Meals with Toddlers

How in the world does a toddler to sit at a table, use a real plate, drink out of a glass and clean up after he finishes?!  Lots of repetition and patience (oh, and paper towels).  Please remember, every child is different and what works for one might not work for another.  Give yourself some grace.  We’re all figuring out this parenting thing one day at a time!

Like everything else in Montessori, mealtime starts with a well prepared environment.  You should make things accessible if you expect your child to do things independently.  They should be able to get their own plates, bowls, cups and utensils without any help.  Encourage your child to help you set the table before snacks and meals.  I also suggest having easy access to fresh water.  Some people set up dispensers on a counter or table top, while I prefer to use a small pitcher.  It all  depends on your personal preference and your child’s ability.

Shelf

There’s no telling how many times I’ve said, “please sit down while you’re eating” and  “please keep your food on your plate.”  It’s important to have firm, consistent guidelines when it comes to meals.  If food gets thrown or glasses intentionally poured out,  I simply state facts: “I see your banana on the floor”, followed by, “If you throw your food on the ground again, snack time is over.”  I give them the opportunity to eat correctly and stand behind my statement.  Stay strong, they will survive until the next snack or meal.

At the end of the meal, they push in their chairs,  clear their own dishes and help wipe off the table.  Believe me when I say I’m far from perfect and definitely a work in progress!  I admit that sometimes I rush the clean up process by helping when I shouldn’t.  I constantly remind myself that by stepping  in unnecessarily,  I’m hindering their independence.  Children are capable of so much if we set them up for success and believe in their capabilities.

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Raindrops on Roses

Last week I was chatting with a friend and I  started going on and on about some products that I love.  I thought about how many things I’ve tried after hearing about it from a friend and realized that most of the things I use on daily basis started because of recommendations from others.  I thought I’d put together a few favorites to share with you.  These items are not linked to any affiliation program,  I just want to spread the love about some great products that me and my family use all the time. Continue reading

The Perfect Egg

A few weeks ago I stumbled on an article claiming to have cracked the code for the perfect hard-boiled egg.  It promised a well cooked, fluffy yolk, a non-rubbery egg white, and easy peeling!  I’ve heard similar claims before and so I was skeptical of this one, but decided to give it a try.  I’ve made them multiple times with the same results so I’m confident when I tell you, these eggs are perfect!  Here is the step-by-step:

  • bring water to a boil
  • lower cold eggs from the refrigerator into boiling water using a ladle or spoon (so they don’t crack)
  • boil for 30 seconds
  • pour a large cup (or 2)  of ice into the pot of boiling water
  • once the water reaches a boil again, cook for 11 minutes
  • remove from heat and drain water
  • run eggs under cold water until they’re cool to the touch
  • place in refrigerator

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FREE Printable Material

Spring has definitely sprung here in south Texas!  The weather has been beautiful and we’re spending as much time outside as we can before the summer heat rolls into town.  We’ve seen a lot of wildlife lately which has sparked  curiosity about all things animals and insects.  Where do they live?  What kinds of things do they eat?  Is their fur soft?  Will that bug sting me? The mind of a three year old is such a wonderful thing!

I’m part of a few Facebook groups dedicated to Montessori education.  Lately, there have been numerous posts with links to free printable material and  I wanted to share them with ya’ll!  I’ve included links to the blogs  where I found them within this post and hope that you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. Continue reading

$10 well spent.

A common complaint from people interested in Montessori is the cost associated with the materials. Maria Montessori wrote about having beautiful and appealing things available for children, but at what cost?  I constantly walk the fine line between providing quality materials and breaking the bank. I asked myself, “how can I provide her with a meaningful experience, keep the heart of the Montessori philosophy while also being frugal?” The movable alphabet is a lesson I wanted to present, but it can take up a lot of space and is potentially expensive. I decided to make my own set and want to share it with you. If you’re interested in reading more about this lesson click here for an in depth explanation. Continue reading