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Shelf Help Ep.47 - Montessori Baby Mobiles!

Tiny babies can interact with their environment in so many interesting ways. The Montessori mobiles offer a variety of interesting experiences for babies to explore in developmentally appropriate ways. In this week's episode, Nicole and Amy talk about their experiences with Montessori mobiles. We address a variety of mobiles, when to introduce them, and how we use them.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Show Notes... The Fourth Trimester Montessori Infant Mobiles - Visual Series Montessori Baby Week 6 - First Mobiles  (Nicole's DIY) The Munari Mobile (Amy's DIY) Montessori Baby Week 8 - The Octahedron Mobile The Gobbi Mobile -- Montessori Baby Week 11 Montessori Baby Week 13 -- The Dancers Mobile Montessori-inspired butterflies mobile   DIY Whales Mobiles Montessori Baby Tactile Mobiles Bell on Ribbon Mobile Puzzle Ball Oball HABA Clutching Toys Skwish Toy DIY Rainbow Ribbon Tactile Mobile Wooden Chimes Mobile Batting -- Montessori Baby Week 14  (Teddy
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Two Montessori Toddlers at 18-Months

I was just thinking the other day about how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to witness four little humans walk through this world. At one point, a doctor told me I might never have another child and just the amazing people who have been born since then really just blow me away. But, having a few kids has really opened my eyes to how different they all are from each other, even with the exact same parents, the exact same parenting approach, environment and more. 
I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison between Gus and Teddy at 18-months just to illustrate this point. Nearly everything has been the same for these two, and yet, they are completely different little people.  Play Going through pictures, I noticed some of the same things on their shelves, but not a ton. The things Gus loved, are not the same as the things Teddy is frequently using right now. But, even looking a bit deeper, how they play is very different. Gus was often sitting still and working at the table…

Montessori Toddlers and Concentration

The opportunity to concentrate is so important for young children. From birth, children have the ability to deeply concentrate on their chosen activities. This power, when protected, grows with each passing moment and even young toddlers can focus and concentrate on a task for long periods. Maria Montessori was clear that this power of concentration leads to perseverance, inward satisfaction, and joy.

But what does this concentration look like for toddlers? And how can we tell if our young toddlers are concentrating? Well, the good news is we don't have to look for just one special thing. Concentration can look and feel many different ways.  MovementConcentration can look like movement! As adults we tend to think concentration is only stillness, and quiet. But, really watch a young toddler move! It's a lot of work to learn to move gracefully and efficiently in a body you are just learning to control and understand. Focus can and should come from movement. It can be loud, it can …

Our "Must- Haves" for Montessori Elementary

Sometimes I look around and wonder how I've gotten to this place. I have not one, but TWO, elementary children. A big one even! Henry just turned 10! T E N! Nora is already nearly 7. I honestly don't know where the time has gone. I thought they were just little tiny toddlers waddling around here a few moments ago. But, here we are. A big step into the elementary world. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 
Honestly, it's so fascinating. My heart truly belongs with infants and toddlers, but the older my kids have gotten the more appreciation I have had for the second plane of development. As Maria Montessori said, talking about newly second plane children, "Before, he was interested in things (changing the water for flowers, caring for the little fish, et cetera). Now he is interested mainly in the how and the why...But the adult finds this being, newly born to the world, a bit annoying." (From Childhood to Adolescence) Suddenly they talk constantl…

1-Year-Old Montessori Toddler Bedroom

Teddy is growing up! At 18-months, he is in one of my absolute favorite ages right now. He is active and passionate. His independence grows by the day! But, even with all these changes his bedroom has stayed pretty much the same since he was a baby. That's the beauty of a Montessori space, while it grows and changes with our children the process is slow and intentional! I thought I would give a little tour of his bedroom at 1-year-old. 

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  SleepTed doesn't do a whole lot in his room during the day beyond sleep and getting dressed. So the room itself is mostly focused on that. He sleeps in his Sprout Kids Floor Bed {use code "Kavanaugh" for 10% off at Sprout Kids.} I love that he can get in and out of bed on his own without a whole lot of fuss. We've added a blanket and pillow for him as a toddler, but stick with your comfort level around sleep. 
DressingIn addition to sleeping in his room, his bedroom is also where…

Shelf Help Ep. 46 - How We Approach Screen Time

Screen time can be a hot button issue for many parents. This week, Nicole and Amy approach screen time from a Montessori perspective. We discuss some Montessori principles that influence our choices to limit screen time with our families. We share how much screen time we allow and what television shows we show our children.  Show Notes...The Atlantic - Why Young Kids Learn Through MovementPenn State - Movement Builds a Child's BrainBBC - Why not all screen time is the same for childrenNPR - How The Science Of Learning Is Catching Up To Mr. RogersWon’t You Be My Neighbor?: The Neuroscience Behind Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
 Thanks for joining me for today's podcast! If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share and leave a review in your favorite podcast app.
If you are interested in finding Shelf Help in a podcast app, it is available on Apple | Spotify | Stitcher | Google. 
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Our Easter Baskets 2021

I've had such a hard time with Easter this year! I don't quite know why but it's felt like such a long way off. Then, I looked at the calendar and it's only a couple weeks away. Cue a little bit of panic and a little bit of pulling my lists together. I anticipate that we will still mostly be at home this spring/summer so I'm thinking about what kinds of things would be helpful to make that the most fun. 

Here's a little look at our Easter Basket lists for this year. In addition to what's listed, I usually add some sidewalk chalk and bubbles to the basket along with some sweet treats. 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Teddy (18-months) Little Wagon - We have no little outside pull toys, so I think this will be perfect for a busy summer in our garden Helmet - Ted is starting to ride toys, and I anticipate he will be on a bike by summer, so he needs some protection Gus (4-years) Geoboard - I think Gus will love this, and it's great finger wo…