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howwemontessori
Sydney, Australia
Recent Activity
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If you are new to Montessori, practical life is a great way to start with children under the age of six. Today I want to share some practical life activities we've been using with our three-year-old (42 months). These are useful for us right now as they are based on skills we are wanting to teach our child or are based on tasks we need help with around our home. These activities use materials we already have. Cleaning eyeglasses - the aim of this activity is to show the child how to handle and clean eyeglasses, with this example we... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at how we montessori
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Have you tried making pasta with your children? It can be a bit messy and the children may need a little help, but it's worth giving it a go. I've seen pasta being made in Peta's toddler class! It's absolutely possible to make pasta with young children. We use 250 grams of 00 flour, but all-purpose or plain flour will work, a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 whole eggs, and 3 egg yolks. We use a little more flour to flour the table and the pasta machine. Sometimes we need extra flour on the pasta dough... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at how we montessori
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Susan Stephenson would have to be the most prolific writer of Montessori parenting and homeschooling books in modern times. As a young parent, I craved her words of wisdom in the Michael Olaf catalogs. Now Susan has at least eight books in publication including the latest Aid to Life, Montessori Beyond the Classroom. Susan has AMI diplomas for 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12. She has a Degree in Philosophy from San Francisco State University and a Master's Degree in Education from Loyola University in Baltimore. In the past fifty years, Susan has worked in various roles in Montessori education in thirty-two... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2021 at how we montessori
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Today I want to share some really easy water activities that my three-year-old has been loving. I'd suggest these are suitable for older toddlers to preschoolers. All of these activities use materials that I've found around our home but can also be inexpensively found in craft type stores. All of these activities help to develop coordination, concentration and fine motor skills. Transferring corks with Tweezer Tongs - the child uses the tweezer tongs to move the floating corks from the large bowl to the smaller bowl. Lots of other tools could be used depending on the child's age and skill... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2021 at how we montessori
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Do your children have toys or materials in their bedrooms? I was recently told that Montessori bedrooms do not have toys in them so I thought I would explore this idea further. 🤔 In Montessori from the Start Polk Lillard and Lillard Jessen suggest that for an infant Montessori bedroom parents consider four main areas including areas for sleeping, changing, feeding, and for activity. Polk Lillard and Lillard Jensen go on to suggest parents create a bedroom that encourages concentration and that furthers self-formation "into complete human beings capable of independence, coordinated movement, language and will". For a child in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2021 at how we montessori
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Have you thought about using visual timers with your children? Visual timers can help children: understand the concept of time independently complete activities for a given amount of time set a timer for simple activities transition from one activity to another We use visual timers for: brushing teeth reminding us to check on bread that has been left to rise baking bread and other goods in the oven boiling an egg, cooking rice and other timed kitchen activities learning about time Visual timers could also be used for: timing screen time (for older children) timing baths or showers (for older... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2021 at how we montessori
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If it wasn't for Montessori, I wouldn't even think to have my preschooler clean our windows. While we may see window washing as boring or tedious, the child may see it as a fun opportunity to spray water, to use their large muscles to reach, push and pull the window squeegee. At this preschooler age, all of my children have loved window washing. If you don't believe me I invite you to give your young child a small spray bottle and a window squeegee and give it a go! We've had a lot of rain so our windows and glass... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2021 at how we montessori
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I believe there are huge benefits of woodworking with young children but I'm constantly reassessing what woodworking looks like in our home. My main source of information is Pete Moorhouse however, Pete's work is based on woodwork in early learning centres. So while I have a lot of information in front of me I'm considering how we can apply the same principles in our home environment. It's not easy to set up a woodworking environment at home. We've been working on building skills using specific woodworking activities. Now we've introduced a woodworking tray or container for free woodworking construction. The... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2021 at how we montessori
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It is forecast to rain heavily for the next 5-6 days. It's not cold but it will be wet enough to keep us from using the art area on our back deck. So while it is still dry and we have the time, we moved our art materials inside. This is a temporary move, perhaps for the week or so, we usually love doing art outside! Naturally, we made a lot of adjustments when moving our art materials inside. We didn't bring in any paints or clay. This area inside has carpet and although we use a rug in our... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2021 at how we montessori
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Do you have a toddler or preschooler who has started to ask questions about the moon and stars? I've found that at around three years of age my children start to ask about the moon and begin to point out things they can see in the night sky (and tell me when they can see the moon during the day). We have a lot of children's space books so I wanted to share with you some of our favourites. As a Montessori family accuracy is important to us. Many children's space books are cartoonish or overly simplistic. These books all... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2021 at how we montessori
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Do you want to see some really beautiful Montessori spaces? Here are a few Montessori homes and classrooms that have caught my eye. These spaces are not attainable for me and for many others simply due to space restrictions. I find all of these spaces refreshing and insightful, I can see the love and attention to detail that has gone into each of these homes and classrooms. These are all spaces for young children, from infancy to around preschool age. This a peek into a Montessori early learning centre in Germany. It's interesting to see the range of materials here.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2021 at how we montessori
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We have stayed home this week. My nine-year-old has been unwell and unable to go to school, I could feel he was down and getting more frustrated as the days went on. Sport is his release but this week he hasn't left the house. I wanted to try a large-scale art activity to help him relax and unwind. "Creating art also helps children wire their brains to regulate stress. Art gives them the tools to learn how to calm themselves down. Tactile cognitive processing occurs when children create art; the neural networks in their brains fire up and signal their... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2021 at how we montessori
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It's almost been a year since I first shared our snack shelves so it feels like a good time to give an update. It makes sense to show you the children's fridge at the same time to see all the food the children have access to. Both of these areas are used by my three and nine-year-old. The food here is for snacks, morning and afternoon tea, and often we will use food from here to make lunch too. The snack shelves also contain cereal and the fridge has milk which the children will use for breakfast. These areas don't... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2021 at how we montessori
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Practical life is a huge part of Montessori at home but often it's not the first thing on my mind when I'm trying to clean the house. Most of all I'm just wanting to clean the house as quickly and as easily as possible. I've learnt that when it comes to vacuuming it is easier to allow young children to help. Teaching a young child how to vacuum, where to find and use the vacuum cleaner can also help them clean up their own mess. Our house is split into four different levels so I need Otto (3yrs) near me... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2021 at how we montessori
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Hands up if you love tree and branch blocks. They are completely natural, compostable, biodegradable, depending on where you live (and how handy you are) they might be free. They feel good, look good, are non-toxic, and come in lots of different shapes and sizes. My three-year-old is obsessed with Duplo so having some natural blocks around is like an antidote for all that plastic. It's nice to be able to bring new play materials into our home without adding to our environmental footprint, tree and branch blocks are an absolute feel-good toy. Standard cube blocks are reliable and predictable... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2021 at how we montessori
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I'm not sure how it started but we have been using a lot of stencils this week. Stencils can be fantastic for developing fine motor skills they also encourage the hands to work together. One hand controls the paintbrush or pencil while the other needs to hold the stencil or paper in place. As you can see on our stencil trays, I have secured the stencil to the tray with tape. The child still needs the supporting hand to keep the paper in place and to hold the stencil down. These trays are for a three-year-old, for an older child... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2021 at how we montessori
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Last weekend I attended a felting workshop to make a Waldorf/Steiner birthday placemat and birthday crown. I loved the process (and outcome) so much I couldn't wait to try felting again. I wanted to make an ocean/beach theme play mat for Otto (3yrs) like the ones I'd seen on Etsy (here and here). There is something powerful about making toys and playthings by hand. They are made with love and intention and made specific to the child. The child can see the time and effort that goes into it. It can also show the child how we can work with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2021 at how we montessori
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Today we spent a lot of time in the kitchen so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some practical life work. Above Otto is using an electric juicer. This is super efficient compared to a manual juicer. The child needs strength to hold the orange and press down. When pressure is applied to the juicer it rotates to juice the fruit. It's also faster than using a manual juicer, Otto can easily juice a bag full of oranges. The pouring part is a little tricky. Remember to have a small sponge nearby. A tasty treat and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2021 at how we montessori
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Are you looking for ways to involve your child in grocery and food shopping? One of the things we've tried recently is using a visual shopping list. We get most of our groceries delivered but during the week we need a couple of short trips for fresh fruit and bread. I looked around for a printable that would work for us. I couldn't find one that was perfect for us so I made our own. I went to our grocery store's online site and saved the images of our most frequent mid-week purchases. I put them together into a list... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2021 at how we montessori
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Montessori parents understand the importance of risk-taking in the development of the child. However, often we need help in navigating risk in the home as the child ages. What kinds of risk should we be exposing the child to, and at what age? My children are 3, 9, and 13-years-old. Their risk profiles are all significantly different. Risk is something that is frequently on my mind as I allow Otto (3yrs) to climb higher and higher in the climbing tree at Centennial Park, after recently catching him mid-fall from a significant height. Or allowing Otis (9yrs) who already walks to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2021 at how we montessori
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Does your child love role play or pretend play? My three-year-old went through an intense phase where he would play supermarkets all day (thanks to the cash register he received for Xmas), then later he played Doctors and now he plays Handyman. He will play alone but he will often ask me or his siblings to join in. This role play is valuable play and it's not something that needs adult intervention. It's deeply engaging play, I've seen my child immersed in this play for 30-40 minutes chatting away to himself while pretending to serve a customer. As time has... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2021 at how we montessori
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Recently while visiting friends I noticed my three-year-old using some first words puzzles. He worked on them with focus and completed the whole box of puzzles repeatedly. The puzzles are simple cvc (consonant, vowel, consonant) cardboard puzzles with a word and a corresponding picture. They are self-correcting - so the child can't go wrong in putting them together - perfect for the 3-4 year age group. I started to look for something similar and I found the Big Box of Little Word Puzzles. I like these as the images are photographic and interesting. The letter pieces can be interchanged from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at how we montessori
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Liquid watercolours and clay are my two favourite art mediums. We've been trying a few Waldorf inspired arts and crafts with watercolours, clay and more. Some of them have two steps so I recommend them for children aged three years+. Here are a few of the activities we've tried this week. Wet-on-wet watercolour painting - includes liquid watercolours in primary colours, watercolour paper (soaked in water) and a sponge to remove excess water. The child applies one colour at a time, blending the edges of each colour. This is a Waldorf inspired activity, Sarah has a good guide here. We... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at how we montessori
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We like to provide our children with a wide range of drawing materials. Recently we've been exploring beginner graphite pencils. Graphite pencils can be soft and smooth providing the child with a lovely drawing experience. Until recently I didn't know there were so many beginner graphite pencils to choose from. I selected four to try with my preschooler. After observing my child draw with all four pencils I found the qualities to look in beginner graphite pencils include: soft - easy to leave a mark, provides good feedback, smooth strong - leads won't break short - the shorter the pencil... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2021 at how we montessori
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Toddlers can peel - HWM I get most of my Montessori at home ideas from activities I've seen in Montessori classrooms. I've learnt how to put together trays, which tools to use, and how to present the work. It's also useful to observe children in the classroom and see how they respond to the work. But what if you can't get to a Montessori classroom, perhaps watching videos or images online is the next best thing. Today I'm sharing peeling (with a vegetable peeler) work. Not all of these examples are from classrooms, many are from Montessori homes. Adventures in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at how we montessori