I recently noticed an activity on Itty Bitty Love (Anne, a Montessori teacher's blog) where her students clicked Carabiners together to make a chain as an activity to develop fine motor skills. I thought it was a fabulous idea and most of all, I knew my three-year-old would love it. Carabiners are simple snap hooks that you can find at camping, hiking, sports, local hardware stores or perhaps even in your garage. Ours are coloured but you can also find them inexpensively in plain colours too. They also come in different sizes. I presented Otto (43 months) with three different... Read more →


We've had a crazy week with the children suffering injury and illness, so today I wanted to share something really bright and cheerful. What could be more cheerful than Montessori home art areas? These areas are doable, practical and also beautiful. In some of these areas you can see specifically what activities are presented, what art materials are used, and the little features that make a difference. All of these areas are impeccably organised. I hope you enjoy! Wow, this family has used Magna-Tiles in the windows to create some wonderful coloured light. I can see large post-it note on... Read more →


One of the most important things Montessori has taught me is not to limit the child due to their age, but rather follow their interests and ability. I've also learnt that no matter what we are teaching the child, there is a natural progression, we start with one skill and keep on adding as long as the child's interest and ability keep up. In keeping up with Otto's (43 months) woodworking we've recently introduced a hand drill. Everywhere I read said wait until the child is four before introducing a hand drill, but as he's had so much exposure to... Read more →


Children can be so industrious! Young children in the three to six years age range are really motivated to work, to be actively helping and doing. It may seem usual to those outside the Montessori world but at this age we can teach children to sew on buttons. Sewing on buttons is typically introduced from 3.5 years. When my older two children were in Montessori classrooms they would regularly bring home little pieces of fabric with buttons attached. When introducing this activity to my three year old (43 months) we started with burlap on an embroidery hoop. We used large... Read more →


Let's Try Something New - Unbound Learners Circle Time

Want to try something that's fun and easy to do with your young child? Otto (3yrs) and I have been using Unbound Learners Circle Time and have found it to be a wonderful and enriching experience. Otto isn't currently attending preschool. During the week he attends a Forest School session and a Playgroup. We try to loosely follow Montessori scope and sequence as I haven't found a Montessori online curriculum that suits us. We still do a ton of Montessori work and Circle Time is a nice way to start the day, it takes the pressure off me for a... Read more →


If you are new to Montessori, practical life is a great way to start with children under the age of six. Today I want to share some practical life activities we've been using with our three-year-old (42 months). These are useful for us right now as they are based on skills we are wanting to teach our child or are based on tasks we need help with around our home. These activities use materials we already have. Cleaning eyeglasses - the aim of this activity is to show the child how to handle and clean eyeglasses, with this example we... Read more →


Today I want to share some really easy water activities that my three-year-old has been loving. I'd suggest these are suitable for older toddlers to preschoolers. All of these activities use materials that I've found around our home but can also be inexpensively found in craft type stores. All of these activities help to develop coordination, concentration and fine motor skills. Transferring corks with Tweezer Tongs - the child uses the tweezer tongs to move the floating corks from the large bowl to the smaller bowl. Lots of other tools could be used depending on the child's age and skill... Read more →


I believe there are huge benefits of woodworking with young children but I'm constantly reassessing what woodworking looks like in our home. My main source of information is Pete Moorhouse however, Pete's work is based on woodwork in early learning centres. So while I have a lot of information in front of me I'm considering how we can apply the same principles in our home environment. It's not easy to set up a woodworking environment at home. We've been working on building skills using specific woodworking activities. Now we've introduced a woodworking tray or container for free woodworking construction. The... Read more →


It is forecast to rain heavily for the next 5-6 days. It's not cold but it will be wet enough to keep us from using the art area on our back deck. So while it is still dry and we have the time, we moved our art materials inside. This is a temporary move, perhaps for the week or so, we usually love doing art outside! Naturally, we made a lot of adjustments when moving our art materials inside. We didn't bring in any paints or clay. This area inside has carpet and although we use a rug in our... Read more →


We have stayed home this week. My nine-year-old has been unwell and unable to go to school, I could feel he was down and getting more frustrated as the days went on. Sport is his release but this week he hasn't left the house. I wanted to try a large-scale art activity to help him relax and unwind. "Creating art also helps children wire their brains to regulate stress. Art gives them the tools to learn how to calm themselves down. Tactile cognitive processing occurs when children create art; the neural networks in their brains fire up and signal their... Read more →


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 →


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 →


Does your child love role play or pretend play? My three-year-old went through an intense phase where he would play supermarkets all day (thanks to the cash register he received for Xmas), then later he played Doctors and now he plays Handyman. He will play alone but he will often ask me or his siblings to join in. This role play is valuable play and it's not something that needs adult intervention. It's deeply engaging play, I've seen my child immersed in this play for 30-40 minutes chatting away to himself while pretending to serve a customer. As time has... Read more →


Recently while visiting friends I noticed my three-year-old using some first words puzzles. He worked on them with focus and completed the whole box of puzzles repeatedly. The puzzles are simple cvc (consonant, vowel, consonant) cardboard puzzles with a word and a corresponding picture. They are self-correcting - so the child can't go wrong in putting them together - perfect for the 3-4 year age group. I started to look for something similar and I found the Big Box of Little Word Puzzles. I like these as the images are photographic and interesting. The letter pieces can be interchanged from... 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 →