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toys

Simple Is Better

egg-and-cupMost commercial toys try to cram a lot of “bang for their buck”. Imagine, with just one toy, your child will be able to learn colors, numbers and shapes! She’ll practice sorting and stacking while listening to classical music, and each time she does it right, the toy will light up and shout out “Good job!”

This sounds like a great toy, right? Wrong! The best toys are the simplest ones… Click here to find out why and watch a short video!

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On Our Shelves: materials for a 9-month-old and a 4-year-old

I recently posted a picture of 9-month-old Nadia's shelves on my Facebook page, and several people wrote to me asking for links to her toys and materials. I hope this helps you when you set up your baby's shelves!

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Top row of cubbies(left to right):

Takane ball: I made the ball for Zachary when he was a baby, and both kids have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it. I used this tutorial from Beautiful Sun Montessori, but there are many other tutorials out there if you search for"takane ball...

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Why Boring is Good

You might think that the home of a Montessori teacher is like a miniature classroom, with shelf after shelf of perfect little materials and not a plastic object in sight. That might be true for some teachers' homes, but not for ours! We have a little cupboard that holds a few activities: musical instruments, a basket of containers, nesting cups, and a couple of books. He also has a Ball Tower, a basket with assorted balls, a push toy, and a couple of stacking toys. That's pretty much it.

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The Power of Simplicity and Trust

The fundamental concept for the educator [and the parent] is not to become an obstacle in the development of the child.

-Maria Montessori, The Child In the Family

One reason I love to blog is because it gives me the opportunity to connect with many amazing parents. After I wrote the post about Zach's experiences with the Jaramillo soup, I began an e-mail correspondence with a reader (let's call her Adriana) who felt the soup was right for her three-month old son (let's call him Charlie). We...

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He Likes to Move It, Move It...

I had the good fortune of capturing Zach on video while he worked on his gross motor skills. (Please pardon the wonky camera angle; I didn't want him to know I was filming him.) I want to share what I recorded because I feel it illustrates several key principles for supporting the development of movement...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhZOv680Q9k

Motives for movement:The development of movement is two-pronged. There is an evolutionary drive to move that comes from within the child, but it...

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The Items In Our Basket Go Round and Round

Zach just turned 7 months and he's on the move! I'm intrigued by how much effort he puts into his movements and can only imagine how difficult it must be to drag yourself around a room when your arms won't hold you up reliably, your legs tuck under you but then splay right out again, and your head weighs the same as the rest of your body. Regardless, our little boy continues to grunt and inch his way towards whatever catches his attention.

To support this developmental phase, I've placed in...

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Dog Days of Summer

When Zach was a newborn, we had a hammock set up in our family room/bedroom. I spent several nights dozing with him on that hammock in the fog of early motherhood. We eventually took it down to put up the mobiles, but a few days ago Zach was grumpy, so my husband decided to rock him. Within minutes, our baby was asleep with his hanging wooden ring safely tucked in his hand (check out the toes!!)...





When my husband's younger sister was a baby, she received as a gift a cloth frog that could...

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Book Review: Parenting, Inc.

Disclaimer: I wrote this book review several years ago on an old blog. It's still one of my favorite books and I thought some of my new readers might find the information useful. Enjoy!

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Parenting, Inc., written by Pamela Paul, goes beyond criticizing the baby product industry for its over-the-top marketing ploys, and analyzes how this exploding industry is impacting parents' child-rearing abilities. It is an eye-opening read for any couple thinking of having...

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Zach's Activity Area

We live in a small two-bedroom condo, which has posed some fun challenges as we work to continually adapt Zachary's environment to meet his growing needs. One of the four areas that make up a Montessori baby room is the activity area, where the little one has the opportunity to stretch out, roll around, observe mobiles, and play independently. It is a simple set-up, consisting of a low mirror and a thin pad or large rug. A hook or tripod for hanging mobiles is also essential. Eventually, a...

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