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Top 10 Posts for 2018

As 2018 winds down, I wanted to take some time to thank all of you who have stopped by The Kavanaugh Report this year. I feel so incredibly lucky to have this wonderful community of people that share in the joy of Montessori with me here and on social media. I feel like every time any of us chooses Montessori for our children we are moving the world toward a better future. In the words of Maria Montessori, "it is hoped that when the sentiment of love for all subjects can be aroused in children, people in general will become more human."


I always love to end the year with a look at the top posts. So, without further ado, here were the top 10 posts on The Kavanaugh Report for 2018...

10. PLAY KITCHENS AND MONTESSORI HOMES

9. THE NEED TO THROW -- MONTESSORI YOUNG TODDLER WEEK 8

8. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO "FOLLOW THE CHILD?"

7. 5 THINGS I DO EVERYDAY AS A MONTESSORI PARENT

6. DIY {IKEA HACK} WASH BASIN

5. MONTESSORI TODDLER WARDROBE - IKEA BESTA HACK

4. RESPECTING CHILDR…

Montessori Friendly Play - A Visual Timeline 3 to 6 Months

Today, I’m continuing my Montessori friendly play visual timeline project with months 3 to 6. 
SEE PART 1: BIRTH TO 3 MONTHS HERE
In this timeline, you can see there is a slight shift away from visual development to the development of the hand. It’s during their period that most babies will start to grasp, mouth, move, and explore more in their environment. 
Remember, this is just one possible way to introduce Montessori materials to your baby. You do not need everything on this list, and your baby might not enjoy everything on these lists at the exact time listed. These are approximate and will change slightly based on each individual child! Use this as a guide and not a strict schedule.
This is also not meant to include EVERYTHING a baby could use at this time. It gives you a general idea of the types of things a baby might enjoy at this time, but not necessarily a comprehensive list of everything available. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 
Here's a look at…

A Look at Bedtime - Preschoolers and Elementary

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we approach bedtime with babies and toddlers. Basically our approach can be summed up with the words "flexible routine." We follow the child and give space to allow our kids to follow their natural rhythm. And, we follow much the same routine as our children get older. We want to give them the space to follow their own sleep needs while respecting the fact that young children crave order and routine. 
Again, I want to say, I'm not a sleep expert. I am simply sharing what works for our family. This doesn't mean my kids are amazing sleepers. This means that I feel good about the amount of respect we are showing them and the amount of rest they are getting each day. 
Preschool (3ish to 6ish) Much like when they were toddlers, I feel like my kids have always settled into a sleep routine throughout their preschool years. This routine is supported by our own simple evening schedule. Post dinner includes baths , then pjs, then a family rea…

Montessori Friendly Play -- A Visual Timeline 0-3 Months

There are so many amazing Montessori baby toys and play ideas out there. With so many choices, and a brand new baby, it can be difficult to decide when to introduce what. So, I thought I would create a visual timeline for Montessori friendly play for the first year of life! This is the first post in a series of posts, broken up in 3 month sections. Below the timeline are some resources to learn more about each of these materials. 
Now, this is just one possible way to introduce Montessori materials to your baby. You do not need everything on this list, and your baby might not enjoy everything on these lists at the exact time listed. These are approximate and will change slightly based on each individual child! Use this as a guide and not a strict schedule! 
This is also not meant to include EVERYTHING a baby could use at this time. It gives you a general idea of the types of things a baby might enjoy at this time, but not necessarily a comprehensive list of everything available. 
Her…

Scooter and Ride On Toys for Toddlers

Believe it or not, Augustus just turned 2-years-old a couple weeks ago! I don't know how time is flying so fast, but somehow it is. With his birthday, Gus seems to have a new sudden interest in gross motor skills. Gus has always been on the slower end of things when it comes to developing these skills - especially if you compare him to Nora/Henry who were both walking well before their first birthdays. Part of it is Gus's personality and own developmental path, part of it is his low muscle tone.

All that is to say, that Gus is just now starting to become interested in ride on toys. It all seems to click all of a sudden and he takes pleasure riding around the house on his little scooter bike. Nora was doing the same thing by 12/13 months. And, Henry, I think even earlier. So, it's been a great reminder about how all children are on their own path to skills. Whether fast or slow, it doesn't matter.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |…

Celebrating Advent with Children - How we Use an Advent Spiral

With Advent here, our family is focusing our attention as much as possible on preparing for Christmas. For us, this means preparing for Christmas in the religious sense. Maria Montessori recognized the great connection that children had to God and their great capacity for a religious life. Even from a very young age (our formal religious instruction begins at 3), children have an immense capacity to know and understand God. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. "The child must be permitted to penetrate into his supernatural life in his own peculiar manner. Even in the presence of God the child must remain a child...Respect for the child's nature, which God himself demands of us, compels us to search most carefully for those conditions in which children can abandon themselves most easily to God." Maria Montessori, The Child in the Church But, as Maria said, children are still children. So we must find a way to reach them in religious instruction in their …

Self-Care and the Prepared Adult

In this place in my life, as a mom of 3 kids, I find that often self-care is at the bottom of my list of priorities. I find that I often place myself last on my own list of priorities. And, you know what I can always tell when that happens. I start feeling like I'm dragging, I get snippy with my kids and I have a harder time seeing the bigger picture in a lot of issues. Basically, without self-care, I find myself unprepared for the realities of parenting three small children. 

Obviously, being unprepared is a problem. It's not fair to myself or to my children. Maria Montessori too talked about the importance of a prepared adult. She recognized that adults had a vital and important role in the life of a child. But not just any adult - a prepared adult. Maria stressed the importance of shaping ourselves for this work. For turning our focus not to the child but to ourselves and to the environment. As Montessori said, "the adult himself is part of the child's environment…

Practical Stocking Stuffer Ideas - Baby to Elementary

'Tis the season for thinking about gifts for your children. But, it can be completely overwhelming to think about getting a whole bunch of new toys for your home. Gift giving season can also be a great time to add to the practical materials your child has access to. These often make great stocking stuffers because of their child-friendly size! So, don't be afraid to skip toys in your child's stocking in favor of something a bit more practical. 

Here are some ideas:
Babieswool hat
first utensils 
bib (or weaning set)
swaddle blanket
first pitcher 
art smock (will be big on smaller babies)
ToddlersToddler bib
toddler apron 
wavy chopper knife 
trainer undies
squeege 
plant duster
mini whisk
magnifying glass
Preschool/Children's Housemini tools
flashlight
oven mitts
nylon knifes 
Sharper knife and finger guard
hair care products
binoculars
6+ years old Knife Journal  Pocket Knife Set of house keys  Larger apron Glass beaker set Reading Light Don't forget about practical life this holiday …

Easy Toddler Tray - Washi Tape Pull

Curious little toddlers seem to always be pulling something apart, don't they? Not only are they in the sensitive period for small objects - which makes them extra aware of all those little details around us - they are also seeking to develop their fine motor skills. That's not to mention the sensitive period for order which creates in the child a desire to have everything just in its place. So, it's no wonder that little toddlers find tiny pieces of fuzzy on the carpet and sit and pick it apart. Or the stickers off of clothes in a shop. Or any little thing that is out of place. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Gus totally is in this phase right now. So, I recently put together a little tray for him to help capture his attention during this time. And, its so completely simple. Basically, it's just washi tape and a plastic tray. Simple, simple! 
I put the washi tape on the tray, Gus pulls it off. He then gathers and throws the little pieces away (…

Our Montessori Friendly Christmas List 2018

With the holidays right around the corner, I always get lots of questions about what is on my kid's actual Christmas lists. While you can find lots of Montessori friendly toy ideas here, this list is specifically curated to the things that I think will appeal most to my kids. But, there are tons of ideas here if you are looking for your kids!


This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Now, remember, these are just the lists that I've made. My kids will NOT get all of this for Christmas. Depending on sales and availability, I will pick a few things for each of them, plus a couple of joint gifts. The lists have also been passed on to Grandparents/etc who request ideas for the kids.  Henry Henry will be 8 in March! His ideas reflect his current interests. They are still hands on, and interactive, but for the first time ever technology has been included on our list. I've highlighted the ones I'm leaning towards buying. 
FIND MORE IDEAS FOR  6 TO 10 YEAR OLDS HERE…

A Look at Bedtime - Babies and Toddlers

One of the questions I get the most is, "what does bedtime look like at your house?" And the short answer is that this changes based on the age of the child you're talking about. Every child, just like with anything, is different and has his/her own sleep patterns and rhythms. We as adults try to respect that and still make the routine work for us.
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 
Maria Montessori's own influences certainly play a role in how we approach bedtime. Some quotes that we keep in mind around bedtime {from The Secret of Childhood} include: 
"He has need of and certainly should get, a normal amount of sleep, but it is necessary to distinguish between what is suitable and what is artificially induced. A stronger person through  suggestion can impose his own will upon one who is weaker. An adult who forces a child to sleep more than he needs is unconsciously forcing his own will upon the child through the power of suggestion." M…