Skip to main content


Shelf Help S2 Ep. 5 - Supporting Your Children Through the Holidays

The holidays can be a difficult time for children with a lot of uncertainty, lack of routine, and lots of relatives. In this week's episode Nicole and Amy, talk about how to emotionally support your children through the holiday season. From opening gifts, to large family gatherings and using manners we address some Montessori strategies to deal with these common hurdles with small children.  Show Notes... Shelf Help Ep. 34 - Christmas Traditions...Montessori Style! Shelf Help Ep. 31 - Our Approaches toward Santa An Advent Calendar Idea - A Book a Day   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 .  ---
Recent posts

Math Fact Practice with Montessori Elementary Kids

There are so many reasons to love the Montessori materials and method. The hands on approach makes mathematical concepts accessible to even the smallest of children. All the different material options really give children the opportunity to practice and learn the concepts in a way that makes the most sense to them. But after age 6, during the second plane of development a shift begins to occur in children. They move from children in need of concrete materials to illuminate math concepts to more abstract learners. 

Much like traditional methods of teaching math, these abstract learners begin to rely less and less on physical materials to support their math work and more on their mental understanding of the concepts. One important step in making this leap is learning and memorizing math facts. Instead of needing to use a material (including their fingers) to remember that 7+3=10, they need to just quickly remember that the answer is 10. These little equations help them more quickly and e…

Shelf Help Season 2 Ep. 4 - Cleaning Up!

One of the challenges that many parents face is the clutter and mess that comes with having children. In this week's episode, Nicole and Amy address the process of teaching your child to clean up and restore work in a Montessori environment. They share how this process evolves from babies and toddlers to preschoolers and elementary aged children and the importance of the prepared environment in this process. Show Notes...Siblings with RivalryHitting, Biting, Pinching -- Montessori Young ToddlerCleaning with Your Baby -- Montessori Baby Week 39The Powerful Unconscious Absorbent MindA Cycle of Activity 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. 

Montessori Friendly Small Shop Finds 2021

The holidays are almost here and I thought I would share some of the things I am drooling over this holiday season from small shops. I know there are so many more amazing shops that deserve to be on this list but here are a few of my favorite finds. Remember, this year in particular, it's important to shop early to ensure things are delivered in time for the holidays!

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. For the Home Sprout Kids Display Bookcase: We love our bookcase, it's the perfect size for the whole family. Montessori Mug: This is just hilarious and I love it.  Wooden Toy Refinishing Kit: Perfect for freshening up wooden materials! Wooden Tray with Handles: This is a gorgeous looking tray for Montessori work.  Sprout Kids Chowki Floor Table: I really want one of these for our playroom. Fabric Wall Decals: these are really beautiful in person and great for creating a lovely child-friendly space Babies Single Shape Mirror Puzzle Sights and Sounds Texture Cards: These h…

Books for Potty Learning

Potty learning can be such a fun (and sometimes frustrating) process for your child and for you. We are asking our child, although slowly, to change their routine around elimination. This can be a change that many welcome as they move to a new phase of craving independence. For some, it can be a little scary, frustrating, or maybe they don't even care. 
At just over 2-years-old, Teddy is pretty much finished with his potty learning journey. We are still working a bit on some areas but he is in undies full-time while awake and is very successful at this point. One thing that Teddy has really enjoyed during this process is reading about poop and using the toilet. Actually, I found this helpful with all of my children. So I thought I would share some good options for books about learning to use the potty. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
Going to the Potty (Mr. Rogers)* | Everyone Poops* | How Do You Poo? | Potty/Bacinica | Where Do You Poop?* | How Do You Know You…

RIE Stool - Ditching Chairs for Babies and Toddlers

For the past nine (almost 10 years) Montessori really has had my heart. But around the time Nora was born, seven-years-ago, I started also diving into the work of Magda Gerber. Magda is the founder of Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE. Last spring I finally dove more seriously into the world of RIE and took the RIE foundations training course. In so many ways RIE and Montessori are really complementary. In some ways, they are even very similar. And, in others still, they are very different. 
One way that the RIE and Montessori approaches are different is with their choice of young children's seating. In a Montessori environment, babies and toddlers use small chairs for meals and play. For eating these chairs are called "weaning chairs" and are used at a small table from the time a baby can sit supported. In RIE small flat stool. Children use these stools on their own timetable when they are able to climb and sit completely independently. 

I definitely see advantages a…

Montessori Toddler: Transitioning To New Clothes

Let's just say that Teddy is a particular human. As far as flexible people go, he isn't on the list. Teddy likes his routine, his materials, his clothes...just so. And, honestly, that's not that unique for toddlers in general. Toddlers especially around age 2 are deep into the sensitive period for order. As Maria Montessori reminds us, "a child of this age notices a lack of order in the least details which escape the notice of adults and even older children" (Secret of Childhood.) This means that changes in things like the clothes they are wearing, the activities they are doing, the decor, or in the materials on the shelf are noticed. And sometimes those changes can be really upsetting. 
One change that has been really hard for Teddy this Autumn has been the change from his summer clothes to his fall and winter wardrobe. He didn't want new long sleeved shirts or pants. He wanted his same tank tops and shorts from the summer time. That wouldn't be a huge pr…