"Some objects are rapidly mass-produced by press or machine and are exactly alike. Others are made slowly by hand, and each is different from the other. The value of handmade objects is that each carries the individual imprint of the artist who created it." - Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family. Today is Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. ❄️ Making candles is a lovely way to celebrate Winter Solstice and it's also a fantastic warming, practical life activity. Part of this practical life activity is simply learning the process of how to make candles. We melt the wax,... Read more →


Have you thought about putting up a Street Library or a Little Free Library? We've had our Street Library in since October 2020. Being a Street Librarian has been rewarding and I encourage you to consider it. Studies have shown the more books in a child’s home, the better their educational outcome. I hope the same can be applied to books in the neighbourhood, perhaps Street Libraries can influence neighbourhood educational outcomes? There are social reasons to install a Street Library too. Neighbours and passersby will often stop and chat while visiting the Library, some will sit and read at... Read more →


When I wrote the article The Best Libraries in Sydney for Children, I knew there were a couple of libraries missing that I was yet to visit. The Woollahra Library in Double Bay was one of them. This is a large library with an amazing children's section and it has to be the greenest library in Sydney. πŸͺ΄πŸ“šβ€οΈ Above are stairs that double as seating with green leaves cascading down. This green wall includes the return chutes!! πŸ’š Many libraries lack natural light. This library has lots of natural light but must also use grow lights or similar to support... Read more →


I've been searching for a second-hand overhead projector on Gumtree (AU) for months. I'm still hopeful that I will find one, but this searching often leads me to find other good things on Gumtree. Over the weekend I picked up this bike (below) for $50 including the child seat and bike lock (it needs a new chain), and the Montessori Dino Cards for $10. Where do you look for good Montessori second-hand finds, FB marketplace, Gumtree, FreeCycle? The key to getting a bargain on Gumtree is finding items that you need and that are located close to you. Here are... Read more →


Do you have a really fantastic indoor play centre near you? Most of the play centres I've been to have large slides and ball pits. The Play Studio recently opened near us and it's a completely new concept. It's a truly wonderful space with great staff, ideal for playdates, somewhere to go on a rainy day or just somewhere interesting and educational to visit with your child. The Play Studio is a Montessori, Reggio and Steiner inspired play space. Some of the sessions commence with a teacher-guided process like an art activity or songs, in other play sessions, the children... Read more →


There are two trains of thought when it comes to children's knives. There are those that are happy for their children to use 'child safe' knives. These are knives like the Rikon Kuhn KinderKitchen and KiddiKutter (AU), that can be used from a young age as they are blunt, they are not sharp enough to cut a child's hand. There are others that prefer their child to use a 'real' (sharp, but with a round tip) knife as soon as practicable. In all of the Montessori toddler classes I've attended, the children use real knives under close supervision. The benefit... Read more →


We know that Montessori materials can be expensive. If your child is learning to read or write you may be looking for an affordable option for a Movable Alphabet. Our wooden Movable Alphabet cost around $70+AUD plus postage. The cheapest option for a Movable Alphabet would be to cut letters out of cardboard. Another affordable option is to find wooden craft letters and paint them. Although here in Australia, I've only found wooden craft letters in Capital/Upper Case letters. It is important in this early stage of learning that our children are using lower case letters. There are also Movable... Read more →


What are the best libraries in Sydney for children? Sydney has amazing libraries, we have so much choice. Today I want to share with you my local library and three other libraries with outstanding children's areas. I live in the Eastern suburbs and all of these libraries are within a 25 minutes drive. Our most visited, local library is the Margaret Martin Library. It is not our closest library but it is the most convenient for us, and convenience is important for a library! The Margaret Martin Library is located on Level 1 of the Royal Randwick Shopping Centre. The... 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 →


Here in Australia, it's National Frog ID week! 🐸 During this week citizens are encouraged to record frog calls using the FrogID app, as a measurement of frog health and distribution around the nation. It aims to monitor frog distributions over time, helping us to understand how frogs and their ecosystems are responding to a changing planet. Participating in National Frog ID week is a great way to teach Environmental Stewardship. We started by downloading the FrogID app and taking a walk to our local nature reserve. Unfortunately, we did not hear any frogs but we were able to read... Read more →


Over the weekend we visited a different Toy Library (still within our Local Government Area). It's much larger than our usual Toy Library so it was fun to see more toy options! Our Toy Library has a range of toys for children from birth to around 12 years. It includes puppets, dress-ups, ride-on toys, outdoor toys, construction toys and a huge amount of educational toys, puzzles and board games. ❀️ I love the concept of the Toy Library and wish it was available in every Council area. It has the real potential to expose children to new learning opportunities and... Read more →


If you are setting up a Montessori home or a Montessori classroom you may need to visit your local hardware store. Our local hardware store Bunnings (Australia) has many useful things for a Montessori home including lots of practical life and storage ideas. Let's start with the obvious, Bunnings is a good place for sourcing indoor plants. Indoor plants are fantastic for care of the environment activities like watering, dusting and generally taking care of the plant. 🌱 Seedlings and herbs are always interesting to grow with children. While there are many seeds suitable to be grown by children, this... Read more →


Finding good affordable artwork for our spaces can be challenging. We have been enjoying these beautiful images in the Australian Dreaming - 2022 Wall Calendar. I find that children are drawn to images of animals so I like using the Kangaroo and Brogla in our family spaces. But all of these are stunning. Each picture has a description which I've found useful for sharing the story and teaching my children about Indigenous art. There are other good options here. The First Scientists: Deadly Inventions and Innovations from Australia's First Peoples was released last week. I knew I'd love it, I... 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! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί 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 →


Learning happens in every area of our home. Perhaps most of the learning including language and maths happens in our kitchen or outside. We have a children's table on our back deck where we work when it's not windy, but we also have this little corner of shelves at the end of our lounge/living room. This is what I call my three-year-old's 'work area'. I want to share this space with you as compared to examples I've seen online, this is a very simple set-up. We don't have a playroom or a study and that's ok, we do the best... Read more →