kitchen counter. We use honey, icing sugar, strawberries, banana and blueberries. I made the waffle batter in advance, but the child could easily do... Read more →


Grab your child and some clay. Today we are going outside to strengthen our hand muscles! It's been a while since I've shared a clay tray. When I've been studying, I've had little energy for messy play. Working with clay doesn't have to be messy, but it always has the potential to get messy and absolutely requires some emotional energy to wipe everything down. So if not today, save this idea for when you are ready. Or get your clay tray organised - so when the time is right, your tray is ready to go! I have three children and... Read more →


A few friends have asked about the Doddl cutlery range (UK here) (AU here). Without seeing it in person or using it, I couldn't form a firm opinion or recommendation. The Doddl set is recommended for children 1-5yrs, so I decided to test it with my four-year-old. 🍽 Doddl cutlery is recommended by feeding and development experts, but how does it rate from a Montessori perspective? When you pick up the cutlery, you can feel how it is designed for little hands. The plastic (BPA and Phthalates free) handles are chunky and easy to grip. I suggest the fork and... Read more →


Have you made fruit gummies at home? A friend recently put some fruit gummies in her daughter's lunch box and they looked fantastic, hers were in a heart shape and were very cute! She assured me they were easy to make so I had to give it a go. It's winter and berries are expensive so we don't want any to go to waste. This is a good way to use leftover berries and we can get the children involved. There are lots of recipes and online tutorials on making fruit gummies - the recipe at My Kids Lick the... Read more →


This is the first in a new series about mindfulness with kids. I want to share some practical, easy and fun ways to bring little pockets of quiet, calm and focus into your life and the lives of your children. Today we are starting with children's yoga. Yoga is one of my favourite mindfulness activities. I've attended yoga classes throughout my life, in all different life stages it's been there for me. My three children are very active with sport so they enjoy the physical aspect of yoga. It's a way for them to physically slow down and listen to... Read more →


This week Sydney experienced a flood emergency. Families are displaced, rained in or have simply spent the week indoors to stay dry. So I've tried to post the easiest, the most engaging activity I could think of that would appeal to a wide range of children. It's also Plastic Free July so I've tried to set this activity up without using plastics. All of the materials for this activity I've found around our home. Above Otto (4yrs) is using our plastic-free Playdough Station. I created it as a surprise, knowing that he would love it even more if it was... Read more →


My four-year-old is obsessed with addition. Out of nowhere, he will start quizzing me "what's 4 plus 4?" and before I can answer "what's 3 plus 5?". If your child attends a Montessori school they may use the Montessori Addition Strip Board. And there are tons of ways we can practice addition in everyday life. We can practice addition with our children when shopping "we have two oranges, if we get two more how many do we have?", when putting away the shopping, when washing, playing shops, playing with blocks, on nature walks and so much more. Addition is a... Read more →


"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 →