Foto Friday: Squeezing Orange Juice

2 year old E. squeezes the oranges for freshly squeezed orange juice.  Yum!

Toddler Orange Squeezing DSC04107 toddler squeezing orange juice DSC04109 DSC04110

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Filed under 2 years +, Food/Feeding, Foto Friday, Independence, Tomoko

Foto Friday: Last Day of Parent/Infant Class

Remember back in January how Christie shared with us that R. and P. had started attending Parent/Infant Class at Aid to Life Education?  See how these boys have grown since then!  They recently attended their last day in the Infant room.

 

P. and R. sit down on the bench upon arrival to remove shoes and socks.  Aid to Life Education - Parent/Child Class Dad watches over R. as he uses the Peg Box. Montessori Peg Box Christie/Mom watches P. as he uses the crayons. Montessori Toddler Crayons           R. enjoys a snack at the end of class. Montessori Placemat and Toddler Self-Feeding      Time to go home.  P. puts on socks and shoes with some assistance. Montessori Toddler Independence

It is time for R. and P. to move up to the Toddler Room!  I’m sure Mom and Dad will continue having fun during these Parent/Toddler classes.

 

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Filed under 12-18 Months, Christie, Food/Feeding, Foto Friday, Independence, Play Area/Toys, Relationships

Foto Friday: Gardening

Yvonne’s daughters aged 2 and 4 were busy in the garden this summer: weeding and exploring!

toddler gardening toddler gardeningtoddler gardening

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Filed under 2 years +, Foto Friday, Independence, Nature/Outdoors, Yvonne

1 Year of Blogging Celebration Ends

1 Year Anniversary - Thank youThank you to our wonderful readers that participated in our 1 Year Anniversary of Blogging Celebration!  What a ride these past 5 weeks have been!  We’ve really enjoyed learning why you chose Montessori, hearing about your challenges, and re-visiting our favourite posts with you.  We wish we could have offered a giveaway to all of you as you each give us so much joy and encouragement with your feedback, comments, and questions.  Keep it coming!!!  We’d love to see more engagement on the blog in our second year of blogging as we love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for sharing our blog with others!  We love sharing our knowledge and experience (that’s why we started this blog!) and we want to help more people come to understand and implement Montessori in their own homes and relationships with children.  Our blog subscriber list, readership, and facebook likes all increased during this giveaway celebration.  We warmly welcome all our new readers!  Here are some of the posts that you said were your favourites:

The Toilet Learning SeriesSpecifically The Standing Diaper Change Montessori Moms - Toilet Learning at 1 Year  standing diaper change

Bedroom Tour and Setting up the Home: The Bedroom DSC_00312013-09-22 12.57.57

Prepare the Environment for Your Toddler’s Independence e slicing avocados

So go check them out if you’re new to the blog!

We also want to say congratulations again to all our winners!

Beginning Montessori

Congratulations to Crystal G.. on winning the 5 Pack of Toys from Beginning Montessori!

The Joyful Child

Congratulations to Diara D. on winning the signed copy of The Joyful Child by Susan M. Stephenson (Michael Olaf)!

Montessori Services logo

Congratulations to Danielle F. on winning the $50 Gift Certificate to Montessori Services/ For Small Hands!

Handmade Montessori Aprons

Congratulations to K on winning the Montessori Apron from Handmade Montessori!   

How We Montessori Placemat

Congratulations to Jamie on winning the Montessori Placemat from How We Montessori Shop!

Aid to Life Education

Congratulations to Kathy D. on winning the Home Consultation from Aid to Life Education!

Please go support these wonderful sponsors for our 1 Year Anniversary Celebration!!!  We greatly appreciate their support for our blog and their commitment to the Montessori community.

We have some exciting posts planned to share with you in the coming weeks, so we hope you’ll stay with us for another year!

From the Montessori Moms: Carrie, Christie, Rubi, Tomoko, and Yvonne

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Foto Friday: Flashback

Flashback!  A. enjoying her 5 Pack of Beginning Montessori Materials

It’s not too late!  Enter to WIN your own 5 Pack of Beginning Montessori Materials!  Celebrate the 1 Year Anniversary of our blog!

1 Month: Bell Rattle  BELL RATTLE_crop3 Months: Small Grasping Beads small grasping beads4 Months: Interlocking Discs  interlocking discs5 Months: Ball Cylinder  ball cylinder6 Months: Bell Cylinder  bell cylinder

 

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Filed under 0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, 6-12 Months, Carrie, Foto Friday, Play Area/Toys

Happy 1st Anniversary! Beginning Montessori Giveaway!

We’ve just about reached the end of our 1st Anniversary of Blogging Celebration.  It has been such a joy to share with you our favourite Montessori resources and products.  It has been a lot of fun reading your responses as you explore Montessori further.  And our readership continues to grow!  Thank you for following our blog!  Thank you for sharing our blog with others!  If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of The Joyful Child up on our blog until Tuesday, September 16 at 11:59PST.

Beginning Montessori
As our 6th and final giveaway we are offering up a Five Pack of Toys from Beginning Montessori!  This pack makes the perfect set of toys to get started with Montessori.  I am a little biased about these toys as my husband makes them.  This company was born right out of my AtoI Montessori training.  As the course transformed me and how I saw infants, purchasing baby shower gifts became increasingly difficult.  During our training we made many materials and I asked my husband to help me make the bell rattle.  We had leftover dowel so my husband asked if any of the other women from my course would like a bell rattle.  Well, the orders flew in!  My husband then came to the training centre and checked out the materials telling me he could make many of the items.  He was just as excited as I was!  He grew up around wood crafting as his parents made wooden toys and he’s had lots of advice along the way as we developed our products.  With his ability to make the toys and my Montessori trained eye for detail, with special attention for how it would aid a young child’s development, we developed our product line to include:

    interlocking discs2    ball cylinder2

Amongst other materials which you can check out on our website.  Since we’ve observed our daughter A. use these toys, we’ve tweaked a couple of them but most were already perfect.  It has been such a joy for me to see A. use these materials!  It has been such a joy for me to see all of the Montessori Moms babies use these toys!  (From top to bottom you can see Christie’s sons R. and P.. my daughter A. with the interlocking discs, and Tomoko’s daughters M. and E.)  It continues to be such a joy for me to see many, many babies enjoy these toys.  I know at a deeper level how much the child is gaining through their usage of these toys so it just delights me!  You can read a short description of each material on the website and in addition, each toy comes with a product card describing the purpose and usage of each toy.  If you’re looking for cleaning information, please check our facebook page note on cleaning our materials.

This Five Pack of Montessori Baby Toys was designed to be a perfect baby shower or first gift for the child.  The cost of the five pack is $48 and the giveaway includes free, international shipping.  A few of the toys can start to be enjoyed within the first months of the child’s life.  They will aid the child’s development, and continue to be enjoyed, throughout the child’s first year.  These toys will also last for multiple children and in infant communities.  They are great quality and beautifully made.  They make great teething toys and you can be sure they are safe to be mouthed on by an infant as they are hand-made with natural materials.  We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!

1 Year Anniversary - Beginning MontessoriTo enter leave a comment on our blog telling us: What is your favourite post from the Montessori Moms Blog from our First Year of Blogging?  Then click the link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and click the green button on the Rafflecopter form telling us “I commented!”  There are also lots of additional ways to enter to get your name in multiple times.  If you haven’t used Rafflecopter before it’s very easy to do so by just following the instructions.  You can also watch this quick video to help you learn. (Sorry it has to be a form using the link.  It still works!)

The giveaway will close on Monday, September 22 at 11:59PST.  Winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted.  Good luck!  The giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Crystal G. on winning the 5 Pack of Beginning Montessori Toys!

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Filed under 0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, 6-12 Months, Play Area/Toys

Happy 1st Anniversary! The Joyful Child Giveaway!

Can you believe we’re already on our last week of giveaways as we celebrate our 1st Annivesary?!  Last week’s giveaway is still up until 11:59PM PST tonight!  It’s your last day to enter for a $50 Gift Certificate to Montessori Services/For Small Hands if you haven’t done so already.  We’ve been enjoying sharing with you our favourite products and helping you bring more Montessori into your homes to celebrate.  This week, our final week of giveaways, we have two giveaways.  Today I’ll announce the first one.  We’re offering a signed copy of The Joyful Child by Susan Mayclin Stephenson!  Yes, I said signed!  Susan was so wonderful to donate a signed copy of her book at my request.  She has such a passion to further bring Montessori to the youngest children.

The Joyful Child

This is such a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Montessori from birth to three years of age.  You may have started reading about Montessori on a blog, perhaps this one, and you’re wondering what might be good book to learn more.  Having been published as a formal book only last year, I find it’s not often the suggested Montessori book.  After reading it earlier this year, I fell in love with it!  Susan writes in such a warm, gentle tone.  She weaves jam-packed advice into a simple scenario of how to set-up a space for your child.  The advice about how to handle situations has stuck in my mind with her poignant stories from her own experiences as mother, grandmother, teacher, guide, and friend.  She truly looks at the child from a holistic perspective, covering topics such as feeding, toys, language development, discipline, art and music, toilet learning, motor development, sensory development, connecting with nature, connecting with our child(ren), psychological development, and so much more!  I especially appreciate her approach to parenting and addressing our needs/challenges as parents while trying to do the best for our child(ren).

Parents all do best they can with the knowledge and skills they have at the moment.  … No matter how much parents know, or how much time they give, they are not alone in feeling that it is not enough.  The first year of the child’s life is not the easiest time to begin to learn what it takes to be a parent, … We must not be too hard on ourselves as we try to balance our busy lives.  Parents who observe carefully, who listen, and, as they do so, imagine themselves in the place of their child, will learn that a child is a unique, thoughtful, and creative individual, even before the age of one year.  This is truly one of the most joyful discoveries of parenting. ~Susan Mayclin Stephenson, The Joyful Child

Thank you Susan for writing such an informative and encouraging book!  If you haven’t heard of Susan Mayclin Stephenson before, she is AMI trained at all 3 levels (0-3, 3-6, and 6-12) and has extensively travelled.  She has helped bring Montessori education to many children and families around the world.  She is also an amazing oil-painter and you can check out her work as an artist and educator here.  She runs the company Michael Olaf which offers a wonderful selection of children’s toys, books, furniture, and child-sized tools.  The newsletters are very informative, as is the website itself!  A very helpful resource on her website is the selection of video clips of Child Development Birth to Three+.  Be sure to visit the website and watch some videos to be inspired!

Video Clips: Birth to Age One Michael Olaf Videos - Birth to Age 1

Video Clips: Age One to Two Michael Olaf Videos - Ages 1-2

Video Clips: Age Two to Three Michael Olaf Videos - Ages 2-3

Thank you Susan for offering up a signed copy of The Joyful Child as a Giveaway to help us celebrate the 1st Anniversary of our blog!  This giveaway is open internationally.  To enter leave a comment on our blog telling us: Which video clip is your favourite from the Michael Olaf website?  Then click the link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and click the green button on the Rafflecopter form telling us “I commented!”  There are also lots of additional ways to enter to get your name in multiple times.  If you haven’t used Rafflecopter before it’s very easy to do so by just following the instructions.  You can also watch this quick video to help you learn. (Sorry it has to be a form using the link.  It still works!)

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, September 16 at 11:59PST.  Winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted.  Good luck!  The giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Diara D. on winning the signed copy of The Joyful Child by Susan M. Stephenson!

Disclosure statement: All opinions expressed are my own.  I have not received any compensation for expressing these opinions.  Susan was very generous to offer up her book for this giveaway.  I don’t have a previous relationship with her although I did have the pleasure of meeting her at the 27th International Montessori Congress in Portland last summer where she signed my own copy of her book and I was privileged to hear her speak.

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Foto Friday: Pouring

22 month old F. pours herself a beverage using her pitcher from Montessori Services

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Child sized tools make a huge difference in a child’s ability to do things independently.  Go enter to WIN a $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE to Montessori Services/For Small Hands and help us celebrate the 1st Anniversary of our blog!

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Filed under 18-24 Months, Food/Feeding, Foto Friday, Independence, Rubi

Happy 1st Anniversary! For Small Hands/Montessori Services Giveaway!

Thank you for your continued support for our blog and your excitement as we celebrate our blog’s 1 Year Anniversary!   Congratulations to K on Winning the Montessori Apron from Handmade Montessori!  We greatly thank all who entered to win the Montessori Apron!   Thank you for supporting Handmade Montessori!  K., we hope you greatly enjoy your new apron!  I’m sure Karla from Handmade Montessori can accommodate your request for a red flowers waterproof apron!  If you weren’t the lucky winner, consider visiting Handmade Montessori and purchasing one of her fabulous aprons!

Congratulations to Jamie on Winning the Montessori Placemat from How We Montessori Shop!  Thank you so much to all who entered to win the Montessori Placemat!  Thank you for helping us promote our blog and How We Montessori Shop.  It really is a wonderful company filled with unique and quality items.  It seems a few of you were eyeing up the matching and language sets and the lock box.  If you weren’t the lucky winner, remember that the Easy Clean Montessori Placemat has FREE international shipping,   making it affordable no matter where you live!

Now to announce the Giveaway for Week Three of our 1 Year Anniversary of Blogging!  This week we have a

$50 Gift Certificate to For Small Hands/Montessori Services!

 For Small Hands  Montessori ServicesI am really excited to work with this company for the giveaway.  I’ve been ordering materials for my school from them for many years and now purchase materials for my daughter from the company.  They have a huge selection of child-sized tools, great toys, art supplies, children’s books, adult resources, and so much more!  If you’ve not heard of this company, I’m really excited to introduce you to it.  If you do know of this company, I’m sure you’re anxious to get your name in for the giveaway!  They have two branches: For Small Hands is geared towards parents and Montessori Services is geared towards teachers.  A $50 Gift Certificate would be so much fun to spend for this company!

1 year anniversary - Montessori Services

You’ve probably seen A. using materials from For Small Hands/Montessori Services in previous posts such as Crawling towards Practical Life.  Our most loved items are the small garden hand tools and the small metal pail, although we also greatly love books such as Hands Can and Global Babies, and I think the baby hairbrush is absolutely perfect for fine, baby hair.  We also use the polka-dot pitcher and tongs on a daily basis.  Recently, For Small Hands/Montessori Services sent me some musical instruments to review.  I was so excited to do so!  We only have a few musical instruments and it was on my wishlist to obtain more for A.  I’m quite particular about the toys that make it into our home as I really try to limit the toys.  That means the toys that are in our home are usually made of natural materials and are good quality.  The musical instruments from Montessori Services fit both these criteria and had the bonus of being from South America.  I love travelling and the cultural diversity of our world so what better way to introduce this to my toddler than through musical instruments!  We picked up A.’s maracas when we were in Dominican Republic so it is very fitting that we continue the international collection.

Bolivian Goat Hoof Shaker

Bolivian Goat Hoof Shaker from For Small Hands/Montessori Services

On my dream wish list was to have a goat hoof shaker.  I know this sounds strange but years ago we travelled to Ecuador and at one of our stops was a family showcasing the music of the area.  100_0062_cropThe older children were dressed beautifully and were playing their instruments with their parents.  Then, the little toddler came in, clearly wearing her play clothes, and joined in with such enthusiasm playing her goat hoof shaker or chaj-chas.  It was completely unprompted and so beautiful of the child and the family to embrace the moment and joy of playing music together.  I was very excited to see that Montessori Services sells a goat hoof shaker from Bolivia (item no. M332), as I didn’t have the foresight when I was travelling years ago to purchase one.  So with great joy I introduced the goat hoof shaker to A.  Bolivian Goat Hoof ShakerShe was definitely intrigued by the texture and the foreign look of the goat hooves.  The simplicity in shaking it to obtain sound immediately brought a smile to her face.  She even experimented with it a little by holding it by one hoof to shake it and holding it by the fabric to obtain a different sound.  I’m quite certain she will enjoy this shaker for years to come!  I look forward to using this shaker as a stimulus for talking about  Bolivia and learning about the country together.  I think it will also serve as a stimulus for talking about goats and using animal parts in a resourceful manner.  Another extension will be to listen to music from the Andes, where she will be introduced to more instruments such as the pan flute and charango.  This goat hoof shaker is a very welcome addition to our home and instrument collection!

Child-Size Chilean Rainstick

Child-Size Chilean Rainstick from For Small Hands/Montessori Services

The second instrument I received was a child-sized rainstick from Chile (item no. M448).  It is made from a Capado cactus and the pebbles cascade over cactus spines.  At first touch I thought it was quite rough.  When I gave it to A. though she didn’t seem bothered in the least by the roughness.  She turned it over creating a “downpour” effect immediately.  Child-Size Chilean RainstickShe then explored it and any worry that I might have had that the roughness would turn her off from enjoying it was dispelled.  I also had another worry that she would be scared by the noise.  A. is quite sensitive to sounds and on a previous occasion was quite scared by the thunder of a large rainstick.  The child-sized rainstick made just the right amount of noise so that she was intrigued by it and continued to use it.  I’m so glad For Small Hands/Montessori Services pays great detail to attention to ensure each item is truly child-sized.  In the future, A. and I can explore the country of Chile and the geography of the area, especially the flora to learn about cacti.  Perhaps we can get a cacti for her to take of in the future.  I wonder if she’ll be bothered by spikes of a live cactus!

Peruvian Tinya Drum

Peruvian Tinya Drum from For Small Hands/Montessori Services

A.’s favourite instrument was the Tinya Drum from Peru (item no. M350).  On a recent trip to the Squamish Líl’wat Cultural Centre A. had a lot of fun playing the drums of our local First Nations in the children’s area.  When I gave her the mallet for the Tinya Drum, she immediately began banging on the drum and I could tell this was her favourite.  Peruvian Tinya DrumPrior to receiving this drum A. only had a djembe drum which she plays using her hand so the addition of a mallet to play a drum was quite enticing to her.  The drum has a little handle, perfect for her small hands, and this allows her to carry the drum around with her.  She hasn’t tried playing it while holding it yet, which makes me happy that there are different elements to playing the drum that she will be able to discover in the future.  She can enjoy it now in a simple manner and later explore the many ways to have fun with it and create various sounds.  The drum makes the perfect accompaniment to the goat hoof shaker as it is also an Andean instrument and uses a different part of the goat, the skin.  I love how drums are very international, as every culture seems to have their own drum, no matter where I go.  I’m sure we’ll use this drum as a stimulus for learning about Peru and inciting interest to travel to South America.

While I’ve shared with you my excitement of receiving these musical instruments from For Small Hands/Montessori Services, the company has so many more wonderful items!  My personal favourites are the child-sized tools.  I’d love for you to check out this company and I’m looking forward to one of our wonderful readers winning the $50 Gift Certificate!  This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US.  To enter leave a comment on our blog sharing What item is on your wishlist from For Small Hands (for parents) or Montessori Services (for teachers).  Then click on the link to a Rafflecopter giveaway and click the green button on the Rafflecopter form telling us “I commented!”  There are also lots of additional ways to enter to get your name in multiple times.  If you haven’t used Rafflecopter before it’s very easy to do so by just following the instructions.  You can also watch this quick video to help you learn. (Sorry it has to be a form using the link.  It still works!)

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, September 10 at 11:59PST.  Winner must respond within 48 hours of being contacted.  Good luck!  The giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Danielle F. on winning the $50 Gift Certificate to For Small Hands/Montessori Services!

Disclosure: The musical instruments shown in this post were sent to me free of charge from For Small Hands/Montessori Services.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  This blog is written with authenticity and honesty.  I am pleased to work with For Small Hands/Montessori Services for this giveaway as it is company I highly recommend for quality products, great selection, and good customer service. 

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Foto Friday – Peas

18 Month old A. is back in the garden & the kitchen!

Pick the peas from the garden

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Shell the peas and enjoy!

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Don’t forget to enter to WIN a Montessori apron, just like the one A. is wearing, and then enter to WIN a Montessori placemat.

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Filed under 12-18 Months, 18-24 Months, Carrie, Foto Friday