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 →


We don't run to a schedule and almost every day looks different. But our days are child led. For us this means a whole lot of free play outside! Today I felt the need for some new materials. What was in order? A trip to the toy store, some online shopping? No! A morning visit to our local Reverse Garbage. I phoned ahead to make sure they were open and I spoke to Kirsten (Creative Director), who I have proclaimed an expect in early childhood loose parts play. Kirsten later greeted us at Reverse Garbage (Sydney) and showed us around.... Read more →


The media has been full of information about the Coronavirus. A lot of the discussion I've been hearing is from overseas. So I wanted to share a little about what we are doing about the Coronavirus here in Sydney. Our schools are open and are operating normally. All of the children's sporting events are going ahead, my children still have weekly training and matches. We are keeping our children informed in an age appropriate way and are taking a few extra precautions like more considered hand-washing. Our Activities We don't live with or have regular contact with elderly or immunosuppressed... Read more →


Today Otto (2yrs) attended his first toddler art class. The studio was beautiful, amazing and vibrant. I felt so inspired that I made some adjustments to our art shelves as soon as we got home. But what had me thinking was the focus on process art and how many product driven arts and crafts my other children did at the same age. I know that product driven art and crafts can be useful for a variety of reasons and are often used around cultural events (Easter, Christmas, at school fairs). But do children in the first plane of development need... Read more →


You know how some children love to 'post' things. Some children also love to hang things. There is this repetitive fine and gross motor movement that they find satisfying that can help cement their learning and increase concentration. When I first noticed the Language Tree I knew that Otto would enjoy it. He loved our ornament tree at Christmas which uses a very similar hanging motion. I asked Andrea O’Halloran of Montessori Materials to tell me a little more about the Language Tree: "When I taught at Forestville Montessori School, we introduced the concrete example of an object to a... Read more →


The first room I set up when we moved into this new house was Otto's bedroom. We had spent almost four weeks in hotel rooms and apartments. I knew that Otto needed his own space. Space to be himself, to play, to roll around on the floor. To learn, grown and concentrate. To play uninterrupted. He needed his very own refuge and safe space. He needs minimal supervision in his room as we've made it a 'yes' space. There are no toys with small parts. There are no large pieces of furniture. We have three puzzles on his shelves that... Read more →


Image: Minime Design What is your favourite part of Montessori parenting or teaching? Of course I love working and spending time with my children but I also enjoy designing Montessori inspired spaces. Over the last few years I've dabbled with helping friends work out some of their spaces. But in the new year I hope to do a lot more of it!! I can see the impact good Montessori design can have on children and their ability to move, to learn and, to create. If you are in Sydney need help putting together your child/ren's spaces in 2020 let me... Read more →