Articles from March 2017

March 31, 2017

Exploring Toys -- Montessori Baby Week 17

Exploring Toys -- Montessori Baby Week 17
When babies are born, the Montessori mobiles are their first materials. As they get older they start wanting more and more to explore. Within a couple months Montessori babies are ready for exploring toys . Once babies discover their hands , they start becoming more and more adept at using them. And, soon, it's not just their hands that are getting in on the action, but their whole bodies -- their feet, mouths, legs, and bellies. As this happens, suddenly our job in preparing the environment changes! 
March 28, 2017

Montessori Practical Life: Honey Lemon Tea

Montessori Practical Life: Honey Lemon Tea
Since winter will never die, Nora and I are both sick again. I have strep, boooo, and Nora has a bad cold. So, we are looking for a little extra relief and something to fill our long, slow morning. Honey lemon tea fit the bill, plus it was some seriously awesome Montessori inspired practical life.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  For Nora, I just used hot water. Nora isn't ready to pour hot water like that, so I took care of that part. For an older child, putting on and pouring the water would be a great way to extend this activity. Then, she chose and cut the lemon. She is using a nylon knife . At this point, she was able to squeeze lemon juice into the warm water.  A younger toddler with less hand strength could use a juicer to get the lemon juice. Then, it could be poured into the warm water.  Next, Nora squeezed honey into each of the cups. I just sort of let her go with it. You could have it pre-measured for a younger to
March 27, 2017

What We're Reading -- March

What We're Reading -- March
It has been another fun month of reading around here! I seriously cannot stop sharing all the amazing library finds we have been collecting recently. These Montessori friendly titles have been wonderful and I would happily recommend them all! Without further ado, here's what we're reading in March .  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Lenny & Lucy * |  Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems * |  A Butterfly Is Patient  |  Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois Waiting for Wings |  Sidewalk Flowers  | They All Saw a Cat  |  Spring for Sophie   Black Cat & White Cat |  Leo Loves Baby Time  |  Tigers (Big Cats) My Pen * |  Mr. Putter & Tabby Pour the Tea  |  Whistle for Willie  |  All the World * denotes small amounts of fantasy  My favorite for the month was hands down All the World . Such a sweet book. Nora's favorite was Spring for Sophie which she has been repeating lines from all month. Henry&#
March 24, 2017

Montessori Baby Week 16 -- The Butterflies Mobile

Montessori Baby Week 16 -- The Butterflies Mobile
As you may know, I have a bit of a Montessori mobile obsession! I just think these beautiful mobiles are just the perfect work for little babies. And, it's a good thing that Augustus is just about as obsessed with these as I am. Lately, Gus has been obsessed with the butterflies mobile . This easy DIY has been a big hit as Gus' eyesight and tracking continue to develop. 
March 21, 2017

Organizing your Montessori Play Space

Organizing your Montessori Play Space
In a Montessori environment the types of things that we have available may be a bit different than those in mainstream environments. But, they may not be. The biggest difference between a Montessori play space and a typical environment is how the space is organized. Organizing your Montessori play space is an important part of making the room engaging and available to your child.
March 17, 2017

Using a Play Gym -- Montessori Baby Week 15

Using a Play Gym -- Montessori Baby Week 15
As I have said many times before, the freedom of movement is extremely important for babies, especially in a Montessori environment. We want to prepare a space that a baby can explore without restricting the baby's ability to move around. Montessori also strives to do this in a way that is not overstimulating to a baby. This is often done by using a movement area. But, when you have other children, sticking to one part of the house is unrealistic. This is where using a play gym can come in handy. 
March 16, 2017

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys

A Montessori Approach to Purging Your Toys
Becoming a Montessori family has been life changing in so many ways, most obviously with the amount and type of materials we use in our home. Once you see why having so many toys is a problem , or when you make the decision to move towards Montessori, it can be completely overwhelming. But, taking a Montessori approach to purging your toys is possible! And, it doesn't exactly mean that you have to throw away everything you have and start over with only expensive wooden toys. It will mean taking a hard look at what you have and whether it really fits with Montessori.
March 14, 2017

Montessori Inspired Volcano Study

Montessori Inspired Volcano Study
Since Henry has started school , I haven't created anything that looks like Montessori work for him. He gets enough work at school, so home is for a different kind of work -- opened play and exploration. But, recently, an intense interest has been sparked in Henry which has led me to create this Montessori inspired volcano study . This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.   This interest in volcanoes was first sparked in Henry when he read a Magic Treehouse book about Pompeii. The book discusses the disaster in a very shallow and age appropriate way. But, it led Henry to ask so many questions about volcanoes that I knew we just had to explore them further here at home. However, I knew that I wanted to stay away from going to much deeper about the tragedy at Pompeii so we are sticking to the earth science side of things! Felt Models  The first thing I made for Henry is a set of felt models. When we read the book, it occurred to me that Henry really h
March 13, 2017

The Problem with Too Many Toys

The Problem with Too Many Toys
Did you know we weren't always a Montessori family? Some of you might if you have been reading long enough or if you dig around long enough in the archives. But, it's true. When Henry was born I didn't even know Montessori existed beyond being that "weird little preschool in that one church basement." We collected every mainstream baby toy, contraption, distraction, and junk known to man. We had it all. And, it was awful. People who are new to Montessori may wonder, what exactly is the problem with too many toys ? Montessori playrooms, homes, and classrooms are just sparser than their mainstream counterparts. It's an easy difference to see and one that makes a HUGE difference to a child. But, seriously, why is having too many toys a problem in a Montessori home?  The Problem with Too Many Toys - Montessori Thoughts Well, there are a few reasons that having too many toys is a problem in any environment, but especially a Montessori one. Research studi
March 08, 2017

25 Montessori Friendly Books for Spring

25 Montessori Friendly Books for Spring
Spring is right around the corner, which of course gets me thinking about a new book rotation! There are so many great ways to celebrate spring, but I always love some good books. With these 25 Montessori Friendly Books for Spring , you and your children can be ready for all the glorious weather ahead.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  There are so many great books for spring simply because there are so many great spring themes. I could probably list 100 more books here. Some topics that you could explore this spring include birds, weather, life cycles, flowers, and gardening. I tried to include some from most of these themes!  1.  In the Small, Small Pond  /  A New Beginning: Celebrating the Spring Equinox  /  On Meadowview Street  /  How Do You Know It's Spring?  /  It's Spring   2.  A Nest Full of Eggs  /  Spring  /  Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?  /  Spring Board Book  /  Flowers Are Calling 3.  Rain or Shine  /  If You Hold a See
March 07, 2017

Practical Life for Toddlers -- Making a Sandwich

Practical Life for Toddlers -- Making a Sandwich
I think there is a misconception with toddlers that they are these chaotic human being incapable of independence and concentration. In the Montessori world, we know differently. We understand that toddlers are amazingly capable when given the skills and environment to foster them. This is often done with toddlers through practical life. Practical life for toddlers can mean so many things, so I want to share some of the ways that she {at 2.75-years-old/33months} is involved with practical activities.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  I'm going to start with lunch! Nora makes her own lunch nearly every day. Food preparation is an excellent place for toddlers to become actively involved in your daily lives. Now, our lunches are not complicated, nor extensive. So, its not a difficult task for either of us to foster that independence at this time. Breakfast tends to be a little bit hangry, and dinner a little hectic {although she often plays a role at t
March 06, 2017

The Montessori Bell Rattle -- Montessori Baby Week 14

The Montessori Bell Rattle -- Montessori Baby Week 14
It has been an exciting week around here for Augustus. Out of nowhere, sudden Gus' hands are his tools and he can finally bring them to his mouth at will. Not only that, but he can bring a toy all the way to his mouth. For some reason this reminded me that it was probably time to introduce the Montessori bell rattle !  This simple and soothing traditional Montessori baby toy is a perfect first toy. The slight jingle of the bells with the motion of the baby's hand is just enough to grab their attention without being overwhelming.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  The simple rattle helps to strengthen the grasping reflex as well as helping the baby make the connection between the sound and the motion of his or her hand. Its the perfect size for the baby's little hand. Gus has been a little on the slower side for grasping objects and tracking them, so while this was the prefect time for him to be introduced to the bell rattle, some babies
March 03, 2017

What Is Montessori?

What Is Montessori?
If you spend any amount of time on this website, or any amount of time on my social media, then you know that I am obsessed with Montessori. I have a Montessori home, I send my kids to Montessori school, I have many Montessori materials. But, what is Montessori? This can be an overwhelming question for many people just discovering the method. It can be difficult to find concrete and practical information, as well. So, hopefully, this helps! What is Montessori? There are many things that encompass Montessori and many things that do not. This list is not exhaustive for either of those questions, but an overview of a few of the most important qualities of Montessori and a few of the biggest misconceptions.  Montessori Is... Education: Montessori is a type of education. The educational method was started by Dr. Maria Montessori at the start of the 20th century. There are Montessori schools for children starting at age 3 and continuing through high school. The most common are
March 02, 2017

11 Montessori Friendly Baby Mobiles

11 Montessori Friendly Baby Mobiles
I don't think it's any secret that I am obsessed with Montessori baby mobiles. The visual series is so perfectly crafted to infant development that it is hard not to be in love with them. Then, the tactile series continues this progression right as an infant is starting to voluntarily move and explore objects. But, the traditional Montessori mobiles are obviously not the only baby mobiles available that can work in a Montessori environment. For various reasons, people may want to explore other commercially available options. Here are 11 Montessori Friendly Baby Mobiles that can be used in addition to the visual series!    This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  1. Rainbow Dancers -- this could be an option instead of the traditional dancers mobile 2. Butterfly Mobile -- this one is so popular that maybe it should just be called a traditional Montessori mobile, it is used with a lot of Montessori babies 3. Ladybug Mobile 4. Charlie Harper Birds Mobi