"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 →


My children love to use clay. Mostly we do open-ended clay play, without any prompts or suggestions on what to make. Occasionally though I like to show the children a technique or make larger sculptures, or give them project ideas. I have lots of different resources for using clay with young children so I decided to make a list of the skills or techniques that we can teach children from around three years with clay, but perhaps from two with play-dough. Clay play techniques to teach children: Squeeze Press Smooth Flatten Mould Cut Knead Crumple Straighten (roll out flat) Crush... Read more →


Today I'm sharing the top materials ordered by HWM readers through Amazon (US) in the year 2021. This post includes a ton of product links, if that isn't your thing please skip this post. I hope you find this useful and that you get some great ideas for your children for now or for the future! Let's start by looking at toddler toys and materials. The Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon is popular year after year (mainly due to this article). My children adored the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Pound and Roll Wooden Tower and the Galt Pop Up Toy... Read more →


Have you tried sequencing puzzles with your child? Some sequencing puzzles are simple and can be used by toddlers (2yrs+) others are better suited to preschoolers (3-4yrs+). I hadn't given sequencing puzzles much thought until we borrowed one from our local toy library. While the puzzle was easy to put together my child loved the storytelling part, he narrated the story on the puzzle as he put it together. I could see his eyes light up, he really enjoyed putting the story together. Sequencing puzzles are a bit like a storyboard. They help children learn the correct sequence of an... Read more →


Do your children like to use real tools, connect things, screw and unscrew things or join things together? If so they might enjoy using a Montessori Screw/Bolt board. I introduced this board (pictured above) to my child at 2yrs (34-35months) and he still loves it today at 4 years old. We have a simple board with a screwdriver, t-nuts and screws which are all the same size. Other boards are available that have graded bolts, that use spanners or hex keys. While the bolt/screw board is not a traditional Montessori practical life material they allow the child to develop the... 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. โค๏ธ 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 →


Have you seen or used Read It, Build It, Write It boards? These are not something I've seen used in a Montessori school, or designed by Maria Montessori, but they have been increasing in popularity in Montessori families and homeschools. As my preschooler is writing more and more, we decided to give it a go! I LOVE trying out new products, especially those influenced by Montessori and include hands-on multi-sensory learning. Overall my preschooler (4yrs) loved it. Most of all he enjoyed the first two steps of reading and building because that's where he is most confident right now. Let's... Read more →


Are you looking for food prep activities for your one-year-old? Involving young children in food prep activities allows children to be connected to their food. Rather than the food appearing at the table, the child can see how it is made. Food prep activities allow children to explore food, its textures and tastes, it can show children what they are capable of and help them to develop coordination and fine motor skills. Let's see some of our favourite food prep activities for children 12-24 months. Please use the ages listed as a rough guide and full supervision of all activities... Read more →


In the last couple of weeks, Sydney has had some crazy, stormy and rainy weather. It's been the perfect time to study clouds! Above Otto (4yrs) tells me the clouds look like waves. The Cloud Identifier is hands down THE BEST tool we've used for studying clouds. It helps us to identify the clouds we are looking at, but more importantly, it has sparked a huge interest in clouds and what they look like. After we began using the Cloud Identifier, Otto started asking about clouds throughout the day and while we are out and about. The Cloud Identifier is... Read more →


Lockdown regulations are starting to lift in Sydney. While we are still laying low, yesterday I took a look around Kmart (Australia). Kmart has lots of really useful items for a Montessori home, and perhaps some for the classroom too. Let's take a look at some of my favourites. I've linked all products to Kmart but please note stock varies from store to store. Above is The Montessori Toddler and The Montessori Baby, this is the lowest prices I've seen which makes these books more accessible. We have three of these mini spray bottles at home. They are a fantastic... Read more →


Do your children enjoy playing with Magnetic Tiles? We've had a small set of Magnetic Tiles for years however Otto (pictured) received another set for his fourth birthday. ๐ŸŽ‚ He can do so much more building with this extra set, it's really opened up new ideas and new creations! Magnetic tiles can help to develop: concentration and focus critical thinking problem-solving skills creativity visual discrimination skills geometry skills patterning skills coordination independent play. Most of all we like to use magnetic tiles for open-ended play. But I believe in getting the most out of our materials, rotating toys and presenting... Read more →


Pegs are a common household item that can be used for many children's activities. Depending on the type of pegs you have, you can start using pegs with your child from toddlerhood. Flexible plastic pegs can work best for young children while stronger stainless steel or wooden pegs are fantastic for preschoolers. Pegs can be found in many grocery stores and mini wooden pegs are available in stationary or educational supply stores. Pegs that we pinch the end to use are fantastic for helping children develop the pincer grasp, fine motor skills, hand strength, coordination and dexterity. Large wooden play... Read more →