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 →


The Big W Toy Mania Sale starts tomorrow in store (Thursday 18th). The sale can be a big event for many families, it is a great opportunity to buy toys at a discount and especially to stock up for birthdays or Christmas. We have family members who don't shop online and are always looking for gift ideas from big stores like Big W. I don't want to promote consumerism here but I do want to support you with good and affordable purchasing options. When I think of Big W's toy sales, I think of Lego. They usually have various and... Read more →


I looove children's books and I believe in a circular economy. We consume a lot of books, there are some books that we will keep forever but we also have children's books that we donate each year, some that my children have grown out of and some that just didn't land as I'd hoped. Since arriving in Sydney I have been searching for a convenient place to donate our children's books and I stumbled upon Street Libraries. Street Libraries aren't just for donating, we can take a book too!! Honestly, what a wonderful idea. I haven't lived anywhere previously that... Read more →


Nature walks are an essential part of our day. For my older children it gives them a chance to step away from their school work and it give us all some fresh air, much needed time outside + a big dose of Vitamin D. While we try to vary where we walk inevitably we spend a lot of time in the same areas. To mix things up a little bit and bring some new interest to our regular walks we have started going into our nature walks with a theme! It really does help us to view the same area... Read more →


Otto (2.5 yrs) has finally mastered self dressing! It helps that our weather is mild and he usually only wears a loose t-shirt and pants. Dressing has been a huge point of frustration for us so I want to share how we have got to this point. Why do we want a toddler to dress themselves? Out of respect for the child. To support the child's independence and developing autonomy. To help develop the child's sense of self and to develop self esteem. To teach practical life skills including fine motor skills. Because they can, they are capable if we... Read more →


We are starting to spend more time at home. While we aren't in total lockdown (my older children are still at school) Otto and I are home most of the time. Luckily we have a smallish but safe backyard to play in and the weather has been gorgeous. I have been heavily influenced by some of the process art I've seen at our toddler art classes. Our classes have been cancelled for now so along with a lot of other work, I'm making sure I offer some interesting art experiences. I love the idea of a painting texture wall. We... Read more →