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howwemontessori
Sydney, Australia
Recent Activity
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To prepare our children's hands for writing and using scissors it's important they have lots of hands-on play in the early years. It's imperative that our children are given opportunities to learn through tactile experience that strengthen the hands. Using clay is the best multi-sensory art experience I know for developing fine and gross motor skills. I prepare a lot of activities using play dough as it's easier for us to use inside, but at least once a week I like to break out the clay for all three of my children to use. Generally, our clay play involves open... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at how we montessori
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I'm always looking for new ways to use the learning materials we already have in our home. Presenting existing materials in a new way may make them more attractive to the child and may spark a new interest. We've had geometric solids on and off our work shelves but they haven't been a favourite until I presented them in a shape sorting activity (above top left). Then I felt inspired to try them with playdough and some riddle cards. I've now found ways for them to be used almost daily which is fantastic for a preschooler to learning geometric shapes... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at how we montessori
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Are you looking for some Montessori style activities for your 18-24 months old? Remember that every child and every family is different. Above is a child's bedroom at 23 months. It is very simple. Note the choice of two tops in the wardrobe, a low chair for dressing, low floor bed, and low bookshelf. Everything is at the child's height. I've included some toys that we use at 18-24 months. These toys are compatible with Montessori at home, however, they are not specifically Montessori materials. When we introduce Montessori activities we generally give the child a demonstration (show the child... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at how we montessori
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Otto (3yrs) and I were looking for some new, healthy snacks to make. We found a few ideas in Little Green Kitchen. First, we made some fruit salad with Mini Watermelon bowls. This is an idea from Little Green Kitchen but all we did was make a normal fruit salad (with melons, strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries, apple, grapes, and banana) and put it in a Mini Organic Watermelons (AU)(similar US here). It looks so cute. We used a melon baller to make melon balls and to scoop out the watermelons completely. Then we chopped up the rest of the fruit... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at how we montessori
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My children are out of the infant stage so I didn't worry too much about getting my hands on Babies Build Toddlers: A Montessori Guide to Parenting in the First 18 Months, when it was released early this year. But when I saw some of the pages in a review I immediately wanted to read the whole book. Firstly, it is different from other Montessori baby books. I found it very gentle and easy to follow. It is a guide, it walks you through the infant stages. The focus is on supporting the child's development the Montessori way. It is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2021 at how we montessori
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Flower Arranging is one of my favourite Practical Life, Care of the Environment Activities. Flowers can bring so much joy and beauty to our lives. This morning we received the most gorgeous flowers (c/o Bloom & Bud, Sydney) and I decided to share them with Otto (3yrs) and do some Flower Arranging together. Materials we use: vases - thick glass or transparent vases are useful for children learning how to pour, and knowing when to stop pouring, empty jars can work well too. funnel - useful for filling vases with narrow openings. pitcher with water - or we can provide... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2021 at how we montessori
Depending on the design of your home you may want to consider placing your infant's movement area in a shared family space. The movement area can consist of a moveable play gym, a soft rug or mat with some toys, or perhaps a wall mirror and Montessori style mobiles (visual & tactile). The benefit of having the movement area in a shared space is the child can observe and hear their family members going about their everyday lives. The child can move, play and rest at their leisure while still feeling that they are a part of the family, not... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2021 at how we montessori
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Do you have Montessori sandpaper letters at home that are not being used as much as you'd hoped? Here are four different ways we are currently using sandpaper letters in our home. I call this a letter jumble as I jumble all the letters in the basket, then ask my three-year-old to sort them! It's easy for him to do and it really helps with his letter recognition. Here I've only used nine letters but I could put out the whole alphabet. I have included sandpaper letters, felt letters, and letter tiles. If we are playing this together I might... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2021 at how we montessori
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We have spent the two weeks at home and our art trays have been well used. I've presented a different painting tray each day. Want to take a look? Our painting trays from this week include: round paint stampers - while these are fun to use, they can also help us to talk about size - small, medium, and large or smallest and biggest. uv glow paint - at first this paint doesn't look special but it lights up and glows under ultraviolet light. paint bellows - used with liquid watercolours. The child squeezes the bellows to squirt the watercolours... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2021 at how we montessori
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gentleness noun 1. the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. 2. softness of action or effect; lightness. There are many ways that Montessori Practical Life exercises teach gentleness. What do we mean by gentleness? We mean refined movements, movements that are controlled, light and considered. Think about a child peeling a hard boiled egg, the child is gentle so they remove only the shell and leave as much of the egg as possible. The child is then rewarded with a lovely egg for snack. Think of a child dusting a leaf. If they are gentle the leaf is left... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2021 at how we montessori
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Montessori children's wardrobes come in all shapes and sizes (#montessoriwardrobe) but the purpose remains the same. The aim of the Montessori children's wardrobe is to support: independence - the child can easily access their clothing. order - everything has a place, the child can easily see their clothing, the child knows where everything goes. choice - the child is able to choose from a small selection of seasonally and developmentally appropriate pieces of clothing to wear. problem-solving skills - in selecting the clothing and in self dressing the child will encounter problems to solve. child's sense of self - the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2021 at how we montessori
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This little apple corer/spiralizer has been in a couple of our Montessori toddler classrooms. Have you used one before? In our toddler classes, the children would line up to use it. It's fantastic to use for apples but it's also fun to use with potatoes!! It's not easy, the child needs to rotate the handle to turn the apple (or potato). It's important that your spiralizer has good suction so it doesn't move about. I've found the best suction is on our kitchen bench, rather than on a wooden table. It's wonderful for the child to participate in making snack... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2021 at how we montessori
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We are seven days into a 14 day Covid isolation period (we can't leave our home, due to Otis being a close contact). So today I vacuumed and generally tidied Otto's (3yrs 9mths) room. It looked so pretty I thought it was time to take a few pics and share the new layout with you. The last time I shared his room, he had just moved into his 'big' bed. Our home is split over four levels. Otto's room is on the fourth (top) level, and his other work shelves, art shelves, and toys are on the first (bottom) level.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2021 at how we montessori
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Are you looking for some new scissor activities to try? I've been looking for some new scissor activities that are at my child's skill level but are also interesting and will attract the child. There is no use in preparing these activities if the child doesn't choose to do them. We need to update the children's activities as their skills develop but also as their interests change. We've found all of these activities interesting and fun: Pizza Cutting - these have been the biggest hit. We've used the half fraction right up to sixths. Dinosaur Cut Out Shapes - I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2021 at how we montessori
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Have you tried observational drawing with your children? My three-year-old has been enjoying a lot of observational drawing so I want to share some of my thoughts about it. I want to encourage you, no matter your child's age, to give it a go. Why try observational drawing? Observational drawing can: help strengthen memory - as the child looks at the object and remembers what they see. develop fine motor skills. develop spatial awareness. develop concentration and focus. develop observational skills - the child will look closely at the object and notice certain details, sometimes what the child notices are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2021 at how we montessori
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Have you ever wished someone would come to your home and help put together your Montessori-style playroom? I was once talking to a Montessori teacher friend about how small our home space was and she took a look around and came up with so many options I hadn't thought of. It's amazing what a fresh set of eyes can see. When my friend Ceinwen showed me her children's workroom (pictured above), I couldn't believe how beautiful it was. Ceinwen and her family recently moved into a gorgeous Bondi apartment and they have this workroom just off the kitchen. It's an... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2021 at how we montessori
Are you looking for some Montessori bedroom ideas? Here are a few Montessori home spaces that I've been enjoying! A shared bedroom for 18mo and almost 3.5yo siblings. This looks so serene and peaceful. The low artwork is lovely. 😍 Nash's (2yrs) Montessori-style bedroom including a floor bed, forward-facing bookshelves, low chair, low shelves and everything looking ordered, child-size, and cozy. You can see more detail of the low shelves and activities here. I've been asked for more real examples of Montessori-style bedrooms for children three years+. This room looks suitable for a child at 2-4yrs+. I was recently at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2021 at how we montessori
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Today I'm sharing a few magnetic activities that I've used with my preschooler. Sorting Magnetic and Non-Magnetic items is a well known Montessori activity but what else can children learn about magnets in the early years? Wand Magnet & Iron Filings - the child can use the wand magnet to attract the iron filings and move them around the case and out of the red coloured sand. Wand Magnet with DIY Cases - including paper clips, short lengths of chenille twistable stems (pipe cleaners), and metal rings. The child can use the magnet to attract and move the items in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2021 at how we montessori
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Otto (3yrs) asks to paint almost every day. Getting the paints out is such a hassle I was starting to feel bad about saying no. So I decided to do something about it and set up a painting station. This painting station is on our back deck. Although it's undercover we need to put most things away when it rains or gets windy, so everything here is easy to move. We don't have any space inside for large-scale easel painting, so it works to do this outside. It's nice too that we can also move this painting station into the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2021 at how we montessori
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In Montessori, it's important for children to use 'real' things. Children learn to carefully and respectfully carry and use real knives and forks, real glassware, and real ceramic mugs, plates, and bowls. As we expect breakages we generally use affordable options. Although occasionally in Montessori homes we also use wood or melamine. Here are some choices I'm loving from Etsy. Most of these are special pieces, which can teach children to look after items that are especially good. I also think it's nice for the child to have one or two special pieces that are just for them. I've ordered... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2021 at how we montessori
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Have you heard of the term scaffolding - scaffolding skills, scaffolding learning, Montessori scaffolding, or Vygotsky scaffolding? Initially, I thought it was as simple as building one skill on the other, building the child's skills gradually one step at a time, but there really is more to it. Scaffolding in Montessori is also about providing the child just as much support as they need. The right support at the right time. Just like in building or construction, the scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support the workers to build the next level, when the structure is strong the scaffolding... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2021 at how we montessori
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Today I want to share with you the most beautiful Montessori toddler classroom I've ever seen. When I first entered this room I was overcome with emotion, it is just that striking. The natural timber furniture, the huge windows full of green, and the bright colourful materials are breathtaking. Before you take a look around I need to tell you there is something special about this environment. This is a Montessori Parent-Toddler Classroom that has RIE and Pikler influences. Director of the Parent Toddler and Nido program at Cameragal Montessori School, Peta Gibson has an AMI Assistants to Infancy (0-3)... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2021 at how we montessori
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We love to use play dough. We always have a play dough tray on our art shelves but our tray is often cluttered, full of cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other random items. Sometimes my child spends more time looking in the tray than playing with the play dough. So I was considering what a play dough tray looks like in Montessori environments. I've only seen play dough trays in Montessori toddler classrooms (18months-3yrs). The play dough trays I've seen present the play dough with only one tool, usually some kind of stamper or cutter. Presenting the play dough with... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2021 at how we montessori
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We traveled to the Gold Coast this long weekend. It's our first time flying since COVID hit last year. I flew alone with Otto (3yrs) and Otto also spent a lot of time watching his brothers' sporting events. So before leaving home I put together eight activities to take with us. These activities are generally open-ended activities that promote concentration and calm, that are also quiet and clean. The activities I prepared include: Colour-blast - we also love Water Wow. Colour-blast uses a special marker that only works on the paper provided. Water Wow is also fantastic as the water... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2021 at how we montessori
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If you don't have a lot of space in your home, a cleaning caddy may be a good way to store some of your children's cleaning supplies. A cleaning caddy keeps everything together and it's easy to move around the home. Often I hear from parents concerned about the cost of Montessori. So I set myself the challenge of creating a Children's Cleaning Caddy for under $10. I took my time looking around our local stores and I found a lot of great materials like a small dustpan for $1 and an art caddy for $3, but I couldn't get... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2021 at how we montessori