Do you have a good toy library near you? We've recently discovered our local toy library and it is fantastic. Our local 'toy and games library' is located within our public library which makes it super accessible (easy to find, central location, easy parking, good opening hours, safe) however, there is a membership fee and a separate borrowing card. We can borrow up to eight toys at once, which we've found is more than enough. Our toy library caters to children from 6 months to 12 years of age. We've found all the toys to be high quality, in good... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, we've been trying out two new children's kitchen and chef knives. Of course, I want to share them with you! I've also included in this review two children's knives that are made by small Australian businesses. So if you are in Australia, I've got you covered. All these photos were taken in one day so this will also give you a good idea of how we use children's knives in our home. For a review of Children's Kitchen and Chef knives worldwide (EU & US) read here. "Arranging the cooking and dining areas for... Read more →


Life has changed for everyone in the last twelve months. We've all been isolated in one way or another. In Sydney, we've had lockdowns and closed state borders separating us from loved ones. Some of our toddler and preschooler classes have been canceled and others are running with restrictions. When attending a class it's been relatively easy for us to follow new requirements (check-in, hand sanitiser, social distancing) but it's been harder to navigate playdates where they are no rules. In the Montessori classic The Joyful Child, author Susan Stephenson tells us that "Gregariousness (being with others)" is a child's... Read more →


Do your children enjoy listening to podcasts? I love to play a podcast on those days when we are home all day, on days when things are a little quiet. Podcasts can be a great option for quiet time or even just for a little a break. I want to keep this discussion real, my three-year-old doesn't always sit through an entire episode. Sometimes he will sit perfectly still, other times he will move around and play while listening and other times he will walk right out the room. All of these podcasts are fun, light-hearted, educational, and really enjoyable.... Read more →


When Otto turned three in September I knew we needed to make a few changes to his bedroom. We want the room to fit the child so we needed to size up with a few things. We swapped out: A small table and chair --> larger table and stool Low infant shelves --> higher shelves Small bookshelf --> greater capacity bookshelf The other significant change we made was to remove learning material like puzzles and only keep open-ended toys in this space. As Otto is now preschool age we've decided to keep most of his learning materials on his shelves... Read more →


Signs and symbols are important methods of communication. Often young children are interested, sometimes captivated by the signs and symbols in their environment. Signs and symbols can be intuitive, instinctive and children can pick up on their meaning quickly. I've found that by teaching children the basic signs and symbols they see in their environment, the child becomes more creative and starts writing and drawing their own signs and symbols. How do we approach teaching signs and symbols for a three-year-old? I take a lot of photographs from around our neighbourhood. I use photographs in our nature journals, story and... Read more →


I don't talk a lot about gross motor skill development at home. My children develop many of their gross motor skills through the work (and play) they do outside of the home including on nature walks, exploring, riding bikes and scooters, sports and climbing trees. However the children are now spending more time at home and we wanted some outdoor play equipment that would meet their needs individual needs for movement. We wanted something that the children wouldn't tire of easily and that could be used all year round. Trampolining it was! Our trampoline as pictured was designed by play... Read more →


Are you attending any toddler or preschooler classes right now? This term Otto and I have been attending a Montessori parent toddler class. It's been wonderful to soak in all the Montessori knowledge and wisdom from those around us. The class is very different from pre-pandemic days. Today was our first day at an Australian Forest School (here they call it Bush Kinder). This class is different to our UK Forest School (which I miss so much) and has also adapted to pandemic restrictions, which is much easier to do outdoors! We are incredibly fortunate that for the rest of... Read more →


Toddlers are naturally curious. We can use this curiosity to teach the child about the world around them. One way we can do this is through language development. We can provide the child with real and scientific names of things, like species or type names of flowers, birds or dogs. We can connect learning to things that have meaning to the child like sharing books and stories about their favourite pastimes or animals or vehicles. We can also teach them the parts of things that the child is familiar with, for example their body parts and anatomy, the anatomy of... Read more →


Nature journaling with a toddler? Is it possible? It is possible and it can be a lot of fun too! It's nice to make a few observations while out in nature especially if we visit the same spot regularly. We can make observations about the big things like the wind or the raging waves, or about the small things like a tiny crab claw found in the rockpool. Here are three ways we enjoy nature journaling with our two year old. Mark Marking/Drawing We take a journal or notepad and some pencils for mark making and free drawing. I don't... Read more →


Someone needs to write a Montessori/Ikea blog as it feels like you can almost create an entire Montessori home using products from Ikea! I recently visited Ikea and found so many new and interesting children's products. Here are a few that I love for a Montessori home. MÅLA Portable Drawing Case - This is new at our Ikea store this week and I love it. It's suitable for my toddler and for my older children. It comes empty but it is a great travel case for paper and pencils and other craft materials. It's good for taking around the house,... Read more →


Want to take a peek into a really beautiful, colourful and vibrant children's art studio? Before the COVID restrictions came into place Otto and I loved attending the process art toddler class at the Little Ginger Studio in Sydney (Randwick). All of these pictures were taken in March (2020), a week before the studio closed due to COVID. The studio has now reopened but they are only running drop off classes (no parents allowed) for children over the age of three. You can see all of their classes listed here. Danielle Falk is the founder of Little Ginger Studio. Danielle... Read more →


We love to use our Ikea Flisat children's table as a sensory table or as a simple sand and water table. But the mess can be too much for indoors. We have put the table outside on our deck but sand still travels everywhere and the area around the table always needs sweeping. When we lived in the UK we would often use our Ikea Flisat table for sand and water outside. When it rained I would bring it inside or put it under our door table setting. It held up for over a year. But eventually it got a... Read more →


We've had these on our back deck for weeks and they look so beautiful. Otto is using them for sorting and transferring but when the sunlight passes through them it's all about the colour! Have you seen these before? They are Colour Treasure Tubes. The Colour Treasure Tubes come in red, blue, green and yellow. There is also a clear set available. The aim is to promote exploratory play ✨. The round, transparent tubes are stackable and have a removable lid at one end. My toddler can independently take off and put the lid back on. These open-ended materials, more... 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 →