My 2-year-old granddaughter loves art postcards. Luckily, I didn’t have to search far to find art postcards for her. I have enough to last as long as she wishes!   Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). When I owned a Montessori school in the 1980s, I discovered the work of Aline Wolf from Parent Child Press, which is now owned by Montessori Services. At the time, I was able to purchase Mommy, It’s a Renoir! Art Postcards for Art Appreciation along with packets of art postcards for the steps in Aline Wolf’s art postcard curriculum. I

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I want my granddaughter to be safe, independent, and happily engaged in her work. The Little Partners Learning Tower/Art Easel Combo helps her to do all three. Disclosure: I received the new Little Partners Learn and Share Easel to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are honest and my own. My granddaughter, Zoey, recently turned 2 years old. She has been using the Little Partners Learning Tower in my home since she was 1 year old. Recently, I was able to add the new Learn and Share Easel to the Learning Tower.

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I’m not a fan of cold weather (notice that I’m living in San Diego!), but I do love snowman activities that are warm and cozy. Free snowman printables with hands-on activities are some of my favorite ways to enjoy snowmen! Here, I’m sharing the links to lots of free snowman printables for preschoolers through 1st graders (and sometimes older). To keep my list manageable, I don’t share coloring pages unless a page has a specific educational purpose related to snowmen. At PreK + K Sharing, I tell where I found my materials and how I used the printables to prepare

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One of my latest tasks has been to figure out a playdough recipe for my granddaughter, Zoey. I wanted one that would be quick, required no cooking or hot water, and would be simple enough for Zoey to do most of the playdough preparation herself. That’s rather tricky because Zoey just recently turned 2 years old. So I started searching online for a playdough recipe that would fit the bill. And I found a very simple one at Paging Fun Mums. The playdough recipe only uses 2 ingredients other than food coloring, which is optional. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to

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I love the Montessori-based religious education program Godly Play for preschoolers through elementary-age kids. But what about your toddler? In a simplified form, Godly Play can be used for toddlers, too. My 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, spontaneously discovered a wonderful way for her to experience the mystery of Christmas. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Simple Godly Play for Toddlers during Advent I’ve always kept our nativity set on the kitchen counter. Two days ago, Zoey asked to touch it. When I brought it down for her to look at, she loved playing with the figures. Yesterday,

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I’d been trying to figure out a simple but attractive Christmas ornament that my 2-year-old granddaughter could make for her parents. (Shhh! Don’t tell Zoey’s parents!) There were lots of options but not one that seemed just right. I wanted the ornament to be a Christmas tree to go along with a cute Christmas counting book that has 2 Christmas trees. I thought that would be perfect … one tree for Mommy and one for Daddy. Then I saw these lovely colorful craft-stick Christmas tree ornaments ( “Happiest Trees EVER”) at Trisha Brink Design. I couldn’t help but think that a Montessori-inspired learning activity

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I’ve always looked with longing at blog posts with Christmas baskets filled with 24 gift-wrapped Christmas books all ready for a Christmas countdown. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE books and reading aloud and Christmas traditions. We had a nice selection of Christmas books that we read together every Christmas season when my now-adult kids were growing up. But I never had a nice gift-wrapped Christmas book countdown … and I’ve finally realized that I never will have one, even as a grandma. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Why I’ll Never Have a Christmas Book

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I’ve been a Little Passports affiliate and ambassador since 2013. This is the first year that I’ve had someone to help me with my reviews. For this post, I had two people to help me: my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, and my daughter, Christina, who’s the main force behind the Living Montessori Now YouTube channel. I was given the Little Passports items in this review. As always, my opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). I’ve enjoyed reviewing the Little Passports World Edition along with the first 3 Early Explorers

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November was a great month to focus on gratitude. I’m grateful for all of you! Top 10s and Thank You’s for November 2015 … from my Google Analytics Report   Thank you to all my referrers! Top 10 Referring Sites (Not counting sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Blogger) 1. Kids Activities Blog 2. PreK + K Sharing 3. One Perfect Day 4. Fantastic Fun and Learning 5. Bits of Positivity 6. Montessori Nature 7. Mama’s Happy Hive 8. Free Homeschool Deals 9. Teaching Mama 10. Lemon Lime Adventures Thank you to all my readers! Top 10 Visited Posts 1. Free Thanksgiving Songs and Rhymes

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Wow! What can I say?! It’s already December! Today, I’m sharing my calendar of December themed activities for kids. You’ll find all my unit studies and holiday posts listed by themes in my “Montessori-Inspired Unit Studies + Holiday and Seasonal Activities” post. Here you’ll find lots of themes for December according to holiday or calendar observances. You’ll find more links for calendar observances in my “Enliven Your Homeschool with Some Calendar Fun” post. The post has links to resources for calendar observances for any level. I’m focusing here on December themes for preschoolers through early elementary, although I’ve added

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If you’re a Montessori homeschooler, you want to make the best use of your beautiful Montessori materials. If you own Spielgaben as well, you’ll be able to easily prepare some lovely Montessori sensorial extensions that give your preschooler extra learning opportunities. This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Spielgaben. All opinions are honest and my own. This post also contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). In case you’re not familiar with Spielgaben toys, they are exceptionally high-quality educational toys designed for ages 3-12. You can see from the photo that the cabinet is very high

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It’s that time of year! For Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I have some very special deals for Montessori families and other families wanting to give their children special learning and play opportunities. Before I start with the deals, though, check out these two awesome giveaways! Win Some Awesome Gifts If you live in the U.S. or Canada, be sure to check out this giveaway! The huge collaborative giveaway with the prize of a $150 gift certificate to Montessori Services and the Montessori By Mom Art Appreciation Toolbox ends November 30. 2015 Black Friday through Cyber Monday Specials Save an

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When my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey. and I were working with pouring activities for our Montessori Services review and giveaway, Zoey spent a lot of time cleaning up her tray and squeezing out her sponge. She thought that was an awesome activity! So, I decided it was time to put out a Montessori squeezing a sponge activity for her. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Montessori Squeezing a Sponge Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers – YouTube Video My daughter, Christina, and Zoey (Christina’s niece), had lots of fun with this activity. I love how focused Zoey is

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My 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, and I thought we had our tree decorating taken care of with the big tree and our Montessori Christmas tree decorating activity. Then I found a miniature wooden Christmas tree that we both fell in love with. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Montessori Fine-Motor Christmas Tree Activity I always loved wooden Christmas decorations from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. This miniature wooden Christmas tree gives that same feel. I found the tree on Amazon. I used  a Montessori Services large plastic tray and a Christmas basket from Michaels craft store.

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I always love when I get to review Montessori Services products. It’s even more fun now that I have a granddaughter to help test out the products! My 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, and I had lots of fun testing out Montessori Services pouring activities for today’s review and giveaway. The giveaway is now closed. Please see the bottom of the post below the Rafflecopter form for the announcement of the winner.If you live in the U.S. or Canada, be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! Montessori Services is sponsoring the giveaway of a $50 gift

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Toddlers and preschoolers often have a difficult time understanding who’s who in their family. If there’s a family reunion or holiday gathering, children can be very uncomfortable seeing relatives they feel unfamiliar with. Working with a family tree can not only help children feel more comfortable greeting relatives, but it can also give them a better sense of where they come from. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Montessori 3-Part Family Cards and DIY “My Family” Book I want to be sure my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, feels comfortable with family members and begins to learn

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I have fun researching and shopping for toys for toddlers … especially now that I have a toddler to shop for. Taking care of my 24-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, a few afternoons a week gives me plenty of opportunities to observe her choice in toys. And many of Zoey’s favorites are similar to the Montessori-friendly childhood favorites of my now-adult kids! Previously, I published Best Gifts for Kids: Montessori-Friendly Baby and Toddler Toys with lots of ideas for babies and toddlers. Today, I’m focusing mainly on Montessori-friendly toys that will still be appealing to toddlers who are 15 months to 36 months. As I said in my earlier gift guide,

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My 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, is in love with Thomas the train. Her 2nd birthday party even had a Thomas the train theme. (I thought it was very cool to see a little girl with a train birthday party.) In honor of Zoey’s and many other kids’ love of trains, my 15th-of-the-month posts here and at PreK + K Sharing are dedicated to free train printables and Montessori-inspired train activities. Here, I’m sharing the links to lots of free train printables for preschoolers through 1st graders (and sometimes older). To keep my list manageable, I don’t share coloring pages unless a page has a

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Even though we live in San Diego, I want my 24-month-old granddaughter, Zoey, to enjoy a little snowman fun. So I decided to prepare a simple snowman sensory bin that would work on a number of essential skills. (I am a teacher at heart, so I’m always looking for ways to sneak a little extra learning into an activity.) This is a fun activity that can be used for the holidays or anytime during winter.   Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Simple Snowman Sensory Bin – 37-Second YouTube Video Simple Snowman Sensory Bin I had

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What parent doesn’t dread the cold and flu season for kids? While it’s always challenging to deal with developing immune systems, you can help your child with some Montessori-inspired lessons at home. These work great in the classroom, too! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you) Montessori-Inspired Hygiene Activities and Resources For a variety of ages, handwashing lessons and songs are extremely helpful. For elementary-age children, it’s nice if you can study the immune system first to give them a better understanding of the importance of hygiene. With toddlers, you might want to just start

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I’ve been asked to show what’s on the Montessori shelves I have for my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey. Like most Montessori homes, mine is always a work in progress. My shelves change according to my granddaughter’s needs and interests, which include a fascinating variety of topics. So the shelves I’m showing you today may not be the same tomorrow. And that’s probably good. I don’t want you to think that these are what should be on your toddler shelves. If something is helpful for you, that’s awesome. But I hope you feel comfortable in going with your own child’s needs and interests.

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We want to make Christmas as magical as possible for our little ones. Many Montessori schools and homeschools have a Montessori Christmas tree decorating activity that helps young children create part of the magic and develop fine-motor skills at the same time. For today’s post, I’m excited to join with 15+ Montessori bloggers to bring you the 15 Days of Montessori for the Holidays!  You can find links to all the posts on the 15 Days of Montessori for the Holidays page at Montessori Bloggers Network. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Montessori Christmas Tree Decorating Activity

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Do you wonder how to help your child develop a love of reading? Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald have a new book that simplifies the process … and gives lots of easy and fun ideas for activities. Disclosure: I was given a copy of Raising a Rock-Star Reader. As always, my opinions are honest and my own. This post contains affiliate links (at no cost to you). Raising a Rock-Star Reader Amy Mascott (of Teach Mama) and Allison McDonald (of No Time for Flash Cards) are highly respected bloggers and educators who’ve put their extensive knowledge of reading instruction into

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October was a great month … a fun month in general plus lots of fun in the blogging world! Thank you to everyone who made it possible! Top 10s and Thank You’s for October 2015 from my Google Analytics Report Thank you to all my referrers! Top 10 Referring Sites (Not counting sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Blogger) 1. Kids Activities Blog 2. PreK + K Sharing 3. Free Homeschool Deals 4. Fantastic Fun and Learning 5. Wellness Mama 6. Natural Beach Living 7. 123 Homeschool 4 Me 8 Teaching Mama 9. B-Inspired Mama 10. Montessori Nature

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We all feel this to some degree. Are we doing enough? Do we need to be doing what we see online? And I’ve been asked if you need to do what I do. So, what’s the answer? Do You Need to Do What I Do? I’m a former Montessori teacher and school owner. I homeschooled my kids through high school. I have a master’s degree in early childhood studies. I now do educational activities with my toddler granddaughter when I watch her a few afternoons each week. I use my knowledge and experience from all those for my blogging. But you

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Looking for something a bit different from all the pumpkin activities of October? Gourds can put a unique twist on fall harvest activities for kids. Gourds can be used for Montessori-inspired explorations or a variety of arts and crafts. Check out all these fun and educational fall gourd activities! Montessori-Inspired Learning Activities with Gourds Healthy Beginnings Montessori shares a fall sensorial basket with gourds in their toddler community. Carrots Are Orange also shares an infant and toddler sensory experience with gourds. Love Play Learn focused on size and texture concepts with gourds. Along with their pumpkin activities, Trillium Montessori had gourd washing. 2 Big, 2

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The thought of the “terrible twos” is enough to strike fear into the heart of any parent. But what if there could be another option? Neither of my children went through the “terrible twos.” And my almost two-year-old granddaughter (2 next Monday) looks like she’ll be skipping much of the terrible twos as well. Why? While lots of love and security are essential, Montessori principles can play a huge part in helping toddlers learn self-control and even (yes!) good manners. Watch this 26-second video of my granddaughter, Zoey, with my daughter, Christina, to see another option to the “terrible twos.” The terrible twos aren’t supposed to

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