As I've show pictures of my toddler drawing and tightly grasping a pencil, I've been asked a lot about pencil grip. For a child in the first plane of development, especially in the child under three I would never correct pencil grip. Another one I'm asked about is how the child holds their scissors, unless it is a safety issue don't fix them. Role model and work along side them, surround them by peers of all ages (who can also role model), give clear and precise demonstrations but don't fix them, they are learning from the experience, and will learn... Read more →


The weather here has been gorgeous. We've had plenty of rain but also lots of wonderful sunshine! ☀️Otto and I have been spending most mornings in our garden or on our back deck doing a little planting. Yesterday we were out there for four hours. Here are four garden and planting trays that we have been using and loving! Seed Planting Tray. Above is one of my all time favourite gardening trays, a simple seed planting activity. We are using terracotta pots (there are three on the tray, but as they are stacked you can't see them all). I cannot... Read more →


To celebrate International Mud Day (Monday 29th June) we spent the morning in our garden getting dirty and a little muddy! Digging lots of holes and filling them with water. The only tools we used were a trowel and a watering can. And a few seeds and seedlings. Today was a bit of a wake-up call. We really haven't done any mud play since leaving our UK Forest School. We know that mud play is just so good for children. So I have a few ideas of a mud play area I can create with some water, buckets, and a... Read more →


Are you looking for some new art trays to try? Here are eight that we've tried this week. Tape - my toddler is in a huge scissor phase so he likes this tray, I have coloured tape, children's scissors and card. The card is from Reverse Garbage but the back of cereal containers or other card packaging would work well too. The child cuts pieces of tape and arranges it on the card. Mirror - painting with a cotton bud on a mirror, fantastic for developing fine motor skills. We loooove using our pencil crayons on the mirror too. Car... Read more →


The Big W Toy Mania Sale starts tomorrow in store (Thursday 18th). The sale can be a big event for many families, it is a great opportunity to buy toys at a discount and especially to stock up for birthdays or Christmas. We have family members who don't shop online and are always looking for gift ideas from big stores like Big W. I don't want to promote consumerism here but I do want to support you with good and affordable purchasing options. When I think of Big W's toy sales, I think of Lego. They usually have various and... Read more →


There is a whole lot of hand-washing going on around here and it's a good thing! I've learnt that toddlers need to be standing up themselves to wash their hands adequately, you can't be holding them up. When you get home from being out (during this pandemic) you, the adult caregiver, need to help the toddler wash their hands. You need to make sure they use enough soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. See my recent study here. During the pandemic we've been using more liquid soap as I find it to be more effective (than bar soap)... Read more →


I wasn't intending on publishing an article on juicing, but this morning my toddler kept on asking to use the juicer, he got all the juicer pieces out and put them on the kitchen bench and just waited until I agreed. He was so eager to do this work! Have you used a juicer like this with your children? My toddler is 2.5 years old, a child closer to two years old might struggle with the strength but many children by three will be able to do this. This work is empowering, it's almost like magic - turning the fresh... Read more →


I recently watched a chef whip up an Arugula (rocket) and Pea Pesto to serve with pasta that I knew my kids would love. He made the pesto with a mortar and pestle (no food processor) and it was really fast. My first thought was - a toddler could do that! Yes, a toddler could do that, but they would need little guidance. My toddler (2.5 years) has done some mortar and pestle work before but it's been more like free play and exploration. This time I decided to work along side him as we needed to turn the arugula... Read more →


Our entryway is lacking, so I thought it might be a good time to revisit the subject. These are all recent entryways from real Montessori families. Lots of commonalities but all very different homes! This takes up a bit of space, but has almost everything the child would need including a mirror. A space for sunglasses, tissues and a hair brush is a good idea. Here they are using the clear Command style hooks. Mirror, basket and lots of hooks! These look similar to Command hooks too which are good for this purpose as they are removable and in a... Read more →


a. / b. / c. / d. / e. / f. / g. / h. / i. / j. / k. / l. / m. / n. / o. / p. Perhaps it is the wind and rain, although we are still going for our nature walks we are spending more time inside and my toddler is loving ALL the cutting, pasting, and sticker work! Sometimes we use sticker books how they are intended, by sticking the stickers in the books often on predetermined pages. Most of all we use stickers for collage work, presented on a tray. Although we... Read more →


This is a friendly reminder that there are huge benefits to using paste and a brush before using a glue stick - especially for toddlers and preschoolers. Montessori schools often have young children apply paste with brushes or small spreaders as opposed to glue sticks. It serves as an opportunity for the child to develop their fine motor skills and pincer grasp preparing their hand for writing. If at home you are going to do some collage or pasting work with a young child try using paste and a brush or a little glue spreader, we don't need to set... Read more →


Do you have a toddler that loves to use scissors but is perhaps bored with the usual cutting strips? Here are some other engaging activities we've been using at 2.5 years. Above is an idea from Days with Grey. It is so much fun and the child can cut one handed - they don't have to hold a paper strip or other objects. I've put a small model animal into each section of a muffin tray. I've then used coloured craft tape to tape the animals in! Days with Grey use painters tape and I'm confident that Washi tape or... Read more →


At around 2.5 to 3 years old children start asking questions, a lot of questions! Some questions are easy to answer and others not. What I know for sure is that the questions just keep on coming. Asking questions can be a way for the child to find out more about the world and the environment around them, but it can also be a way for the child to express concern or worry. We want the child to feel confident about asking questions and we want to be able to satisfy the child with our answers. First we need to... Read more →


I love looking in kitchen specialty stores and finding new treasures for me or for the children. Over the years we've collected a lot of 'adult' kitchen tools that also work well for children. Most often it's because the adult tools are made in a slightly smaller or mini size which makes them easier for the child to hold and to manipulate. I recently took out all of the kitchen tools that my children (2.5, 9 and 12 yrs) use and realised that we use more of one brand than any other. OXO almost flies under the radar as their... Read more →


Are you looking for a super easy and fast bread recipe to use with your children? This recipe is suitable for toddlers but an older child from 6-8 years may be able to make it by themselves. Yesterday my nine and two year old children made it together. Easy Turmeric Flat Bread Ingredients: 1 Cup of Self Raising Flour 1 Cup of Natural or Greek Yoghurt 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric ¼ Cup extra Flour for flouring board, rolling pins and hands. Method: Put the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix ingredients together until it forms a dough (a largish ball).... Read more →