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 →


Have you used drawing prompts with your children? It's something I really love to do. I believe in process art and believe children benefit from free and open access to art materials. But I also like to present art activities to stretch their minds and their imaginations, to introduce new concepts and to encourage exploration of art, form, colour and materials. We recently had little visitors, and I put out some drawing prompts, paper, oil pastels, markers and pencils. It was a complete success! The four and five-year-olds loved the spirals, stairs and hearts. The seven-year-old loved drawing arrows and... 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 →


I've been super busy studying, and studying at home with a four-year-old has been much harder than I anticipated. Otto asked me for some new activities, which he has never done before. It was a reminder to update his shelves. I don't have a lot of time, I just finished one assignment and have another due on Monday, so I made some simple printouts that I hope would appeal to him. I can download and print the Etsy activities straight away, so I don't have to look for workbooks or wait for something to be delivered, within half an hour... Read more →


We've been attending a Waldorf/Steiner playgroup for almost two years and it's changed my approach to parenting (more songs, easier transitions). I've noticed changes in Otto (4yrs) too. Now he sings and tells stories every day. After one week of going to playgroup, Otto started asking me to join him for storytime. Storytime with oral stories using toys and dolls, not stories from a book. For his birthday last year, we gave Otto a felt mat and some felt animals like the ones he sees at the playgroup. He will set up his playmat with animals and props. We will... 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 →


We've been doing a ton of art lately, more than cooking or other practical life activities. I love to pair a book and an art activity, this week we tried two art activities with Leo Lionni books! ❤️ Pairing the two helps to create a connection between the child and the book and it makes us look deeper into the story. Here are six art trays that we've enjoyed. Remember to follow your child including their interests, developmental needs and skill level. These activities don't need to be presented on a tray. We can put them on our art table... 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 was really interested in trying some symmetry drawing with my preschooler. It looks like a fun way to teach children about symmetry and art. I initially downloaded these insect symmetry drawing cards but once I had them I could tell they were way too hard for my four-year-old. I made up some of my own cards by downloading basic images and removing half of the image. As this was the first time presenting this work to my child, I gave him a mirror to show him what the complete image would look like. This was really tricky work. Flowers,... Read more →


My preschooler is a pre-writer who loves scribbling, drawing and other mark-making. We have lots of crayons and pencils (also charcoal, oil pastels, and, chalk) available for drawing but I still keep a look out for other interesting ideas that involve creative mark-making. My older children have enjoyed using Spirographs but we hadn't used the Spirograph Junior Set before. I was hesitant to try the Spirograph Junior Set as I couldn't find a detailed review and I didn't know how durable or suitable it would be for this age. I also couldn't find a set second hand, this needed to... 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 →