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Montessori Young Toddler - First Shoes

By following Teddy's own path to natural gross motor development, he really has exploded into movement over the last six weeks. At 11 months, he was still mostly crawling, but by his first birthday he was solidly a walker. Now, at 13-months, he is getting fast! Some would say even close to running. He's climbing. He's seeking maximum effort as he walks while carrying things. He is even (much to my personal horror) exploring with walking down stairs. 

With all this movement, I need to be aware of how we are supporting it through the choices we make for his footwear. I find it personally, very important to keep young children barefoot as much as possible. That means no socks, and no shoes. Both can limit sensory input. Shoes, in particular, can effect balance and foot development.  In reality, however, there are times when both can be beneficial and help to keep little tiny feet safe. 
Now that we are moving into the winter, it is one of those times. We've had very early s…
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Shared Montessori Playroom for 3-year-old

A few weeks ago when I was rearranging our playroom to make it more inclusive for Teddy, I started by moving our shelves around the room. I really just needed to vacuum and mop under them after a dusty summer. I had intended to move them back to a similar location but while I was cleaning, something happened - Gus found a little nook. And, he took over. 

When I finished my task of cleaning and setting out the rug, I went to move our shelves back and Gus was adamant that I could not. That would destroy his "tent." And his tent was for his work. I took a step back and evaluated what I wanted from the room. I knew that Teddy needed something to replace his movement area and that Gus needed a work space. 

Would this work? Did it give them both what they needed out of the room? Would Gus be successful in seeing and using his work? Would Teddy have the movement and access to his materials? Turns, out it did! So, I decided to try it, see how it worked in the long term. 
After a few we…

Mixing Sandpaper Letters and Language Objects

I've explained before the beauty and awesomeness of the Montessori sandpaper letters! They are such a wonderful way to introduce both letter shape and sounds to our children. I think they are the perfect combination of movement, tactile feedback and visual cues to really help children solidify their knowledge of sounds. 

But, while there is simplicity in their design, I also find that sometimes kids need a little motivation to return to them over and over again - especially without me. This repetition is so important because that's what helps them learn those shapes and sounds and be ready to move forward to the moveable alphabet and other awesome Montessori language work. 
See other posts in this series: Pincer Grip - Preparing for Language Work Montessori Language Fundamentals to Remember What are Montessori Sound Games and Language Objects? How We Approach Montessori Sound Games + Some Tips Learning to Like Texture - 5 Ideas to Help with Sandpaper Letters Montessori Sandpaper Lette…

Lately in Montessori Elementary Homeschool

After six weeks of our new school routine, I finally feel like maybe we are hitting a stride with this homeschool, distance learning thing. I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing here, but we are seeing growth and I think that is really fun. I have never really felt a calling to homeschool, but I can definitely see some huge perks. I'm grateful for this extra time with my kids and a crash course in the details of Montessori elementary curriculum. 
I thought I would just share some random things that my kids have been up to lately while homeschooling. As a reminder, Nora is 6 and in her first year of lower elementary. Her school is completely distance learning right now so her work is influenced by her school. Henry is 9 and in his first year of upper elementary. He is neurodiverse and follows his own path to learning. He is homeschooling but also has some contact with his normal school. 
1. So much great lesson work! This is our DIY solar system back in action!  2. Mov…

What's In, What's Out at 13 Months

At 13 months there is so much change in Teddy! He is very much leaving his baby days behind and moving into toddlerhood. With that I've noticed lately that the toys he is reaching for on the shelves have changed as well. I love observing him, taking note, and making changes accordingly! While he is super into gross motor movement (especially throwing), Teddy is also ready for some more challenge. I see him working his wrist and finger movements, I see him ready for some more logic challenges, and more language opportunities!

Here's a look at the toys that are in and those that are out! 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. What's OutThese are the toys that I have noticed that Ted seems to have lost interest in. Some of these may make a reappearance later on but some are ready to be retired altogether. 

Object Permanence Box - Ted finally seems done with this toy! It's been on his shelves since he was around 8 months old, so it has seen a lot of use! This p…

Goodbye Montessori Movement Area

I feel like Teddy was just born yesterday and I was just sharing our playroom space with his movement area. The movement area is a prepared space for Montessori babies. But, in reality, Teddy is a busy 13-month-old now. He doesn't need or want a small prepared space, or cozy corner. His needs have changed and with it so has his play space. 
To responding to his changing needs, I switched up our entire playroom recently. Instead of a small defined area meant to help keep him safe, my changes prioritized his need for more movement, materials, and practical life work.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. MovementAs he started to walk, I knew that he would need more room to move. I arranged the space to maximize open areas. He needs room to run, to roam, to push, to spin, to throw, and to climb. While the movement area allowed for a lot of baby movement, Teddy is ready to take those skills to the next level and put them to use throughout the entire house! 
Making sure his…

Young Toddlers and Mealtime Manners

Young toddlers (1-year-olds) are busy little humans. They are wandering, exploring, hauling, pushing, pulling little mobile people. At 13-months, I sometimes, I wonder if Teddy has sat down at all, all day long. Most of the time, I'm pretty sure the answer to that is "no." This can make mealtimes at his weaning table fairly interesting. But, today, I wanted to talk about something other than movement - I wanted to talk about manners. As babies turn into toddlers, and start becoming bigger and more capable, there is the question of manners. 
What happens when your young toddlers shoves their banana into their cup? What happens when they stand up at the table? What happens if they wander away? What happens if they dump their water? What happens if they throw their food? Or play with their food? 

This post contains affiliate link at no cost to you.
While there can be a big leap in our toddler's abilities as they start to grow, it is important to remember that they are stil…