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Montessori Toddler: When everything is "NO"

"Hey Teddy, do you want a cookie too?" "NO!" "Teddy, should we go outside?" "NO!" "We need to clean up this work." "NO!" No, no, no, no, no. It's probably Ted's most used word now at just over 2-years-old. All day, everyday. If this was my first experience with a toddler, I know my frustration would be starting to mount. Why is he suddenly so contrary? Why wont he listen? What does he want?! I know he wants that cookie, why is he saying no? I know he wants to go play outside. But everything thing is no.  Thankfully, this isn't my first dip into the lovely age and this isn't my first time with 2-year-olds. So, this time I can laugh and watch Teddy with wonder as he learns to confidently exert his independence in the world. This kind of behavior is exactly what I want to see in my older children. I want them to clearly state what they need, to set boundaries, and express their feelings. So I need to foster it in
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Shelf Help Season 2 Ep. 1 - Welcome Back!

Shelf Help season 2 is here! Nicole and Amy are back with new episodes of Shelf Help to share more about their journey as Montessori parents. In this week's episode, we're reintroducing ourselves and catching up from the summer off.  Show Notes...Amy's InstagramNicole's Instagram  Thanks for joining me for today's podcast! If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share and leave a review in your favorite podcast app.
If you are interested in finding Shelf Help in a podcast app, it is available on Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Google. 
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Montessori Play at Almost 5-years-old

It's amazing to me that my soon-to-be middle child, Gus, is already going to be 5-years-old in just a few short weeks. How is the second plane of development almost upon us again? Time goes so quickly, so so quickly. But, right now, I'm just soaking up all the first plane of development bliss that I can before he officially becomes a little-big kid. 

As an older 4-year-old, I find Gus's interests pretty fascinating. He loves all things fine motor. His desire and need to refine his fine motor skills has hit peak after peak lately. Nearly all his play (or work) revolves around some sort of fine motor task. Lately he's been far less interested in things like model animals, trucks and cars, and far more interested in anything that requires small movements of his hand. He's into smaller and smaller puzzle pieces, sewing, art, and even writing tasks. Here are a few glimpses at Montessori play at almost 5-years-old:  Montessori Friendly Toys
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Montessori with Teens - Guest Post with Sarah Moudry

Today I'm happy to welcome Sarah Moudry to The Kavanaugh Report. I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah and her children a couple of years ago and was inspired by seeing Montessori in action with adolescences. Sarah is an AMI- trained Montessori teacher and parent. She runs the wonderful Studio June, Montessori play spaces and consults with families and schools around the world. Don't miss her books, Toliet Awareness and First Foods to Family Meals. Enjoy this look at Montessori parenting with teens! ___________
I often get asked, “What does Montessori look like for teens?” For young children, because of the explosion of social media posts labeled Montessori, the general belief is that Montessori is perfectly placed wooden toys on natural low shelves, and tiny sinks and dishes. That can definitely be part of it. However, the way I see it is Montessori is how we live together as a family and in a community. And sometimes that means we have beautiful spaces, and sometimes that means…

Finger Knitting in our Montessori Home

There's a craze that has hit my house for the third time over the last couple of years. A craze that captives my children and leaves them busily working for hours at a time in deep concentration! That craze is finger knitting! Finger knitting is the process of weaving together yarn to make long rope like strands using a number of fingers. I'm not going to pretend like I'm some finger knitting expert by any means, because that definitely falls to my children. 

This time it's Gus' turn to be completely obsessed with finger knitting. He will sit and finger knit any ball of yarn that he can get his hands on. And it will literally go on for hours. One morning he sat and finger knit for 3 hours straight. I couldn't believe it. He then tied all his strands together to make a long rope which he used to create an obstacle course in my living room. 
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Gus and Nora both learned to finger knit around age 4 and quickly picked…

Shelf Help Ep. 59 - Puzzles

Puzzles are such fun Montessori friendly toys. While not every child will enjoy using a puzzle, there is a large variety of puzzles available that children might be interested in. In this week's mini-episode, Nicole and Amy share why they move puzzles so much for children. And, they talk about some of their favorite types of puzzles, and the order in which they introduce each to their children.  
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Show Notes...Mirror PuzzleSingle Shape PuzzlesMultiple CirclesMultiple ShapesBannor Toys Shape Puzzle2 piece jigsawFloor Puzzles4 piece cube puzzlePattern PlayGeorge Luck Layer Puzzle Thanks for joining me for today's podcast! If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share and leave a review in your favorite podcast app.
If you are interested in finding Shelf Help in a podcast app, it is available on Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Google. 
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Kavanaugh Baby Number 5!

I don't think it's a massive secret that I love babies. I mean, I really love them. I love toddlers too, but babies. Oh, babies. So, it probably comes as no big surprise to announce that I am once again pregnant. Baby Kavanaugh number 5 is solidly on the way. 
The bummer about me really loving babies and continuing to have a bunch of them is that my body doesn't love pregnancy as much as my brain loves babies. So, it's been a rough few months as I ease into bringing another life to this earth. You may have noticed that meant I took a break from posting this past summer and things will likely be a bit slower around here for awhile. I'm definitely feeling better now, and probably as normal as I'm going to feel, but the first 17-18 weeks of this pregnancy were really tough. The first 15 weeks, I struggled with extreme morning sickness. Then, it took a couple more weeks for me to see any energy return. 

Now, I'm almost 21 weeks and feeling pretty good, probably a…