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Showing posts from August, 2019

Book Rotation and Storage

It is no secret that I love children's books. Some (Morgan) might even say I have a problem with children's books, I love them so much. While, I've tried to keep my books as minimal as possible, I will fully admit, I'm a sucker for them. Now, I do try to keep our books Montessori friendly and as lovely as possible, so it's not EVERY children's book in the world. 

Anyway, this means we have a nice little library at home from which we rotate books. I don't keep all the books we have out all the time. That would be too overwhelming to any child and likely lead to less reading and more mess. Instead, I choose a few books to have out at any one time, then rotate  - much like other materials. I wanted to talk a bit about my process for storing and rotating books.  Storage My storage system is pretty straightforward and uncomplicated. In my office, I have some built in shelving and I keep any children's book that is not available to my children, at this momen…

Our Mini Montessori Nursery

As you may know, we’re busy checking off projects on the “before the baby is born” list around here. This weekend, I was focused on finally getting our mini-nursery space set up and ready for baby Theodore. 

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Typically, we’ve had our babies sleep in a bassinet in our master bedroom for the first couple of months. But, everything else (floor bed, clothes, changing table) has all been in the baby nursery. Well, this time, all of that will be in one space in our room. Gus is supposed to move out of the nursery and into the room he will share with Nora. But, Nora is having some sleep trouble (I’m blaming the new baby/summer routine for now) so his move has been delayed a bit. 
Anyway, our new little space is done. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. We are reusing the DIY wardrobe I made for Gus’ room. This contains everything we’ll need for those first couple months - so basically diapers and clothes. The drawer is storage for blanke…

I Do Not Believe in the Terrible Twos

Gus is right in the middle of what some people might call "the terrible twos." Most of the time when we're out in public and people ask how old he is and I tell them it is usually followed by "aren't two year olds the worst?" or "ahh, the terrible twos." There is almost a universal expectance that two-year-olds are somehow just horrible. 
And, I just feel like I have to say, I completely reject that. I LOVE 2-year-olds. They are amazing, curious, exploring, tiny humans. They have so many unique ideas and are open to so many possibilities. They are opinionated, they are passionate, they are truly at such an amazing time in human development. Yet, all we see are the difficult moments. 
I fully admit there can be some difficult moments as the parent/caregiver of a two-year-old. But, in those moments, we need to change our expectations as adults. We are perfectly willing to accept this myth of the "terrible twos" and see them as throwing a …

Puzzles for Preschoolers

Nora is in a bit of a puzzle phase lately. Her interest in puzzles has been something that has sort of ebbed and flowed throughout the years. But overall, she's always been my child with the most interest and skill for puzzles. And, I love that! Puzzles are a great, engaging material. They help to promote concentration, fine motor skills, repetition, and a growth mindset - among other skills. I especially love puzzles for visual spatial development, and learning to see the whole. 

But, this isn't the only way to use or develop these skills! As a parent of a child with ZERO interest in puzzles (Henry), I always feel like this should be mentioned. I get lots of frantic questions about puzzles and what to do if your child just shows no interest. And, my answer is always - follow your child's interests. Your child will be just fine! 

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Ok, back to puzzles for preschoolers. There are two types of puzzles I wanted to mention fo…

A Helpful Toddler Tool - A Toddler Helmet

When choosing materials for my toddler, I always try to keep a few things in mind,  (1) size (2) it's ability to be used independently. This is especially true when it comes to things like clothing, where you want something that your child can feel successful at and doesn't always have to come running to you for help. But, it applies to other things too - the cups we offer, practical life tools, and toys. It's always about finding that sweet spot between offering a challenge and providing independence. 

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Well, we found just the right tool this summer for Augustus - his toddler helmet. This is completely not-sponsored, I just really wanted to share this great Montessori friendly find. This toddler helmet from Bell has been perfect for a summer of biking, scootering, and riding all the assorted things. First, it's not covered in characters, which is not always easy to find in the world of toddler accessories! Plus, it …

Practical Life - Mopping

Augustus is in a huge mopping phase right now. Every day after lunch he seems to come up to me and announce that he's going to mop! Then, he proceeds to get his mop, a bucket, fill with some water, and mop away. None of this surprises me at all! Mopping is such a wonderful practical life work for him at this point. He requires some maximum effort, there is a nice water sensory aspect, and he gets some control over others requesting they stay off his newly mopped area. 

So basically, for Gus, mopping is a win, win, win! And, for me, it's a bit messy still but, hey at 34 weeks pregnant, I'm not exactly doing a ton of mopping on my own. If you're looking to introduce mopping in your home to your toddler, here are some tips.  Prepare the Environment The first thing to do before introducing any practical task to a toddler is prepare the environment for success. For us, this means (1) having the materials needed to complete the work and (2) having those materials accessible…

Planning for Our Winter Capsule Wardrobe

I know that it may be still technically summer time here in Minnesota but school is approaching fast. And, with that the birth of this little baby. The combination of those two things has me thinking about our fall and winter capsule wardrobes. I'm trying to get the kids the things they need now as I find them on sale and before I'm trying to hunt with a newborn. 
First, you may be asking "what is a capsule wardrobe?" It's basically a minimal wardrobe with a few coordinating and intentional pieces. For us, we started switching over to capsule about a year ago for Gus and now we have all moved in that direction. It helps keep us from having an overwhelming number of clothes for the children and ensures that everything we have is well loved and used. It's been brilliant on cutting back on the amount of laundry we have, and overall how much we are spending on clothes.


I've been sharing a little about this process on Instagram, but have gotten lots of request…

Montessori Inspiration from the New IKEA catalogue

I think everyone knows my love for all things IKEA, right? If not, I think IKEA is a great place to get materials that can be used in Montessori environments for a price that won't break the bank. I swear they must have a Montessori consultant - hahah - because so many of their products work so well in a Montessori home. Recently, the new 2019 catalogue was released and I LOVE cuddling up with it for inspiration.
So, I thought I would share a few Montessori friendly new-to-me or new-to-IKEA finds. Here's what spoke to me:

1. MELLĂ–SA picture ledge - I'm obsessed with this clear picture ledge! The acrylic makes it so you can see the whole picture/book/item you put on it and I love that.
2. Nordrana Baskets - who doesn't love a soft basket for a good price? These look nice for organizing toys or other small materials.
3. Godmorgon Storage Organizers - Again, I have a thing for acrylic storage containers, while natural materials are often preferred in Montessori environme…