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Showing posts from December, 2019

The Easiest Toddler Christmas Tree

'Tis the season for little hand to want to touch your Christmas tree! And, hey, I'm all for exploration of beautiful and real objects for children. Therefore, we let even our toddlers help to decorate our real tree. But, once that is over, the tree is only for exploring with our eyes (and noses!) We don't decorate and redecorate it but use it as an opportunity to practice patience, waiting and self control. 

This is no easy task for a younger child! Over the last couple years, it has been easier at our house with a toddler tree! I'm sure you have seen tons of versions of toddler trees on the internet, but this idea works so well here that I had to share. 
It's simple to set up! Just a small tree (you choose the size you want for the space) and a basket of pom-poms! We use a 24" prelighted tree and large poms for ours but really it can work at any scale. The poms stick to the branches so even the youngest toddler can put them on, and they can be removed super …

Movement Quotes to Consider - Montessori Baby Week 13

This week something new and exciting has started happening with Teddy - wiggly little movements are starting to make progress. He isn't rolling yet, but all of a sudden he is on the move. You put him down on one spot and find that he is slowly but surely making his way to somewhere else. At this point, I think it's just exploring his ability to move and not intentionally moving toward one object in particular. He may not actually be trying to move either, but his more intentional movement are getting him places. It's been fun to watch (especially after Gus who struggled with movement.) 

In these pictures Teddy was put horizontal with the mirror under the mobile. And over the course of 30 minutes, he moved himself all the way around and eventually off of the rug completely. It was fantastic to watch. In honor of all this movement, I wanted to share a few quotes on why I see movement as such a big milestone and how to support it going forward. 
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DIY Book Making Kit Idea

Last night Nora says to me, "Mom, I have so many ideas but I don't know how to make a book." This simple statement made me leap for joy because sitting right now in my closet is a book making kit that I'm giving her for Christmas. I can't wait to give it to her and see all the ways she uses it to create. I remember how much interest Henry had in making books around this age and how helpful having all those supplies in one place would have been for him.


If you have a child that is right on the cusp of moving to writing/creating more purposefully with paper and pen, this might be the perfect way to introduce it. 
The kit itself is really pretty simple! I used this simple stacking organizer to collect the materials. A more open divided tray could also work, but I didn't want Gus (and soon Teddy) to be able to easily open or dump the work. Plus with the top, Nora will be able to carry around.


I included some supplies to make and decorate books in the divided. Th…

Week By Week Activities for Newborns - Montessori Baby Week 12

Now that Teddy has hit 12 weeks, I wanted to do a little activity recap from his time as a newborn. Sometimes it can feel like we have to do so much with our babies, but I don't want it to feel like this with this list. This was just one thing we did that week. The majority of the time, Teddy spent nursing, sleeping, and snuggling. 
Also, looking at this list, don't think he only did these activities that week. Many are on going even now. The time indicates when I introduced the activity, not the duration of the work. Remember too, this is Teddy's timeline! Your child might have different interests, skills, or timetable. 
With all that said, here's Teddy's activities for the first 12 weeks of life: 

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Birth to Week 1: Snuggling on the Topponcino
1 Week Old: DIY Munari Inspired Mobile | Munari Mobile
2 Weeks Old: Tummy Time with Black and White Images {we used this book}


3 Weeks Old: Outdoor Walks and Naps
4 Weeks Old:

Preparing Your Environment for Independence with Washi Tape

Let's talk about my new favorite hack for preparing our home environment for independence! Washi tape! A simple little roll of paper tape is helping to give my children more independence than ever before by providing a visual clue of what my children can and cannot use within the environment. This has been especially important in our multi-children, non-readers environment. 
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Basically, what I'm doing is labeling items with the washi tape! In our house, Gus is fox and Nora is flamingos (Henry has globes but as a reader he doesn't really need a visual clue.) I place the washi tape on something that they need help remember which is theres. This way they can use the item without needing to ask which is theres or even with any adult led direction. I use this tape specifically because it comes in a variety of patterns and it comes off surfaces cleanly. 

So, a couple examples. One, Gus and Nora have very different hair types s…

Developing the Senses - Visual

I've said this before, but  developing the senses is such an important concept in Montessori that I want to talk about it again (and likely again and again!) It is through the senses that children learn, grow and develop. This learning does not stop at the doors of the classroom, or magically appear when a child enters school. It's through the senses that a child is constantly and continuously developing -- from birth.  The training of the senses must begin in the formative period of life if we wish to perfect them later through education and make sense of them in any particular human skill. Maria Montessori Last time I dove into the sense of hearing, but here I want to examine the visual sense. A child's sense of vision will be so important for so much learning. Now, I'm not talking eye sight here, but their ability to track objects, to identify subtle differences, to focus on specific parts of an object - to use their eyes for deeper evaluation.


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2019 Christmas Presents

In the past, I've often shared what was on my kids' gift lists, but this year I thought I would actually share a few of the purchases I actually made since I got my shopping done earlier than I normally do. If you are looking for some Montessori friendly ideas, I hope this gives you some inspiration.  

Henry This year, Henry almost 9-years-old! (How did that happen?!) He was my easiest to shop for since he has some strong play preferences and interests. The fossil set will be perfect for his interest in rocks/gems/geography. I'm pairing with a book so he can research more on the subject. Lego is an all time favorite, and so are play silks! The castle was something he asked for specifically. The game is something I think he and Nora will both love! 
Fossil Set + Book | Guess Who | Lego Bases | Playmobil Castle | Black Play Silk 
Nora This year Nora is 5.5-years-old! She was by far my hardest to shop for! I 100% stole the treehouse and jewelry loom ideas from Free and Unfett…

Exploring with Feet - Montessori Baby Week 11

Following your baby's interests can seem like sort of a daunting task at times, especially when they can't talk to you or even move all that much. But there are subtle clues for us to pick up and offer experiences related to those clues. This is the power of observation in Montessori.

At his age (just under 3 months) we often talk about the importance of the hand. And, that should not be underestimated. But, this week, I've noticed a strong new interest for Teddy, and that's in moving and kicking his feet. By taking notice of this interest, I'm able to prepare his space and our materials to meet this need for him to move in this way. 
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Here were some signs that he was interested in moving his legs/feet around:  kicking in excitement when he sees someone/something noticing that during play he is literally wiggling right out of his pants his feet and legs kick up every time he is put down to sleep/waking up kicking…

5 Ways to Use a Movable Alphabet at Home

The moveable alphabet is one of my favorite Montessori materials for ages 3-6. It really is genius. Dr. Montessori found that children were able and interested in writing before they could read. So, in Montessori the act of writing is actually taught first, and it's through this writing that children start to read. Children often have so many thoughts and feelings that they want to get out, but often lack the motor control to physically write all of these things. This is where the moveable alphabet comes in. It takes away the need to physically write the letters while giving children the ability to write. It's one small adaptation that makes such a world of a difference to a child. 
READ MORE ABOUT THE MOVABLE ALPHABET HERE
I'm sure there are almost endless ways that your child can come up with to use the letters of the moveable alphabet but here are 5 ways that we have used the moveable alphabet here at home. 

1.  Language Objects/Cards
You'll need: language objects (…