Sunday, 21 May 2017

Everyday Montessori Activities.

I've briefly mentioned in the past, that we follow some Montessori principles at home. We base a lot of Violet's play on independent learning, following her interests and "real-life" situations. She has free run of the house, with close supervision on the stairs of course! But other than that, she's able to crawl and climb around wherever she pleases and explore her surroundings. V will crawl off and play and come back to us when she's had enough or would like us to join in. She adores the independence and is constantly finding new things to investigate. With that in mind, I thought I'd share a few of the things we like to do that are Montessori-friendly. 
Violet has her own reading corner, where she can sit with her books and one of us will read with her or she'll flick through them herself. She's keen on reading lift the flap books and we tend to have a theme on going. It's usually farm or zoo related! We spend a lot of time at the library, which has a great children's area and plenty of space to crawl. But it also means we can rotate books regularly and can read new ones for free. V has her own library card too!
When we started out with Montessori, I did a lot of reading up. I remember distinctly reading that children need to see the real- life object before they can put a photo, picture or a toy into context. After reading this, it encouraged us even more to get outside and be more creative with learning. I'm the queen of finding free activities, and recently we headed to a local park to see the rare breed pigs. Violet was able to stroke them, get up close and we even fed them. We took this opportunity to get her pig toy out and show her some photos of the pigs when we got home. 

I did a similar activity after we'd been to a farm. We saw the cows being milked, fed most the animals and a calf had licked Violet's hand (which she found absolutely hilarious). We then talked about the cows and found them in her farm books. I really do think she is picking up words and will point to the cow in a book if you ask her to. 
One thing I love about Montessori is how you can use everyday objects to learn and play. All of our toys are open ended, we don't have any battery operated toys and he majority are natural materials or household items. As I've said before, we follow Violet's interests as much as possible. She loves water play, so sitting in her paddling pool is a must when the weather is nice. Instead of generic bath toys, she has pouring cups, a whisk, spoons and other kitchen utensils to use in the water. 

Violet loves spending time doing every day tasks too. She's really interested if we're in the kitchen and will often sit and watch what we're doing and join in if it's safe for her to do so. Her latest favourite task is helping me empty the washing machine. It does take a little longer than if I did it alone but she loves to get involved. We're not quite at the stage of helping me peg it out, but she will happily sit outside and watch me. We even watered the plants together the other day and she happily played with the hosepipe and watched the water for a good fifteen minutes. 
Our recent trip to the airport, ties back in with gaining real life experiences and understandings. We watched the helicopters and planes coming in and out of the airport. If we're close by Manchester airport she'll watch the planes go overhead so it was nice to get up close to smaller planes at the local airport. Plus it was another free activity that meant we had spent some time outside. 

Hope this was helpful if you're looking for Montessori ideas for little ones. I'm thinking of doing a post on where we get her open ended toys and which ones we recommend. Let me know if you would like to see this!

Katie xx

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fighting Bleeding Gums.

Pretty much as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Violet, I noticed the changes in my gums. Weirdly bleeding gums are a pregnancy symptom and I really wanted to keep on top of the situation. I invested in an electric toothbrush too, which I'm pleased to say is still going strong (not the same toothbrush head, you'll be pleased to hear!).

Even after having Violet, your body is never the same and I still struggle with my gums at times. So when I saw Corsodyl* were looking for reviewers, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me. The addition of Some Lulu Guinness goodies, did make the parcel even more exciting. 

According to Corsodyl, the Ultra Clean toothpaste is proven to be four times more effective than regular toothpaste, at reducing the build up of plaque, which is themain cause of bleeding gums. The toothpaste itself has a pinky colour to it and does appear quite grainy to look at. I've put this down to the sodium bicarbonate which helps to keep the mouth super clean but also gives a unique taste to this toothpaste. I would say it's an acquired taste and not your stereotypical minty flavour, it took some getting used to however both me and my hubby have commented on how fresh and clean our mouths felt. If you're not a fan of strong mint flavours, this might the perfect toothpaste for you. 

I've definitely noticed a big improvement in how healthy my mouth looks and feels. I will certainly be picking up another tube as soon as this one is finished and might even stretch to using the mouthwash alongside it, for extra protection against bleeding gums. 

You can find the Corsodyl toothpaste nationwide for £3.99 or over at

Katie xx

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

DIY Busy Board.

Violet has a keen interest in anything fiddly. I'm talking zips, buttons, toggles and those ties you have on a hoodie. You name it and she'll want to investigate it. I've been threatening to make her a Busy Board for quite sometime and as we try to follow her interests, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. 

V's Busy Board was made really simply and for less than £10, which is a bargain compared to the prices of ready-made ones on Etsy. I picked up most the things from Poundland and Wilko, and managed to find a cheap bit of MDF in our local hardware shop. 

Our board has a mixture of items; a lock, light switch, artificial grass, mirror, ribbon, zip, padlock and a wheel for the bottom of a chair. These were all easily stuck down with super glue and after letting it dry overnight, we were ready to play. 

This is a really easy DIY and definitely something you can easily tailor to the little monkey in your life. Perfect for little hands that want to explore everything! 

Katie xx