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Practical Life

Ditch the Workbooks

metal-nut-boltI recently came across a series of workbooks for two-year olds that promised to help toddlers “develop fine motor skills” through coloring and pasting stickers. Do you feel pressured to buy workbooks to support your child’s development? Did you know that your child benefits more from everyday objects you have around your house than he ever will from those workbooks?

Find out how and why here!

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Your Child Has a Secret

nut-boltIf you’ve been following the Voila Montessori video series, you’ve probably had the opportunity to give several presentations to your child by now. She might have shown interest in some activities, and completely ignored others. Do you feel frustrated when that happens? All that hard work to put together the material, and your child isn’t interested in it!

Find out why this happens and what you can do about it by clicking here!

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Bathroom Botany

I was sitting outside, enjoying a bit of sunshine, when Zachary walked out of the bathroom and approached me with an inquisitive look. "Mom, can plants grow with pee?"

The question from my just-turned-four year old caught me off guard.

"Uh, I'm not sure."

He reasoned: "Well, pee comes from water, right?  So maybe they can."

"Huh.  Maybe they can."  And then I realized the potential this question had.

"Hey, do you want to do an experiment?  We can try to see if plants will grow if we water them with u…

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Spooning & Point of Interest

This is the first installment in a joint effort between The Full Montessori and Voila Montessori. Every week, we'll share with you a video (by Jeanne-Marie) and a blog post (by me) highlighting one presentation from the Primary curriculum and explaining one aspect of Montessori theory. It's bite-sized Montessori training that you can immediately put to good use at home!  If you enjoy this, please share with others so our efforts can reach many families!

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When little children participat…

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Getting Back on the Montessori Wagon

With the birth or our daughter, I found myself slacking off in the "Montessori parenting" department.  Gone are the days when Zach and I could spend 30 minutes cooking together, and my patience and resolve are minimal these days due to sleep deprivation and meeting the needs of a tiny human 24/7.

When I started noticing that my 3-year old was acting a little like an entitled brat, I knew that the changes to his lifestyle were to blame; I realized I had to modify his environment, routine, and expe…

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Happy Pi Day!

In honor of Pi Day, Zachary and I made a quiche following this tried-and-true recipe.  While not the speediest quiche to make, it was perfect for keeping us entertained on an otherwise lazy afternoon.   Here are some pictures of Zach working, to give you an idea of what a toddler can help with.  Please pardon the shades; he's 100% three years old and 100% determined to assert his will.  And that includes cooking with sunglasses.

Transferring chopped chard from a bowl to the pan with tongs. Transferring chopped chard from a bowl to the pan with tongs.

Rolling out the pie dough. Rolli…

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Absolutely the World's Best One-Bowl Toddler-Friendly Banana Bread Muffin Recipe Ever Invented... Ever!

You might be able to tell by this post's title how excited I am about this recipe.  It was given to me six years ago by a Toddler classroom assistant on a small piece of scrap paper.  Now, it's time to share it and record it on the interwebs for all posterity.

World's Best One-Bowl Banana Bread Muffins (can be made dairy-free!!!)

(makes 18 muffins)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of melted butter (or melted coconut oil)
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar (or 1+ cups if you have a sweet tooth, but honestly 2/3 cup is ple…

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Turning Picky Into Practical

Toddlers are famous for their food fixations.  I'm blessed to be raising a very adventurous eater, but even Zach has some toddler quirks that would drive me insane if I chose to let them bother me.

This morning, I pulled out a container with a few strawberries from the fridge.  I asked Zach if he'd like some with his breakfast and he said yes.  I told him I had to rinse them first, and he flipped out.  While he screamed, I washed the strawberries, put them in a bowl, and took them to the table.

(Y…

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Pom-Poms vs. Broccoli

Practical Life activities should be, above all else, practical: real activities that have a purpose and a goal. Practical Life IMG_0309should never, EVER be busy work. Busy work is insulting to the child's intelligence and developmental drives.

So, let's say you want to introduce transferring with tongs. Instead of the ubiquitous pom-poms you see all over Pinterest, how about using broccoli?

Here's what I did with Zach (who just turned 3), when he asked if he could help in the kitchen:

I had already choppe…

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