Montessori Peace Education: Music Resources 

Peace Education is my absolute favourite part of Montessori and is something that is often greatly overlooked and incredibly undervalued by classrooms and homes. 

As I often advocate, Montessori has little to do with the perfectly curated trays of beautiful wooden materials and instead looks to a much greater cause.

This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single centre. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.” (The Absorbent Mind, p. 15)

I had the extreme pleasure to host a fantastic keynote speaker with my fellow British Columbia Montessori Association Board Members this weekend. 

Shelley spoke about her Sing Peace Around the World movement and it is an amazing thing to behold. 

Shelly has a host of other songs for singing with children that can be found here

If you are looking for ideas or want to add to your listening corner this is a great resource. ​

Our Montessori Shelves: 4.5 years old

Freshly cleaned shelves and rotated materials. Such an inviting space and a great way to start the weekend.
Top left – right:

  • Children of the World atlas
  • Heartfelt Emotional Intelligence doll (later placed on shelves)
  • Little Passports suitcase and Big Ben 
  • Montessori Continents Globe

Middle left – right:

  • Musical instruments figures & cards
  • Montessori Blue Series Language cards
  • Moveable Alphabet 
  • Composition book

Bottom left – right:

  • Diatonic Bells & felt notes with mat
  • Montessori clock work (hours & half hours)
  • Montessori Large Number Cards
  • DIY Montessori Stamp Game

Top left – right:

  • DIY light box 
  • Walking the line bell
  • Nature Tray
  • Nature Study samples 

Middle left – right:

  • Seasons puzzle
  • Parts of a Pumpkin puzzle
  • Animals of the world tokens
  • Heartfelt Emotional Intelligence doll

Bottom left – right:

  • Knitting fork & wool
  • Parts of a Pumpkin 3 Part Cards
  • World Landmarks figures & cards 
  • Orchestra toy

They are ready and waiting for a small boy. Enjoy your weekend. 

Our Montessori Nature Study: Trees – Driftwood

For the month of October we are studying trees. We live in a perfect spot to do this. Lately we have been observing the differences in bark, counting tree rings and classifying leaves. 

Quentin was feeling unwell today so I thought we could do something a little different while keeping with our theme. We went in search of some big drift wood. 

And when I say big, I really do mean it. 

Standing on the root system of a giant tree, he surveys the world around him. The picture is deceiving. I had to lift him up and he is standing higher than I am. 

We also used my Olloclip to get some macro shots of the tree. We observed what the salt water had done to the wood. 

If Nature Study is something you’d like to take up, try starting small and simple. Nature can be found in both rural and urban areas. Pick a topic that is easily accessible to you, get some complementary materials and allow yourself and your child some uninterrupted observation time. 

You never know what you might find. 

Sunday Book Club: Fall Leaves

I love a good Autumnal picture book. 

Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland and Ella MacKay
This has been one of our favourites for a while and it’s always a little bittersweet for me pulling it out of storage. It means that Summer has gone. 

So, on this our Canadian Thanksgiving, I thought instead of feeling wistful, I would share it with you and welcome in Autumn. 

Elly MacKay’s paper dioramas are stunning as always. What we love about this book is that the text is simple but pared well with more detailed information such as the migration of geese, weather patterns and the shortening daylight. 

A good book for costing up under a blanket with. 

Our Montessori Day at 4yrs old. 

Quentin and I are off together on Wednesdays. I thought it might be nice to capture our day in pictures. 

We don’t keep to a schedule. Like school he is free to choose his own activities. We also have limited academic focused materials in the home. True learning is holistic, and like and authentic Montessori environment, there is so much more to experience than just the academics. 

Instead it is more of a gentle rhythm that guides our day. 

And so here it is:


We are finished breakfast, gotten everyone else out the door, and have tidied up. I set up an art invitation. Quentin rarely chooses Art independently. Providing a prepared invitation while keeping Art free form can give the reluctant artist a chance to explore new things. 

In Montessori, Art at this age should never focus on the product. Only the process.


Quentin chooses a Nature Study walk next. We head upstairs to get dressed and pack. At 4 he chooses his own clothes and dresses himself completely independently. Sometimes his socks or underwear get stuck, but for the most part it’s all him. Then it’s teeth brushed, hair combed and face washed. Having a Care of Self space in the bathroom mean these tasks (with the exception of toothbrushing) are also independently completed.


Quentin escaped “preemie-hood” almost scot free. His lungs still need extra help everyday. 


We arrive at our selected spot for the day. We live in an extremely eco-diverse region of Canada. We are lucky enough to have so many different nature choices around us. 

Today, Quentin chose the rainforest. Our Nature Study is child led. We stay as long as he wants to, stopping to observe something when interested. 


We have come out of the forest and into the grocery store for lunch necessities. Small carts and lots of patience from adults help a child contribute to the family food prep. 


Back at home, and groceries put away, he decides on a hot sandwich to have with his fruit and veggies. A real child sized kitchen is essential in the Montessori Home environment. This is were Practical Life began all those years ago. Now, he stands quietly concentrating. He knows the skillet is hot and requires his attention. 


His reading is really picking up. He can read most CVC words and is beginning to work on phonograms. He chooses to come to his work space after lunch and get out his current reader. 


Self directed rest. He rarely makes it past 1pm. 

I find him in bed holding our current chapter book. “I’m ready for my rest Mama.” He is asleep before I finish reading 2 chapters. He usually naps 2-2.5 hours. 


This is my time to do what I need to. Dishes some days, cleaning or laundry others. This Wednesday afternoon was unexpectedly sunny and warm, and it couldn’t have felt more like Autumn. 

So I took advantage of the rare moment and took my book and a cup of tea out to the front deck to bask in all the golden warmth of the afternoon sun. 

Parenthood can feel like a whirlwind. Self care is what we teach our children but we often forget how important it is for us. 


Up from his nap and a tummy full of snack, he goes to his work space and freely chooses work. The light has changed. This room gets the afternoon sun and it’s interesting to observe Quentin in this space. In the quiet blue light of the morning, his work is slow, and simple. In the afternoon light, it changes completely into quick paced and purposeful. He works quickly laying out materials, finishing, and getting out the next thing. 

Next he chooses the DIY Stamp Game we made together over the Spring Break. This is a long work requiring lots of steps. Montessori allows a child to choose work when they feel called by it. To ask him to complete the Stamp game at 9am would have led to disaster. Him choosing to do it at 3:30pm when he is alert and in the right mind space leads to complete success and the positive experience to come back to it again another day. 


Anthony returns from school and my husband returns home shortly after. Quentin will often continue in his work space, choosing different activities or come up to the kitchen and help prepare dinner. 

After dinner there are walks in the neighbourhood if it’s nice out or playing together as a family if it’s not. Then the bedtime routine of bath and story and he’s asleep by 9pm.

Our days rush by all too quickly it seems. Stopping to capture them is something I need to do much more often. 

Practical Life: Kitchen tools at 4 years old

“Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”  – Maria Montessori

Quentin has been prepping food and since he was 17 months old.

At 4 he is fairly self sufficient. 

We have recently added cooking with heat as seen here in this post. Having child sized real tools is crucial, but so is trusting your child. He now uses a regular kitchen knife. It is sharp enough to cut through carrots and other hard vegetables. His electric skillet (we use this one) gets hot enough to actually cook things quickly. This is not carelessness on our part. It happened slowly, with small steps mastered first and of course there is always adult supervision. 

The items pictured above are his most used food prep tools. The small grater is perfect because it has many attachments so he can use it as a grater, zester, juicer etc. 

His small rolling pin is the perfect weight for his still tiny hands and he has become pretty good at rolling out pastry. 

The kitchen is such an integral part of the home. It’s where families come together. If your child has yet to try some food prep, start slowly. Observe them to find their interest. Being in the kitchen is a wonderful way to connect to each other. 

Sunday Book Club: Play the Forest School Way

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.” – Maria Montessori

This book intrigued me the second I saw it. Many in the Montessori world but too strong of an importance on the indoor environment, and not nearly enough of an importance on the outdoor one.

The Introduction of the book speaks so exellently to this that I thought I would simply quote it instead of trying to add to it. 

“Nature offers us a sanctuary, a place where we can find peace and wonder. It is not limited by time nor confined by walls, and even today we can not control it completely. It is much larger and older than we are, and its rhythms resonate deep within us. Nature is where we are from and where we belong, and our survival is intricately linked to its existence. For children it is the greatest playground of all, with all its diverse structures, smells, textures, it’s creatures of all shapes and sizes, its abundant plants, some edible, others toxic. Nature offers a myraid of opportunities for risk taking, for a wealth of learning and entertainment, and for freedom, seperate from the adult world.” 

Pretty amazing stuff.

There are four sections: Nature Explorers, Forest Arts, Survival Skills and Wildlife Team games. Each of the activities clearly lays out what is needed and what the minimum age suggestion is. 

The cover recommends this book for ages 3-11 and I would have to agree, although I could easily see doing  this with teens such as expanding on the “Building Shelters” and “Sleeping Bear” activities. 

Such an amazing book for schools and homes looking to expand on their Nature Studies and to just get out and explore the natural world around us.