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Friday, April 28, 2017

Montessori Puzzle Ball - Montessori Baby Week 21

Augustus is officially 5-months-old and it's completely blowing my mind. He is still such an easy going, happy, curious little {well, actually he's huge} guy. He is definitely on his own path of development and watching him unfold has been such a wonderful gift. Over the past week, I have watched Gus make the most incredible discovery -- his feet! And, this reminded me -- it's time to get out the Montessori puzzle ball ! ...
Tuesday, April 25, 2017

What We're Reading -- April

We're continuing the year of Montessori friendly reading with this month's collection of books. There are so many great books out there that I find myself getting way way too many each month. Thank goodness for the library!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.   Here's what we've been reading this month: Column 1: Hi Cat! | Disappearing Acts | Louie | Plant a Pocket of Prairie   Column 2: Eye To Eye | Building our House | Tree   Column 3: Young Gardener | Nora's Ark | Koalas   My favorite was Plant a Pocket of Prairie -- a Minnesota specific book! Nora's favorite was Tree. Henry's favorite was Building our House {such a good one and one we have read many times before}.  What have you been reading this month? Do you have a favorite Montessori friendly book?  ...
Friday, April 21, 2017

Montessori Parenting: How We Tummy Time

Tummy time can be one of these challenging areas in the infant Montessori community where everyone sort of has their own way of handling it. While I have talked about natural gross motor development , I haven't really addressed how we tummy time ....
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4 Tips to Encourage Independent Dressing

There are so many ways for toddlers to exert their independence at home. Whether it is through preparing their own meal, or choosing what toy they want to use, Montessori toddlers have the ability to make choices and carry them out on their own. Dressing is no exception to this! Independent dressing is not only an important life skill, but can be a source of pride and creativity for a child. But, without the right help, it can also be a frustrating task. Here are 4 tips to encourage independent dressing at home. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Montessori tips for encouraging independent dressing Here are four tips for encouraging independent dressing at home. While there are likely others, these are my must-dos. SEE NORA IN ACTION HERE. Make Choices Accessible  First, like in all Montessori environments, things must be accessible. Toddlers aren't going to be able to learn how to make choices and carry out their decision, if you are always the o...
Monday, April 17, 2017

5 Montessori Kitchen Spaces to Love

One of the things I love about Montessori spaces is that there is not a one-fits-all approach to designing spaces. Each Montessori space is it's own unique entity designed to fit the needs of the children using the space. A Montessori space can be created any where, on any budget. And, it makes every one interesting to explore! And, I can't get enough! So, I have to share! Here are 5 Montessori kitchen spaces to love !  Each one has it's own unique flavor and set up. Each of these are from Instagram where I could spend hours looking at Montessori spaces! 5 Montessori Kitchens to Love Melissa's kitchen space is just lovely! I love that it's built on a shelving unit but still completely accessible. I also love the water source solution, how empowering for her boys! Rachanchan Pedagoxia Montessori's kitchen is just dreamy in all this natural light! Again, a wonderful water source and lots of working space! Amy at Midwest Montessori's kitchen cabin...
Friday, April 14, 2017

Montessori Movement Area with a Rolling Baby

I have mentioned this a few times now but Gus is really starting to move around now! He rolls to his belly, he wiggles his way around on his back, and has been spotted rotating his body an entire 360 degrees. I have always found these first attempts at movement to be completely adorable. He's not quite where I put him anymore, but not really going far. I think it's fair to say that his squishy newborn days are over. ...
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Introducing Practical Life to Montessori Babies and Toddlers

Doing practical activities is such an important part of Montessori -- both at home and in a classroom. An emphasis is placed on practical life because learning these types of skills is not only attractive to kids but it's an important step on the road to independence.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. However, it can feel a little overwhelming to start to give babies {yes, babies!} and toddlers this type of independence. So, here are four steps to consider when introducing practical life to Montessori babies and toddlers . Make it Practical First, you have to make it practical! I mean really practical. I'm not talking sensory bins here. And, I'm not talking about the small work trays that isolate one type of motion. Practical is folding real laundry, it's getting themselves a drink, it's helping to cook a meal, it's cleaning a real mess, and it's caring for a real plant. There's are so many amazing ways that both babie...
Friday, April 7, 2017

Montessori Friendly Baby Toys at 4 Months

For the first few months, babies really don't need many extras. They may enjoy a Montessori mobile or some black and white images , but most of the time they are just soaking up the world around them and concentrated on adjusting to the big new world around them. Then, all of a sudden, they discover their hands and a new type of sensory exploration begins! With this discovery, you can introduce some new materials for the baby to explore. Here are our favorite Montessori friendly baby toys at 4 months !...
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Natural Gross Motor Development -- Montessori Baby Week 18

When you think about Montessori, there are so many different things you can think about -- the beautiful academic work, independent children, child-sized furniture, or natural materials. No matter what comes to mind, the freedom of movement probably drives some of the reasoning behind your Montessori idea. Allowing a child the freedom of movement is a Montessori essential that cannot be avoided in any Montessori, or Montessori inspired environment. The freedom of movement is so important that it starts at birth with natural gross motor development ....
Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Our Montessori Home Kitchen Tools

There are so many great ways to get your kids involved in the kitchen. But, they need to have the right tools to really properly get involved. Therefore, we have stocked our Montessori kitchen with some smaller essentials. Our Montessori home kitchen tools help Henry and Nora gain independence, confidence, and concentration as they work on practical skills in the kitchen.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  We have many different tools available to Henry and Nora at any one time. These tools are used by them for a large variety of kitchen tasks. They are all sized so that they can easily use them while maintaining safety. But, you should know that these are REAL tools, meant to do real work.  Basic Kitchen Utensils  Here are our most basic kids kitchen tools. These are used the most frequently. I'm hoping to add to our collection soon by getting some things we need for hot cooking (mainly a nice flipper) since both kids are starting to cook more o...
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

In Our Montessori Friendly Easter Baskets

With Easter right around the corner, I thought I would share what's in our Montessori friendly Easter baskets ! As I have said before we celebrate both the cultural and religious aspects of the holiday, however we do not place a big emphasis on the Easter bunny but instead focus on the gift of new life.   This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.   In addition to a packet of native wildflowers, a new summer shirt, and a couple treats, here's what's going to be in my kids' Easter baskets this year:  Henry (6-years-old) Encyclopedia of Rainbows Free Play Magnatab Nora (nearly 3-years-old) Personalized Name Puzzle Brilliant Birds   Peacock Augustus (4-months-old) Helen Oxenbury Board Books { I see , I hear , I touch } Play Silk What are you doing in your kids' Easter baskets?   Want more Easter Basket ideas? Don't miss:  EASTER BASKETS FOR MONTESSORI BABIES, TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS ...
Monday, April 3, 2017

Our Progression of Knives from 1 until 3-years-old

One of the hallmarks of a Montessori environment for toddlers is an emphasis on practical activities. Montessori toddlers love practical work and thrive on it. They are capable of so much more than most people think -- this includes in the kitchen. Part of what toddlers are exposed to in a kitchen include knives. Our progression of knives from 1 until 3-years-old has been exciting and challenging for Nora.  I will be the first to admit that I am not great in the kitchen. so it is sometimes a challenge to keep my kids engaged. Nora, however, does seem drawn to these activities and knives have been no exception. While this is the path we have taken, other Montessori families may choose a different path depending on how active they are in the kitchen. Just remember to always supervise your toddler around a knife.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Which Toddler Safe Knife Should I Introduce? Spreader -- This was the first knife we introduced at aro...