We've been playing with a new wooden marble run (AU here). It's a fantastic marble run that is recommended for children 36months+. As soon as we unpacked it I was taken back by the play guide. It is way too advanced for my child and too advanced for most children under the age of 7-10yrs. It made me think about how with play, we often set our children up for failure. This play guide is not developmentally appropriate for my child. Although it shows young children in the photographs. If we as adults build the marble run as shown in... Read more →


Are you looking for free or low-cost science materials for your children to use at home? Last year we discovered the Spark! and Little Spark! Discovery Boxes (AU). The Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 8-12 years+, and the Little Spark! Discovery Boxes are for children 3-5 years+. At our local Libraries (Randwick, NSW) the Spark! Discovery Boxes can be loaned using our standard library card (free). The Little Spark! Discovery Boxes require a Toy Library membership (low-cost, free for those with relevant concession cards). But check with your local library first for their conditions, if they don't have any... Read more →


If you have a lot of model animals at home, this might be a fantastic sorting activity for you to try! Sorting Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals. We can use whatever model animals we have at home, plastic, wooden or stuffed animals, we use mostly Schleich. I made up and printed two labels, one for Nocturnal (night-time) and one for Diurnal (day-time). We could also add or discuss Crepuscular animals (mainly active at dawn and dusk). The child simply sorts the animals into the two categories. For younger children, we could use fewer animals and for older children, we could add... Read more →


In Montessori classrooms and homes, children often use real materials, real glassware, real utensils, real knives, real hammers and saws. The children are in a prepared environment that includes caregivers who provide supervision and support. We ensure the children are given the skills to gradually over time use real materials in a safe and age-appropriate way. We may provide alternative or safer versions like a knife with a rounded tip - but it's still a real knife. I've previously used a real hot glue gun with my children at four years. I've closely supervised and no one has got hurt.... Read more →


We are at the end of a 7-day isolation period. Staying at home and not being able to go out means I've been preparing more activities than usual for my preschooler! I've raided our art cupboard and art books to put together a few new art trays. These activities are generally appropriate for children 3-5 years old. These activities allow the child to focus on one activity or one skill at a time. The art trays can be used: to introduce a new skill. to introduce new materials. on the kitchen table for the children to work on after breakfast.... Read more →


Late last year I saw these little red bricks being played with at Hedge Cottage. The bricks looked fabulous. They are like real bricks just smaller, what a wonderful way to introduce building and construction to a young child! Our house and many houses in our neighbourhood are made of red brick, as are many fences and driveways. The little bricks are available with mortar to build permanent structures. As I was using them with my preschooler, I didn't want to use the mortar and our construction is temporary. Initially, I presented the bricks in a basket. To renew interest... Read more →


We are mid-way through a 7-day isolation period and my preschooler has been desperate for some new activities. It's also been rainy so my mind goes straight to art. I've raided our art cupboard and put together a few new art activities! These activities allow the child to focus on one activity or one skill at a time. The art trays can be used: to introduce a new skill. to introduce new materials. on the kitchen table for the children to work on after breakfast. after preschool/daycare/school alongside a healthy snack to relax and decompress. in the afternoon while the... 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 →


a. / b. / c. (AU) / d. / e. / f. (AU here) A year or so ago I received a text from a friend, asking for a recommendation for a children's weekly calendar. I gave some general DIY suggestions as at that time all of our days kind of looked the same, we had no need for a weekly calendar. But now Otto (4yrs) asks repeatedly what day is swimming, what day is playgroup, what day is judo. It starts to drive me crazy and I found we absolutely had a need for a weekly calendar or a... 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 →


Otto has started taking bath time seriously. He asks for a bath several times a day and he wants to stay in there for hours. We've been accumulating more bath toys and are struggling to keep the bath tidy and organised. How do we store all the bath toys in a way that is hygienic, ordered and accessible to the child? We haven't mastered bath toy storage or organisation but this is what our children's bathroom currently looks like. We are striving to: Encourage independence: We decant bubble bath, liquid soaps and shampoo into smaller easy to use squeeze containers,... Read more →


"The education of the senses makes men observers." - Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori argued that the education of the senses must be of the greatest pedagogical interest, she suggested doctors and cooks both need refined senses. The Montessori Sound Cylinder are just one of the sensorial materials used in Montessori classrooms (3-6yrs). The Montessori Sound Cylinders are made up of 12 cylinders, six coloured red and six coloured blue. Each red cylinder has a corresponding blue cylinder. There are beads inside each cylinder, the beads inside the corresponding cylinders are the same. The child is to shake the cylinders to... Read more →


I was looking for a Wobbel board for Otto, my four-year-old. Wobbel boards are expensive so I decided to take a look at the cheaper Kmart version in person. While visiting Kmart I noticed many new things in stock including a kitchen helper. Who knew Kmart has kitchen helpers? They also have two new Montessori books in, so it's time for me to write another Kmart Montessori at home post!! There are compromises, the kitchen helper isn't height-adjustable, the balance board has a weight limit of 70kg (Wobbel's capacity is 200kg). But they get the job done and they are... Read more →


1. / 2. / 3. / 4. (UK here)(AU here)(CA here) / 5. / 6. / 7. / 8. / 9. Does your child have their own calendar? At the start of the new year, I wanted to begin using a monthly calendar with my four-year-old. The thing is... he wasn't at all interested. Many calendars are overwhelming for young children. I decided to focus on what he is interested in and what is currently working. We are currently using a Day Calendar and Weather Board. These boards focus on the present day and allow children to make observations like... Read more →


As you may remember we like to use story baskets (or trays). We don't retell the entire story through puppets or props but I like to add a few things to make the storytelling fun, to hold the child's attention and to further the child's learning. Often my preschooler will use these baskets and trays independently. He will flip through the book and then engage with the materials. Story baskets (or trays) can: Give the child something to hold while reading. Enhance the read-aloud/storytime experience. Stimulate and provide further ideas for exploration, discovery and learning. Expose the child to real... Read more →