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Showing posts from May, 2017

What We're Reading -- May

It's hard to believe that another month is done! And, that we have once again found so many great Montessori friendly books at our library. This month was full of diversity and interesting stories. And, I find that because of that my children cannot stop reading these books! Over and over they come back to them and really engage with them and its wonderful to see! Without further ado, here's what we're reading in May

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Row 1: I Had a Favorite DressHow Does My Garden Grow?Time to Eat | Time to SleepThe Garden That We Grew | Over and Under the Pond
Row 2: An Evening at Alfie's | Pippo Gets LostOver the Ocean
Row 3: The Ring BearerThings to DoCreature ColorsDelivery* | All Kinds of Cars
Row 4: Regards to the Man in the MoonRed Socks | My Busy Green Garden
* denotes some elements of fantasy not typically found in Montessori friendly books under age 6. 
With so many good ones this month it has …

5 Inspiring Montessori Spaces on Instagram

There are so many inspiring Montessori spaces in this world, and I could spend all day looking at them. Instagram is one of my favorite places to find them! If you aren't tapped into the Montessori community on Instagram, you are missing out. Not only are there glimpses into amazing Montessori classrooms and homes, but there are some genuinely wonderful people.


Today, I wanted to share 5 inspiring Montessori spaces on Instagram
A post shared by Mindful Learning (@mindful.learning) on May 24, 2017 at 2:46pm PDT
This kitchen set up has me absolutely drooling! I wish I had room for a mini-fridge like that for my kids! It's the perfect pop of color in a wonderfully organized and accessible space! 
A post shared by @dwoolmer on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:50am PDT
This play space! I love it! The natural elements are my favorite, from the plants, to the shelving to the materials. It's just so beautiful! 
A post shared by Ludmila Varzinova (@ludmilavarzinova) on May 27, 2017 at 3:09pm PDT

Babies and Mirrors -- Montessori Baby Week 25

A mirror is a staple in a Montessori baby environment. From birth, a low mirror can be used by a baby help a baby explore and develop concentration. This mirror helps a baby get a new perspective on his or her surroundings. It also helps babies to concentrate on their own movements, and eventually to coordinate them.

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It is no secret, even outside the Montessori community that babies love mirrors. But, yet, people still refuse to give babies access to something they perceive as dangerous. Not so for Montessori babies. A mirror is offered to a child from birth. The mirror can be found anywhere a baby plays regularly, and is often placed in the movement area. However, a mirror should not be placed next to a baby's floor bed because it is too stimulating to the baby.

Augustus has had a mirror from birth in his movement area. And, he has liked it, but never super loved it -- at least not in the way that Nora did. From birth she wou…

Montessori Baby Weaning Essentials at IKEA

Since Augustus is almost 6 months old {how did that happen?!} I have weaning on the brain! I have started to gather all the supplies to make weaning as Montessori friendly as possible, and one of the first places I went to do this -- IKEA! There are so many amazing Montessori baby weaning essentials at IKEA. And, at the right price! 

If you are looking to introduce solids the Montessori way, here are a few products you may want to consider: 
Weaning Table: This table is a wonderful size for weaning, but it is too tall. However, the legs can easily be cut down to the proper size. We will cut our table down to 12" tall. 
Stool: Typically, a Montessori weaning chair will be supportive for the baby so this doesn't work awesome for the child. But, this is a great stool for the adult! An adult often needs a small stool to sit at the table with the child as the child eats. This one could easily be used for that purpose. Or, if you wanted to go a little more RIE the stool could be cut…

DIY Rainbow Ribbon Tactile Mobile

I am always trying to observe my children and make or create interesting work for them that meets their needs. Some of you recently saw Augustus' new tactile mobile in his prepared play space and asked what it was. So, I thought I would share a little bit more about our DIY Rainbow Ribbon Tactile Mobile


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Gus loves to chew on fabric, much like Nora did around his age. The difference is that we propped Nora to sit so she could sit on her own by this point. By sitting we were able to offer her small treasure baskets, one of which was a small basket of fabric to explore. Since Augustus is no where near sitting, I had to create another way to allow him focused exploration of fabric. 



Then, it occurred to me that I could do a tactile mobile! Once I gathered my supplies, this mobile literally took me 20 minutes to complete and has been an instant hit!  To Make This Tactile Mobile Ribbon -- You will need a bunch or ribbon or fabric scr…

Creating a Space for Play -- Montessori Baby Week 24

I am officially in unfamiliar parenting territory, friends! I have a non-mobile baby past the age of 5-months. I have a baby that is interested in the world around him, but unable to get exactly where he wants to go. Using a treasure basket or shelf isn't a super effective way for a baby like this to get materials. And, you don't want to have to hand them everything. So, what do you do when you have a non-mobile older baby? How do you create a space for play in a Montessori way? 

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Augustus is nearing 6 months old and doesn't sit, crawl, or scoot. He does roll both ways but slowly and less effectively than Nora or Henry ever did. Henry and Nora were both very quick gross motor movers and by this age both moved very efficiently. Henry was even crawling. Gus is, however, on his own path -- which we are happy to follow.

But, it does mean that we have to make some modifications. We can't yet rely on him moving to a shelf…

Montessori Friendly Ideas for Travel

The summer travel season is fast approaching for us! And, we are deep into planning for our summer fun, which has me thinking about just how I'm going to keep kids happy in the car for long periods of time. I have not been blessed with kids that like to sleep or quietly sit in the car, so having some ideas planned helps keep everyone happy and sane!

Here are some Montessori friendly ideas for travel!


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Younger Kids Here are some ideas for younger kids! 
1. Wooden Memory Game | 2. Wikki Stix | 3. Travel Magna-Doodle | 4. Animal Sticker Book | 5. Magnatab | 6. Water Wow! | 7. Magnetic Toddler Maze | 8. Caterpillar Dice Tin Game | 9. Tin of Crayons | 10. Little Airport Sticker Activity BookBeach Sticker Activity Book | 11. Magnetic Fun - Cars Planes and Trains | 12. Desk To Go | 13. Travel Bingo
Older Kids  Here are some ideas for a little bit older child! 
1. ThinkFun Amaze | 2. Binoculars | 3. The 50 States: Activity Book | 4. W…

Play Silks for Babies -- Montessori Baby Week 23

Open ended play doesn't just have to be for older children! This type of play opens up possibility for movement, exploration, imagination, and more. While a baby is limited in many ways, an open ended material gives a baby the chance to truly control the play. It also provides a great chance to get some movement in! 

Play silks are great for this because they are soft and safe, yet fun! They are airy and move in interesting ways. They feel great to the touch and are beautiful. And, they must feel great to eat -- but I've let Gus be the judge there. 
As Augustus is starting to move around more, one of his favorite new things is playing with play silks. For a baby with some gross motor challenges -- see he's rocking his new helmet -- play silks have provided awesome motivation for him to move around. While we have been placing little bits of tented fabric around him for awhile, putting several in different spots on his blanket is new for him. 

By placing them around, but sl…

3 Ways to Use Montessori Language Objects with Toddlers

It is no secret that I love Montessori language objects. In fact, I'm down right obsessed with them! And, how can I not be!? They are so incredibly cute and such an amazing learning tool. They really play to every desire in the child -- beauty, small objects, real representations. Ah! Just, I love them!
Typically, Montessori language objects are found as part of the academic work introduced to 3-year-olds to 6-year-olds. They are used in a variety of work as a child begins to learn to read.

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At home, I've noticed that toddlers are as interested in Montessori language objects as older children. In fact, they might even love them more since that sensitive period for small objects is so strong. But, what can toddlers use these little objects for?
Montessori Language Objects for Toddlers

Here are 3 ways they can be used with toddlers.
Vocabulary Building Toddlers are also in the sensitive period for language and soak up the worl…

24 Montessori Friendly Books for Summer

It's hard to believe it but summer is right around the corner! But somehow it is. Henry only has about a month left of school, and we are busy trying to schedule some fun things to do and explore for the summer. All this summer planning, has me in the mood for sunny, warm, lazy days. Here are 24 Montessori friendly books for summer to get you in the summer-time mood too!


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The Relatives Came | Beach | When We Go Camping | Come On, Rain! | How Do You Know It's Summer? | The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice* | Exploring Summer | Mosquito Bite* | Summer+ | And Then Comes Summer | The Summer Solstice* | It's Summer!
This list has a little something for everyone! The books with the * are perfect for older children (5+ range) while the books with the + are lovely beginner books for toddlers. Then, there is everything in between! 

How Does My Garden Grow? | At the Beach+ | Fireflies | Sun, Sun | Summer Days and Nights+…

Montessori Toddler Materials at Nearly 3-Years-Old

The closer Nora gets to 3-years-old, the more I realize her interests are changing and growing faster and faster. She is starting to use things in new and interesting ways! This has forced me to do some intense observation to try and figure out exactly what she needs out right now. Nora's Montessori toddler materials at nearly 3-years-old include a variety of fine motor trays, language, and now sensorial work! 

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Here's a look at her tray work! 
Shape Sorting -- she kept asking for me to take this out and has used a bunch, I thought we were past it! 
Bead Lacing -- she is moving away from this and so actually removed it after I took a picture. 
Simple jigsaw puzzles -- this is a vintage puzzle that is getting to the end of its life, but Nora loves it. Here's a similar style
Lacing with Needle -- a simple DIY to introduce sewing, she is also moving on from this to a slightly more difficult version.

Shape and size sorting p…