Articles from October 2019

October 29, 2019

Top 5 Montessori Gifts for Every Age Group

Top 5 Montessori Gifts for Every Age Group
There are so many amazing Montessori and Montessori friendly materials available for children. But, it can be kind of hard to narrow which will work for your family and will be worth the money in the long term. It can also just be overwhelming to look at ALL the choices. So, I decided it would be a fun game to play with myself to narrow it down to MY top 5 Montessori gifts for every age group through lower elementary. I decided these based on: my own kids' reactions to these materials the flexibility and longevity of the material Montessori-friendly-ness - a word I just totally made up, but basically, how well does it fit with Montessori. This was not the easiest of tasks! And, if you're looking for more choice, don't miss my Ultimate Montessori Gift Guide , which is being updated for 2019!
October 28, 2019

Why Use Montessori Baby Mobiles at Home?

Why Use Montessori Baby Mobiles at Home?
Montessori mobiles are some of the first materials that a baby will use in a Montessori home. They are a great way to engage a baby even before they have a ton of movement. Theodore is my third baby to use the Montessori mobiles from birth. At week 6 week have introduced three mobiles (one DIY and two traditional). For Teddy, here has been our timeline so far: 
October 25, 2019

What is a Montessori Sensitive Period? 15+ Articles

What is a Montessori Sensitive Period? 15+ Articles
One of the most foundational parts of Montessori are sensitive periods. Maria Montessori identified that children pass in and out of sensitive periods throughout their childhood. By understanding sensitive periods, we can get a better idea of what our children might be attracted to in our environments. We can get a deeper understanding of their behavior and what they need from us.
October 23, 2019

IKEA Practical Life -- 4 Ways

IKEA Practical Life -- 4 Ways
I love IKEA! It has so many Montessori friendly items at great prices for families - especially practical life items. But there are so many options that it can be overwhelming to walk into the store and figure out what would work together for a specific purpose.  So, I thought I would put together a few examples for practical life! These are just one possible combination that you could come up with for these areas. Hand Washing Hand washing is a staple in a Montessori home. For older babies and toddlers, a small hand washing station can help children do it independently. Here's one way you could set it up in your home.  L arge bowl + pitcher + nonslip tray + table (cut to size) + sticky hook + washcloth = $48.44 {USD} Flower Arranging Flower arranging is a favorite for toddlers and older children alike. It's so simple to put together with some fresh flowers and a small tray on a shelf! Here's what it could look like. vase ( vas e, vase ) + pitcher
October 22, 2019

Inviting Participation in a Montessori Home

Inviting Participation in a Montessori Home
Since Theodore's birth, a little over a month ago, Augustus has been on a practical life strike. He just isn't interested or is outright refusing. He doesn't want to help wash windows, help with laundry, cook/bake, or help with other cleaning tasks. Things he enjoyed before the baby was born. Instead of an enthusiastic "yes!" all I hear is "no" or "mama, you do it!" 
October 19, 2019

Montessori Baby Movement Area Essentials

Montessori Baby Movement Area Essentials
Play and exploration is so important for babies. It is through play that babies will learn and grow. As Maria Montessori made very clear, "play is the work of the child." In Montessori we call a baby's first play space a "movement area." I absolutely love that it's called a movement area because it highlights the most important aspect of a baby's play - movement.
October 16, 2019

Some Montessori Inspiration on Instagram

Some Montessori Inspiration on Instagram
I'm doing a lot of late night nursing lately which means a lot of time on Instagram ! And, that's not a bad thing -- there is a lot of amazing Montessori inspiration to be found on there! Here are a few things that have really inspired me lately. I am in LOVE with this simple entry way: View this post on Instagram A post shared by KP Hill 🌻 (@the.montessori.millennial) on Sep 24, 2019 at 4:51pm PDT I need this Autumn table decoration: View this post on Instagram Some crafting inspiration? And to show that the celebration rings are such useful things 🍁🍂🎃 Crochet pumpkins @just_pootling Crochet leaves @attic24 Needle felted mushroom and acorns 🍄 Grimms 12-hole Birthday ring back in stock #celebratewithgrimms #autumnfun #artsandcrafts #crochet #needlefelting #sundaycrafts A post shared by The Wooden Wagon (@thewoodenwagon) on Oct 13, 2019 at 6:00am PDT
October 14, 2019

Montessori Friendly Alternatives to Popular Baby Toys

Montessori Friendly Alternatives to Popular Baby Toys
It’s that time again! Time to find some Montessori alternatives to popular toys. This time I’m focusing on baby toys. This list was a fun one to make since one of my best friends, Amy from Midwest Montessori , was here this weekend and we did it together. There are some truly overwhelming options out there, but the good news is there are also lots of Montessori friendly alternatives for the same or similar price!  Looking for others in this series: MONTESSORI FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES TO POPULAR TODDLER GIFTS MONTESSORI FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES TO POPULAR YOUNG PRESCHOOL GIFTS We randomly picked 10 of the most popular baby items given as gifts on Amazon , Then, we found a Montessori friendly alternative! Here’s some that we found. Pull and Sing Puppy  instead try the  Brio Pull Along Puppy   The traditional option here isn't Montessori friendly because it is just too busy. It is trying to do too much, teaching concepts that aren't appropriate for a baby. It's
October 12, 2019

Protecting and Establishing Points of Reference -- Montessori Baby Week 4

Protecting and Establishing Points of Reference -- Montessori Baby Week 4
Today, Theodore is a whole month old! I can't believe it's already been a month with this bundle of joy. Being back in baby mode all the time really reminds me how amazing Montessori from birth is. Montessori really is such an amazing "aid to life," one that deeply respects how children grow and develop from the beginning. One of the earliest examples of this respect is the concept of "points of reference." We are literally respecting a baby's earliest experiences - those in the womb - through our actions after birth. Amazing!  This post includes affiliate links at no cost to you.  Points of reference refer to the memories that a newborn has from the womb. It is the familiar environmental conditions and experiences that occurred before your baby was born. These include familiar sounds, smells, and movements. Maria Montessori and those working with her understood the importance of allowing a child to hold on to these comforts during the days and
October 10, 2019

Labeling Games - Two Ways

Labeling Games - Two Ways
Let's talk about writing! I seem to have three kids at very different stages of the writing process. But, today, I want to focus on Nora. At five-years-old, she is all about writing these days. She has made the connection that writing is a form of communication and a fast way to spread your message to a lot of people. And, she is here for it!
October 08, 2019

Realistic Model Cars - A Few Choices and How to Use Them

Realistic Model Cars - A Few Choices and How to Use Them
When it comes to toy vehicles there are so many choices out there that it can be completely overwhelming. Recently, Gus has been super into playing with our toy cars and trucks. Henry and Nora never were super into them, so it's been an interesting change of pace to have a child with a different interest. While they would play with their toy animals all day, everyday, Gus seems to gravitate towards cars.  We have one basket of vehicles that sit on our shelves for Gus to use when he chooses. A few things I look for when it comes to vehicles include: Realistic - avoids things like faces, unrealistic shapes (I think you find this most with wooden cars), characters  Relevant (where possible) - I like to make choices that are the most relevant cars that he will see in real life (instead of all fancy sports cars, for example)  Quiet - I prefer passive toys where my children need to make the noise, so lights and sound are avoided  This post contains affiliate links at no cos
October 05, 2019

The Newborn's Work - Montessori Baby Week 3

The Newborn's Work - Montessori Baby Week 3
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about what Teddy “does” during the day; about how we are “doing Montessori” with our newborn. The quick answer is that living life is “doing Montessori.” It’s not a set of materials but a way of seeing, respecting, and interacting with your child within a prepared environment. And, that's all day, everyday.
October 02, 2019

Adjusting to a New Baby - Tips for Toddlers, Preschool, and Elementary

Adjusting to a New Baby - Tips for Toddlers, Preschool, and Elementary
Welcoming a new baby is the most wonderful mix of emotions. On one hand it’s the highest of the highs, pure joy and excitement. On the other hand, it can be frustrating and exhausting. It’s a whole new experience every time you do it.