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Shelf Help S2 Ep. 6 - Development of the Hand

In her books, Dr. Montessori talks so much about the importance of hand development for children. Their hands are literally their instruments as they explore the world around them. In this week's episode, Nicole and Amy talk about the development of the hand and some ways that we help a child develop their hand from birth on in preparation for writing and for life.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.    Show Notes... DIY Color Matching Pegs for Toddlers Bell Rattle   Tactile Mobiles Discovery Baskets First Puzzles Crayon Rocks   Toddler Art Ideas Threading   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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Christmas Themed Art Trays

It's the Christmas season for us! For us that means that we engage in a lot of special traditions that help us celebrate and feel the warmth and love of this time of year. Typically, I don't do a lot of themed trays for my children but, on occasion, I do make some exceptions for holidays. It honestly depends on how much energy and creativity I feel like I have! It is in no way required and is honestly just a fun extra. 
I thought I would share our Christmas themed art trays this year. They are mostly simple, easy ideas to bring just a little holiday cheer into our day-to-day work options. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 
From top to bottom, left to right:  Pom-pom Tree: (sorry no source for this actual work) Here the kids can decorate the little tree over and over again with the pom-poms. Its a great little creative work while still providing some excellent fine motor work. It's been particularly popular with Teddy. Pin-Punched Trees: This is a simple pi…

Montessori Prepared Adults Wait

In Montessori, adults play an important role - that of the prepared adult. We are called prepared adults for many reasons and we have many roles to play. But, as parents, how can we become prepared? Often, it's simple little changes we can make in our behavior toward children that help us take on the role of the prepared adult. One of the easiest, and most important, things we can do as prepared adults is simply wait. 
Right now we are entering the holiday season, and my 2-year-old Teddy provided me with the perfect example of my own need to wait. We were outside trying to get back in from a school pickup and he stopped and looked at every single Christmas bulb hung along the path to our house. Slowly he even lowered himself to the ground to look at those near the bottom. That exploration required me to access some serious patience, and just wait for him to be done with this important work. Same when Gus recently got a new lego set for his fifth birthday. Waiting for him to figure …

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 SantaAn 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. 
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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. 
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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…