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Showing posts from July, 2017

Montessori Weaning Cup -- Montessori Baby Week 34

One way that Montessori is different from mainstream parenting is that we insist on giving children -- even the youngest children -- real experiences. We believe that they are capable of experiencing so much more in the world than they are often given credit for. 
This is especially true with learning to eat. Montessori babies are given the opportunity to learn how to use real materials from the start. This includes using real utensils, plates and cups. These all provide an opportunity for independence while showing a baby respect and trust.  

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However, just like with the weaning spoon, it's important to pick a tool that will help your baby become successful. Handing a baby any old glass won't have the same result as giving them a glass that is a good size and shape. We want to provide opportunities for independence, but also set them up to be as successful as possible. 
The solution for our family is this tiny glass from I…

Home from Montessori Children's House

A little over a month ago, Henry finished his kindergarten year at the public Montessori school he attends. He had a wonderful year and grew in ways that I wasn't even expecting. My plan for the summer was to just take it easy, let him play and see where he led us.
After a couple weeks, it's clear that Henry missed his school community. He started asking for work -- very specific Montessori classroom materials. Since it's not feasible for us to recreate his classroom, as much as he would like that, I have been trying to follow his interests and create Montessori inspired work to fit his interests.
Math Henry loves math and it was one of the areas he spent a lot of his time in his classroom. So, it's not shocking it's the first place where he has asked for work. Here are some things we've done:
Word Problems -- Here I simply write out funny little problems, usually involving him and Nora and asking him to add some amount of something. We have some Montessori mat…

Moving, Moving -- Montessori Baby Week 33

Augustus has been sick all week with a high fever, but that hasn't stopped him from doing the one thing he really wants to do -- move. Movement is such a huge part of his life these days. Some days it feels like all he does is roll from one end of the room to the other looking for any weaknesses in our baby proofing efforts. And, you know what? That's totally fine. It's actually more than fine, it's perfect. 

"One of the most thrilling achievements for a child is learning to move himself through space to get to a desired object." Susan Mayclin Stephenson

It's hard in practice, but the freedom of movement is paramount to any of our own desires as parents. But, for me, this time it's been the most difficult to remember that this not only includes the freedom to move when and how he wants, but also the freedom to develop this movement at his own pace. I wanted to share this because I think in the Montessori and RIE online communities there is a tendency…

Montessori Toddler in the Kitchen at 3-years-old

With Nora being 3-years-old now, we are starting to leave the toddler years behind. This fall she will enter Children's House and a whole new world of discovery will open up for her. But, even at 3-years-old, and before entering school, she is so exceedingly capable. Kitchen tasks, in particular, are a favorite of hers. 
So, today I wanted to share a list of some of the things that a new 3-year-old, like Nora, could be doing in the kitchen. This list is by no means exhaustive. It is just a list of the things I can think of that Nora enjoys. Use it as inspiration, and remember to follow your own child's lead.  

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Food Preparation Gathering necessary items for baking
Measuring out small amounts of food
Pouring and mixing pre-measured ingredients
Washing fruits and vegetables
Making tea or lemonade
Slicing fresh fruits and vegetables
Cracking an egg
Beating an egg
Making a sandwich
Following simple recipes with guidance


Make instan…

Observing through Art with a Buddha Zen Scroll

Observation is such a critical skill for a Montessori parent. Yet, the ability to sit back and watch, really watch, your child is not an easy thing to do. There are so many distractions in modern life, so many pressures to push your children, and so many voices telling you what they should or should not being doing. It can be so easy to forget that your child already knows what he or she needs and is working to get there.

One of my personal favorite things to observe is a children engaged in artistic expression. It's literally like getting a glimpse into their soul. You get to see how they see the world, you get insight into what drives them, what challenges them, what's funny to them, and so much more.

It's also a rare opportunity to watch their hands move. To see their strength in action. To observe changes in their physical growth that can otherwise be difficult to notice. Suddenly, your child is holding that brush so beautifully, is drawing straight lines, or is formi…

10 Montessori Inspired Trays from Instagram

My love affair with all things Instagram and Montessori is showing a little bit with this post! There are just so much great Montessori inspiration on IG, I could literally spend hours browsing through it all. While I often lust over the wonderful Montessori spaces and parenting anecdotes on Instagram, there are also tons of great Montessori inspired materials and work to use as inspiration as well. 

So, I thought I would share some of my recent finds! Here are 10 Montessori inspired trays from Instagram to consider for your work shelves! 
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A post shared by Mindful Learning (@mindful.learning) on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:39pm PDT
I love this simple posting work from Mindful Learning! This would be great for an older baby or young toddler, and it could easily be adapted into an object permanence work! These Grimms marbles would be wonderful for this kind of tray. 
A post shared by Mojca iz Montessori Doma (@montessoridoma) on Jun 7, 2017 at …

Spinning Top Toys

At Christmas, I needed a little something to put in Henry's stocking so I picked up a little top {number 8} to include. And, a love affair with spinning tops in our home began. They are such great little toys for building hand strength, concentration, and self control. And, as it turns out, they are just gorgeous toys! The more I look for tops, the more I want to look! 

So, I thought I would share some of my favorite spinning top finds with you! And, as a bonus for those of you that live in Europe, you guys have so many more beautiful options than we have here! Some of these were tops I found when creeping on European sites.
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top 1top 2 | top 3 | top 4 | top 5top 6 | top 7 | top 8 | top 9 | top 10 | top 11 | top 12 | top 13 | top 14 | top 15 | top 16

I know there are so many more tops I could have listed here! And each one is more beautiful than the next! I wish I could have looked at more from Europe but the language barr…

Baby Proofing with a Montessori Floor Bed

Using a Montessori floor bed with an infant is so incredible. Like I mentioned in my previous post, there are big differences between using the floor bed and a traditional crib. The biggest one being freedom of movement. With the freedom to get in and out of bed, it is very important that the nursery {or sleeping space} is safe. Therefore, baby proofing with a Montessori floor bed is really important.

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For me, it was important for me to know that the sleeping space is safe so that I could get a good night's sleep. When I know the space is safe for Gus to play in, even at night, then I have felt much more comfortable following his lead and letting him explore. 
Before I share what we have done to get to this place, I just want to know that I'm just talking about what has worked for our family. When making your own sleeping space, you need to do what you are most comfortable with. I am not by any means an expert of sleep and I…

Realities of a Montessori Floor Bed -- Montessori Baby Week 32

Augustus has been our first baby that has used a floor bed from birth. Nora and Henry both moved to floor beds as toddlers -- Henry at 2-years-old and Nora around 14-months. But, before that they slept in a traditional crib in their own rooms. So, moving to a floor bed has been a big change, but actually quite a pleasant one! 

Before I go on, I wanted to make it clear that I am in NO way a sleep expert or anything. Sleep can be an intensely dividing issue and I'm here only to share our experience. Everyone will take different safety measures in their homes and should take their own comfort levels into consideration when making sleep decisions. This is simply what is working for us at this time. 
Gus started using his floor bed for daytime naps around 7 weeks old. Then, around 3-months, I put Gus down on his floor bed for what I thought would be a late evening nap and he ended up sleeping for six hours. We tried again the next night, and same result, so we made the switch. Augustus…

Family Meals -- Montessori Baby Week 31

Introducing solid food to your baby can be such an exciting time! But, weaning -- as we call it in Montessori -- can also be nerve wracking and stressful too. For me, there's always been this sort of dread over whether or not we are making the right feeding choices, how we are going to make it work in reality, and how to create this positive relationship with food. Montessori weaning has provided a lot of answers, especially when it comes to family meals.


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It's weaning time -- that is time to introduce solid food, not stopping breastfeeding -- with Augustus! So, I wanted to share how we are approaching family meals. There can sometimes be this misconception about Montessori weaning that small children eat alone at weaning tables instead of with their family. This simply isn't true. Eating is a communal activity and babies and other young children should be involved in the process. 

With Nora, we all ate at the weaning t…