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Showing posts from April, 2020

Reflective Mirror Balls - a Fun New Toy

Henry's last day of school before the Covid-19 shutdown was March 9, so we are rapidly approaching the 2 month mark at home. With all this time at home, everyone is going a little stir crazy. Teddy included. So, I decided to get a new materials to entertain us all as these long weeks drag on. 

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I decided on this set of mirrored reflective balls. I have seen these in some infant and toddler environments and always thought they were pretty cool. Montessori baby environments should include interesting materials that engage a baby's senses in a calm, beautiful, baby led way. We also want things that are safe to explore and lend themselves to movement. 

These reflective balls do all of that so beautifully. They are surprisingly lightweight and a great size for babies. They add a wonderful sensorial experience. Not only the visual aspect, but they are cool to touch, and have a fun clanking sound when they bump together. I think e…

A Montessori Approach to Choosing New Toys and Activities

There are so many amazing toys, games, and materials available for purchase in today's world. And there are so many amazing DIY ideas and possibilities shared around the internet. All of which look beautiful and engaging and lovely. But, have you ever purchased or made something, put it on your shelves and then your child totally ignores it? I know that I have. 

And typically for me that happens when I have been sucked into how something looks or feels and not necessarily if it fits the needs of my child. I wanted to share how I think about materials and when to add them. For us, a material (either DIY or purchased) almost always flops if I don't think about it in this way. So for me to see something as a "need" it needs to fit both an interest and a skill for my child.  I created this visual to help think about it. It's that light blue part that is the sweet spot. That's where I find deep engagement, making it "worth it" to add the item to our hom…

Shelf Help Ep. 9 - Weaning Tables and Starting Solids

*This episode was recorded before Covid-19 and shelter-in-place orders so we mention being out in our communities.* 
Introducing food to your baby can be a fun new adventure for both you and your child. In Montessori we call this process weaning. In today's episode Amy and Nicole discuss their experiences with weaning and preparing their homes for introducing solids. Plus we dive into why and how we use a weaning table for starting solids with babies and young toddlers. 

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Show Notes... Kids Eat in ColorOther accounts: Feeding LittlesDivision of Responsibility - Ellyn SatterWorld Health Organization Breastfeeding GuidelinesSigns Your Baby Might be Ready for FoodOur Approach to Family MealsMontessori versus Baby Led WeaningSprout Kids Weaning TableIKEA Porkal glassesMontessori Friendly HighchairsMontessori Weaning CupWorld Market Cocktail SilverwarePaul Revere Kids Oneida Silverware

Thanks for joining me for today's podcast! …

Some DIYs from Instagram

I find so much Montessori inspiration on Instagram! The community is just so fantastic and filled with people bringing Montessori to children in the most beautiful and creative ways. I thought I would share some of my new favorite Montessori inspired DIY materials! These are so great for children who are longing to work with some of their favorite Montessori materials but happen to be away from their classrooms at the moment.

These 3D printed geometric solids are just beautiful! Plus I love the list of other alternative options for building these great shapes.

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A post shared by Kristin (@o_e_and_me) on Apr 6, 2020 at 7:15am PDT

These math beads made from pearler beads are genius! What a cost effective way to bring Montessori math beads home!

Montessori Homeschool Area at 9 Years Old

Somehow my tiny little baby Henry is already 9-years-old! Typically he attends a public Montessori school and is in lower elementary. But with Covid-19 all of the school in our state have closed for the time being (and it is anticipated will be closed for the rest of the school year.) So Henry is home doing "distance learning" for the time being. For his district distance learning has meant that nearly all of his work is now online. 
While he is at home we have made some changes to our spaces to accommodate Henry's new homeschooling life. And despite the recent change to online work, I still want his space to be as Montessori friendly as possible. 
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He's all set up in our old art area and we're using all things we already had at home. The table was the kids' old dining table. I had to put it up on some unit blocks because Henry was just a bit too big for it. I really wish we could upgrade the table to some…

A Little {Metal} Treasure Basket

A treasure basket is a Montessori baby's best friend. These little baskets are filled with any number of interesting things to mouth, to touch, to shake, and to explore. They beauty of a good treasure basket is that it doesn't have to be complicated and can be filled with everyday objects that are attractive and interesting to a baby. 
Recently, I've observed an interest in metal in Teddy. While the thought of putting a variety of metal in my mouth sends shivers up my spine, he seems to really enjoy the sensation lately. And, I'm sure it feels great as he starts to cut new teeth. 
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So following that interest, I put together a small basket of objects that contain at least some metal. They included:

a small whisk {similar}one of his baby spoons a metal measuring spoon {similar}a small metal appetizer bowl a metal and plastic lid for a jar jingle bells The actual objects don't really matter as long as they are safe f…