Highlights of 2014

Happy New Year!!!

We wanted to share our highlights of the 2014 year with you.

Our most popular post from 2014 Oh, You Haven’t Got Your Crib Yet  1 year old, sleeping on her floor bed with over 3,000 views.  Wow!  Thank you!

Our diaper and toilet learning series with our most popular being Honestly, How do you do a Standing Diaper Change? standing diaper change

Learning how we are Setting Limits the Montessori Way Montessori Discipline

The experience of Why Baby Led Weaning Works for Us 2014-02-23 17.19.02

We celebrated our 1st Anniversary of Blogging with YOU our wonderful readers, and the help of our favourite vendors and their fabulous products through a month long series of giveaways in our 1 Year of Blogging Celebration 1 Year Anniversary - Thank you

We updated the look of our Montessori Moms blog to make navigation easier with tabs for topics, ages, and authors.

We introduced a new series Foto Friday to help keep you updated about our adventures in Montessori parenting when we didn’t have time to write.  You especially loved Foto Friday: Squeezing Orange Juice DSC04110

And you loved watching videos on our facebook page.  Were you one of over 23,000 people that watched 20 month A. crack the eggstoddler makes breakfast

We also welcomed 3402 new facebook fans and 144 new followers on wordpress!  Thank you for joining us in our journey as we use our Montessori knowledge as mothers in our homes with our children.  We continue to hope that you will  be inspired to live out some of these ideas in your own lives with your own children.

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Foto Friday: Homemade Christmas Gifts

 

 

Can we have a Foto Friday on a Sunday?  22 Month Old A. made Christmas gifts and cards for her friends.  With a little help of pre-measured ingredients and finishing touches by Mommy, A. was able to do a lot the work herself to make these beautiful Bird Seed Ornaments.

22 Months - bird seed ornaments 1 Pour flour, water, gelatin, and corn syrup into bowl.  Give it a good stir.

DSC_0050 Pour in the bird seed.  Stir it all together.

bird seed ornaments Scoop into Christmas cookie cutters.

gift from toddlerInsert straw pieces and leave to harden.

DSC_0096  Tie a piece of ribbon through the hole.  Hang on a tree outside for the birds to enjoy.

DSC_0105 Don’t forget a card!  Crayons and dot stickers allowed A. to add her personal touch.

 

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

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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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

DSC_0551_crop DSC_0554_crop

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