My children love to use clay. Mostly we do open-ended clay play, without any prompts or suggestions on what to make. Occasionally though I like to show the children a technique or make larger sculptures, or give them project ideas. I have lots of different resources for using clay with young children so I decided to make a list of the skills or techniques that we can teach children from around three years with clay, but perhaps from two with play-dough. Clay play techniques to teach children: Squeeze Press Smooth Flatten Mould Cut Knead Crumple Straighten (roll out flat) Crush... Read more →


Do your children like to use real tools, connect things, screw and unscrew things or join things together? If so they might enjoy using a Montessori Screw/Bolt board. I introduced this board (pictured above) to my child at 2yrs (34-35months) and he still loves it today at 4 years old. We have a simple board with a screwdriver, t-nuts and screws which are all the same size. Other boards are available that have graded bolts, that use spanners or hex keys. While the bolt/screw board is not a traditional Montessori practical life material they allow the child to develop the... Read more →


As you may know, I'm a huge fan of Christina Clemer. Christina is a mum to two and a Montessori teacher (3-6yrs). Christina is also an author of two books Montessori abc's (AU here) and Montessori Silent e (AU here). Montessori abc's (AU here) is a wonderful 'first', 'abc's' book for Montessori parents and teachers. It is also available in cursive. I would recommend these from 2 years+ but perhaps they most relevant for preschoolers and children who are showing an interest in letters. It has clear, photographic images and blue/red vowels/consonants. You can read my previous review at Montessori... Read more →


This term we decided not to return to our Forest School class. Instead, we are trying a little of our own Beach School. One or two (or three) mornings a week we make our way to the beach to explore, have fun and learn a little. The beach provides an ideal learning environment for children who can learn in-situ, hands-on and be able to run and jump and generally make as much noise as they like. It makes sense to choose one or two regular spots to visit each week so the children can observe the changes in the environment... Read more →


Following my recent article about the Read It, Build It, Write It Chalkboard, I wanted to share some ideas for practising CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words if your child isn't ready for writing with a pencil or chalk. Above we are using CVC puzzles. We started using these at three years with very simple words that my child was already familiar with. There are lots of CVC puzzles available, we've even borrowed some from our local toy library. The CVC puzzles we like the most are the Big Box of Little Word Puzzles, these have photographic images and are really clear. All... Read more →


Have you seen or used Read It, Build It, Write It boards? These are not something I've seen used in a Montessori school, or designed by Maria Montessori, but they have been increasing in popularity in Montessori families and homeschools. As my preschooler is writing more and more, we decided to give it a go! I LOVE trying out new products, especially those influenced by Montessori and include hands-on multi-sensory learning. Overall my preschooler (4yrs) loved it. Most of all he enjoyed the first two steps of reading and building because that's where he is most confident right now. Let's... Read more →


Have you tried any new practical life activities lately? Here are five new practical life activities that we've been enjoying! Picking dried lavender. We have a lavender bush in our front yard that we can use but lavender is also available in small bunches in the flower section of our local supermarket. I've found this easiest if the lavender is dried, we cut lavender from the bush and leave it in the sun or in a window sill for a couple of days to let it dry. The child can pull the fragrant flowers off from the stem. It smells... Read more →


Do your children enjoy playing with Magnetic Tiles? We've had a small set of Magnetic Tiles for years however Otto (pictured) received another set for his fourth birthday. 🎂 He can do so much more building with this extra set, it's really opened up new ideas and new creations! Magnetic tiles can help to develop: concentration and focus critical thinking problem-solving skills creativity visual discrimination skills geometry skills patterning skills coordination independent play. Most of all we like to use magnetic tiles for open-ended play. But I believe in getting the most out of our materials, rotating toys and presenting... Read more →


I have something so fun to share with you today! I recently discovered the new subscription boxes from Montessori For Every Child and I placed an order as soon as I could. The subscription boxes have been designed by Harshitha who is a qualified Montessori teacher and parent, right here in Sydney. Yes, this is a subscription box based in Australia! 🇦🇺 The subscription boxes are designed for children from 2.5 years to seven years. I've used the subscription boxes with my four-year-old and there was a lot he could do. Some of the activities can be adapted depending on... Read more →


Pegs are a common household item that can be used for many children's activities. Depending on the type of pegs you have, you can start using pegs with your child from toddlerhood. Flexible plastic pegs can work best for young children while stronger stainless steel or wooden pegs are fantastic for preschoolers. Pegs can be found in many grocery stores and mini wooden pegs are available in stationary or educational supply stores. Pegs that we pinch the end to use are fantastic for helping children develop the pincer grasp, fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination and dexterity. Large wooden play... Read more →


It's Spring (here in Australia)! It's that time of year when we are thinking about sunny days, flowers, bees and new life. Butterflies are a popular topic that we'll be looking at as well as lifecycles. Here are a few butterfly puzzles that look amazing, below you can see the ones we are using. Photographic Butterfly Puzzle (UK) - 9 pieces, recommended from 2 years+. Australian Butterfly Jigsaw Set (AU) - 6 mini jigsaw puzzles, 3 pieces in each puzzle, the name of each butterfly is written on the puzzle. Recommended for toddlers. Montessori Butterfly Puzzle - three-piece puzzle. Montessori... Read more →


I've previously written about the Developmental Stage of Drawing as I find these stages in development endlessly fascinating. I recently discovered the Developmental Stage of Writing. I love this chart below as it isn't about what age your child is, but rather where your child is developmentally. It can help us understand where our child is at and what stage they are going into. Source: First seen at Destination Kindergarten, also available at West Hartford Public Schools. My child has just turned four (48 months) and is Pre-Literate. He is in the Symbolic/Mock Letters stage but is also close to... Read more →


I've previously written about all the good reasons to use crayons before markers. As Otto gets closer to four I've been paying special attention to his pencil grip and drawings. Recently he has been using markers almost exclusively and a solid cylindrical grasp. Markers are easy for the child to use, the child doesn't need to apply much pressure and the marker glides over the paper. They are an easy and colourful way to draw. Crayons require much more effort. So I decided it was time to put away the markers for a while. Stages of Early Mark Making image... Read more →


Today I want to share some meaningful and purposeful transferring activities using mini tongs and ice trays. Transferring with mini tongs is fantastic for developing fine motor skills, coordination and concentration. Transferring herbs. If you have any leftover or excess herbs you can chop them up and freeze them in olive oil. There is a lot of transferring work here. The child uses mini tongs to transfer the herbs to the ice tray. The child also makes sure the compartments have an equal amount of herbs in them. Then we fill the ice tray with olive oil and freeze. Later... Read more →


I wanted to make a Montessori-style Alphabet Box for Otto (3yrs). The Alphabet Box is a useful way to store sound objects and children can use them directly to find or use the sound objects. I really didn't want to buy any new materials, especially anything that couldn't be repurposed. I love the look of these cardboard drawers (or these MDF drawers) but couldn't get them locally. So it was time to get creative! I looked around to see what we already had at home and I noticed that we were using a lot of these jars with yellow lids... Read more →