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Monday, February 27, 2017

3 Steps to Create a Montessori Inspired Reading Area

Reading is a hugely important part of our daily lives. Not a single day goes by where we are not reading for an hour or more during the day. In order to make our house as reading friendly as possible, we have several reading areas set up throughout our home. This post features our main reading space in our common living room and 3 Steps to Create a Montessori Inspired Reading Area of your own. Just as we prepare our home for other independent activity -- dressing, eating, working -- it's also important to prepare the environment for reading. "Having prepared an environment scaled to the child and having been exposed to the freedom created by his impulses toward activity, we have seen characteristics in the child who is tranquilly at work that have never been seen before." Maria Montessori  3 Steps to Make a Montessori Inspired Reading Area Creating a child-friendly, independent reading space doesn't have to be hard at all! In fact, a beautiful Montessori ...
Friday, February 24, 2017

What We're Reading -- February

I love books, and especially children's books, but it can be so hard to find picture books that fit Montessori ideals. Specifically, books that are realistic, beautiful and light on fantasy. When I find books like this, I want to just shout them from the roof tops! So, here's a look at what we're reading this month.  Henry and Mudge and the Wild Goose Chase / Googles / Blueberries for Sal * / Henry and Mudge and Annie's Perfect Pet / Wonderful Houses Around the World / How To Be A Cat / Leopards / Beyond the Pond * / Is It Rough? Is It Smooth? Is It Shiny? / The Sound of Silence / Loose Tooth * / The Journey / Grandma's House / How To * denotes some elements of fantasy  My favorite was How To! Nora loved Grandma's House and Henry couldn't get enough of Goggles! What have you been reading to your children lately? ...
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Discovering the Hand -- Montessori Baby Week 12

There are several "firsts" that, I think, parents eagerly await with their babies. The first time the baby rolls, the first word, the first time they sleep all night, and their first step. But, I think there is one that should be placed above them all -- the first time a baby reaches for another object! ...
Monday, February 20, 2017

DIY Montessori Color Sorting Crayon Storage

Art is an important part of our daily routine here. I don't consider myself to be all that creative of a person, but I so love watching children create. In particular, I love the way that art combines so many different and important skills for children. It's practical life, it's fine motor, it's sequencing, it's color theory, it's sorting, and so much more. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Henry was never big into art projects as a toddler, and I honestly think because we never had a very conducive art area or open ended exploration. I got very sucked into Pinterest inspired art projects that he couldn't care less about. Anyway, different story with Nora. She loves art and is engaged in the creative process almost daily. One way that we keep our art supplies neat, organized, and accessible for both Nora and Henry is through our DIY crayon sorter! I actually made this back when Henry was a toddler and it has been working w...
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Toddler Butterfly Theme for Spring

We have officially entered the part of winter where I can do nothing but wish for spring to come. For many of you, spring probably is right around the corner, not so much for us. But, we can dream away our cold days with butterflies.  In the depths of the winter grey, butterflies are a welcome burst of color! A couple of beautiful trays are the perfect way to introduce these wonderful insects to Nora.  First, picture to picture matching! I made these simple cards from stickers that I found at Target. I simply placed the stickers on paper, laminated them, and cut around. Easy! Nora always loves this work.  The second tray is a wonderful little matching work by Eltern Vom Mars . These lovely images of real butterflies are cut in half and matched. This was a really interesting challenge for her and I think this work will remain on her shelves for awhile.  Finally, we have been exploring these beautiful laminated butterflies . We have simply been enjoying them an...
Monday, February 13, 2017

The Gobbi Mobile -- Montessori Baby Week 11

The Gobbi mobile is  quintessential Montessori. It's easily one of the most recognizable Montessori infant materials. These beautiful, airy mobiles are made from a single color spheres in varying shades. They are then hung at a 45 degree angle, with the darkest color hung the lowest and the lightest color in the highest position. ...
Friday, February 10, 2017

Favorite Montessori Friendly Toys -- 24 to 30 Months

I feel like it was yesterday that Nora was born. But, somehow, my tiny little rainbow baby is this vibrant, bouncy, smart, independent 2.5-year-old. And with this realization that she is no longer a little baby, I realized that it's been awhile since I've shared what she's been interested in over the past several months.  You may notice that many of these products have been featured before . That's the beautiful thing about quality, open ended Montessori friendly materials they really do last.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With these toys, only a select few were out at any given time. Maybe 6 to 10 depending on the other Montessori work I had made. During this time, I was pregnant with Gus, so I think I relied more on toys (as opposed to making some work for her ) than I had in the past. Also, there may have been other things she used during this time, but these were the highlights, and the things she really did love.  Fine M...
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Montessori Baby Week 10 -- Sick Baby Essentials

Little sick babies are just the worst. Not for you, but for them. They are just so sad. And, it can be downright scary in some situations....
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

5 Favorites at 5-years-old

One of the major tenants of Montessori is the idea that the adult must follow the child. While this means many different things in many different situation, when it comes to materials it means that children should be free to explore their own interests at home and at school. When children are young, it can be a maddening guessing game trying to figure out exactly what your kids are into and where their interests lie. Thankfully, that gets a bit easier as a child gets older and more verbal. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Henry is rapidly creeping closer to 6-years-old. And, before his birthday, I wanted to record some of his interests and favorite things! Here's what he had to say: "What is your favorite art supply?"  " Washi Tape " Henry does so much with washi tape! He uses it to make books, bigger sheets of paper, to take notes all over the house, or fix things that need fixing. It's one of those "used on a d...
Friday, February 3, 2017

Easy Valentines Day Trays

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I like holiday themed trays because they are just an easy way to incorporate a little fun. Plus, it's usually easy to get supplies at craft stores or dollar spots and put together things to keep your kids interested! I usually add a couple holiday themed trays as a way to start thinking about the upcoming cultural celebration.  Here are a few ideas for Valentine's Day that can be added to any toddler shelf!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 1. Heart toothpicks into salt shaker 2. Heart toothpicks into cork board 3. Silhouette heart matching with felt hearts -- just black acrylic paint on card stock 4. Nesting heart cookie cutters 5. Heart sorting with mini-erasers Nora has really been enjoying the couple of trays I put out for her. I just choose a couple of these ideas, that I thought would suit her interests the best. It's an easy way for her to enjoy a little fun without being...
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books that Celebrate Diversity and Kindness

If there is anything I can teach my children as they grow into adults, I would hope it is to be kind and understanding. We need more kind in our world. And, what better way to explore diversity, kindness and the beauty of the world, than through books?  Here are some Montessori friendly books that help to celebrate the diversity of this world and the importance of being kind and understanding to one another. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes  /  WHISTLE FOR WILLIE * /  At the Same Moment, Around the World  /  Smile! * /  The Journey  /  Wonderful Houses Around the World  /  Lola at the Library * /    A Chair for My Mother  /  Teacup  /    Beatrice's Goat   Those Shoes  /  What Does It Mean To Be Kind?  /  The Story Blanket  /  Last Stop on Market Street  /  Whoever You Are  /  Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors  /  Mom and Me  /  We All Sing With the Same Voice  /  Small World: Get ...