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Monday, July 31, 2017

Montessori Weaning Cup -- Montessori Baby Week 34

One way that Montessori is different from mainstream parenting is that we insist on giving children -- even the youngest children -- real experiences. We believe that they are capable of experiencing so much more in the world than they are often given credit for.  This is especially true with learning to eat. Montessori babies are given the opportunity to learn how to use real materials from the start. This includes using real utensils, plates and cups. These all provide an opportunity for independence while showing a baby respect and trust.   This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  However, just like with the weaning spoon , it's important to pick a tool that will help your baby become successful. Handing a baby any old glass won't have the same result as giving them a glass that is a good size and shape. We want to provide opportunities for independence, but also set them up to be as successful as possible.  The solution for our family...
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Home from Montessori Children's House

A little over a month ago, Henry finished his kindergarten year at the public Montessori school he attends. He had a wonderful year and grew in ways that I wasn't even expecting. My plan for the summer was to just take it easy, let him play and see where he led us....
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Moving, Moving -- Montessori Baby Week 33

Augustus has been sick all week with a high fever, but that hasn't stopped him from doing the one thing he really wants to do -- move. Movement is such a huge part of his life these days. Some days it feels like all he does is roll from one end of the room to the other looking for any weaknesses in our baby proofing efforts. And, you know what? That's totally fine. It's actually more than fine, it's perfect.  "One of the most thrilling achievements for a child is learning to move himself through space to get to a desired object." Susan Mayclin Stephenson   It's hard in practice, but the freedom of movement is paramount to any of our own desires as parents. But, for me, this time it's been the most difficult to remember that this not only includes the freedom to move when and how he wants, but also the freedom to develop this movement at his own pace. I wanted to share this because I think in the Montessori and RIE online commun...
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Montessori Toddler in the Kitchen at 3-years-old

With Nora being 3-years-old now, we are starting to leave the toddler years behind. This fall she will enter Children's House and a whole new world of discovery will open up for her. But, even at 3-years-old, and before entering school, she is so exceedingly capable. Kitchen tasks, in particular, are a favorite of hers.  So, today I wanted to share a list of some of the things that a new 3-year-old, like Nora, could be doing in the kitchen. This list is by no means exhaustive. It is just a list of the things I can think of that Nora enjoys. Use it as inspiration, and remember to follow your own child's lead.   This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Food Preparation Gathering necessary items for baking Measuring out small amounts of food Pouring and mixing pre-measured ingredients Washing fruits and vegetables Making tea or lemonade Slicing fresh fruits and vegetables Cracking an egg Beating an egg Making a sandwich Following simple recipe...
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Observing through Art with a Buddha Zen Scroll

Observation is such a critical skill for a Montessori parent. Yet, the ability to sit back and watch, really watch, your child is not an easy thing to do. There are so many distractions in modern life, so many pressures to push your children, and so many voices telling you what they should or should not being doing. It can be so easy to forget that your child already knows what he or she needs and is working to get there. One of my personal favorite things to observe is a children engaged in artistic expression. It's literally like getting a glimpse into their soul. You get to see how they see the world, you get insight into what drives them, what challenges them, what's funny to them, and so much more. It's also a rare opportunity to watch their hands move. To see their strength in action. To observe changes in their physical growth that can otherwise be difficult to notice. Suddenly, your child is holding that brush so beautifully, is drawing straigh...
Monday, July 17, 2017

10 Montessori Inspired Trays from Instagram

My love affair with all things Instagram and Montessori is showing a little bit with this post! There are just so much great Montessori inspiration on IG, I could literally spend hours browsing through it all. While I often lust over the wonderful Montessori spaces and parenting anecdotes on Instagram, there are also tons of great Montessori inspired materials and work to use as inspiration as well.  So, I thought I would share some of my recent finds! Here are 10 Montessori inspired trays from Instagram to consider for your work shelves!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  A post shared by Mindful Learning (@mindful.learning) on Jul 15, 2017 at 3:39pm PDT I love this simple posting work from Mindful Learning! This would be great for an older baby or young toddler, and it could easily be adapted into an object permanence work! These Grimms marbles would be wonderful for this kind of tray.  A post shared by Mojca iz Montessori ...
Friday, July 14, 2017

Spinning Top Toys

At Christmas, I needed a little something to put in Henry's stocking so I picked up a little top {number 8} to include. And, a love affair with spinning tops in our home began. They are such great little toys for building hand strength, concentration, and self control. And, as it turns out, they are just gorgeous toys! The more I look for tops, the more I want to look!  So, I thought I would share some of my favorite spinning top finds with you! And, as a bonus for those of you that live in Europe, you guys have so many more beautiful options than we have here! Some of these were tops I found when creeping on European sites. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  top 1 |  top 2  |  top 3  |  top 4  | top 5 |  top 6  |  top 7  |  top 8  |  top 9  | top 10 | top 11 | top 12  |  top 13  |  top 14  | top 15 | top 16 I know there are so many more tops I could have listed here! And each one is more beautiful than the next! I wish I could have ...
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Baby Proofing with a Montessori Floor Bed

Using a Montessori floor bed with an infant is so incredible. Like I mentioned in my previous post , there are big differences between using the floor bed and a traditional crib. The biggest one being freedom of movement. With the freedom to get in and out of bed, it is very important that the nursery {or sleeping space} is safe. Therefore, baby proofing with a Montessori floor bed is really important. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  For me, it was important for me to know that the sleeping space is safe so that I could get a good night's sleep. When I know the space is safe for Gus to play in, even at night, then I have felt much more comfortable following his lead and letting him explore.  Before I share what we have done to get to this place, I just want to know that I'm just talking about what has worked for our family. When making your own sleeping space, you need to do what you are most comfortable with. I am not by any means an e...
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Realities of a Montessori Floor Bed -- Montessori Baby Week 32

Augustus has been our first baby that has used a floor bed from birth. Nora and Henry both moved to floor beds as toddlers -- Henry at 2-years-old and Nora around 14-months. But, before that they slept in a traditional crib in their own rooms. So, moving to a floor bed has been a big change, but actually quite a pleasant one!  Before I go on, I wanted to make it clear that I am in NO way a sleep expert or anything. Sleep can be an intensely dividing issue and I'm here only to share our experience. Everyone will take different safety measures in their homes and should take their own comfort levels into consideration when making sleep decisions. This is simply what is working for us at this time.  Gus started using his floor bed for daytime naps around 7 weeks old. Then, around 3-months, I put Gus down on his floor bed for what I thought would be a late evening nap and he ended up sleeping for six hours. We tried again the next night, and same result, so we made the swit...
Friday, July 7, 2017

Family Meals -- Montessori Baby Week 31

Introducing solid food to your baby can be such an exciting time! But, weaning -- as we call it in Montessori -- can also be nerve wracking and stressful too. For me, there's always been this sort of dread over whether or not we are making the right feeding choices, how we are going to make it work in reality, and how to create this positive relationship with food. Montessori weaning has provided a lot of answers, especially when it comes to family meals . This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  It's weaning time -- that is time to introduce solid food, not stopping breastfeeding -- with Augustus! So, I wanted to share how we are approaching family meals. There can sometimes be this misconception about Montessori weaning that small children eat alone at weaning tables instead of with their family. This simply isn't true. Eating is a communal activity and babies and other young children should be involved in the process.  With Nora, we a...
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Insect Materials for 3-year-olds

Nora is obsessed with dead bugs right now. No joke! We literally have a discovery box full of dead beetles sitting at our children's table as decoration. She searches for these big dead June bugs around our yard and collects them in the house. If you follow me on Instagram , I'm sure you've seen the dead beetle box and my secret, yet, beyond horrified reaction.  Despite my disgust, I am determined to allow Nora to follow her interest and learn as much as she can about these bugs. So, in an effort to support her new hobby, I've went looking to see if there were any materials that could support her growing interest!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  1. Insect X-Rays and Picture Cards 2. Insect Emporium   3. Laminated Butterflies 4. Discovery Boxes 5. Preserved Insects 6. Bug House 7. Bug Magnifier 8. Butterfly Grow Kit 9. A Beetle is Shy So far Nora's interest has been limited to dead bugs, lucky me. But, I&#...
Monday, July 3, 2017

What We're Reading -- June

Now that it is officially summer break here, we've been so busy. But, that hasn't stopped us from reading! It has influenced our choices a bit, since Henry (6-years-old) is home more I have a few more books just for him. Not only do I want to follow his interests, but I want to make sure we are getting books that challenge him to think about new things, and some that develop his reading skills. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Here's a look at what we've been reading this past month!  A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love | Box | See You Next Year  | When We Were Alone * | A Packet of Seeds | We love you, Rosie! | Curious Critters Marine | Thunderstorm  {this one was surprisingly upsetting to my children, just a warning here} | Still a Family * | So Many Henry's   * These two books I specifically got for and read only to Henry. When We Were Alone tells the story of residential schools. Its an importan...