Summer Road Trip Part 2: Our travel activities 

Summer road trips are such amazing opportunities for adventure and learning. But they can also be stressful. Hot and long, both parents and children soon find themselves tired and irritable. To avoid this we plan our trips carefully and think about how we can minimize the stress. We also think about safety. 

Our road speeds in Canada vary, but they are usually set around 100 kilometres an hour. That means everything in the car is travelling at 100kms an hour. Loose objects in the car can become dangerous weapons even at much slower speeds. Plastics shatter as easily as glass and books hit as hard as boulders. So when packing things for Quentin to do in the car, we always put safety first. 

Our number one pick is the small iPod Suffle with volume limiting, child sized headphones. We put lots of his favourite music and some audio books on there. It is small, compact and easy to use. Quentin will often only do this on long trips. He is content to sit and listen. 

“Busy Books” are another favourite. Sewing, matching games and felt dress up figures. This one was made for us as a gift. 

A small soft covered Moleskine note book and our Lyra Ferby pencils are another favourite. He can draw, or just make notes. 

He keeps everything including some water in a water bottle in the little backpack shown here. The pack keeps his things contained, in a soft shell and he takes each out one at a time to work. 

We also talk. About what we see, the things we are going to do etc. 

Even with activities, small children still need to stretch their legs. So we make sure to plan stops. Things that will enrich our trip, give Quentin an opportunity to run around and just have some fun. We Follow the Child. Quentin can usually go 1.5-2 hours in the car without stopping. If your child needs more frequent stops, respect that by giving their little bodies what they need. 

For Quentin it’s penguins. If we are near our closest aquarium (which we almost never are) we always stop. 

Then there’s the hotels. They must have a pool, for night time cooling off before bed. When we get there, we make sure it’s a big comfy bed for him to lay out on. A bed he gets all to himself. We let him bounce, make forts and just, well, just be a kid. 

Summer Road Trip Part 1: Food Planning to ensure Peace in the car 

What images come to mind when someone mentions road trip to you? Majestic countryside? Vast, salty seaside? Beautiful sunsets? 

Yes, and also bored, fighting, overstimulated children. 

To minimize this last image, we plan ahead. Pick some interesting stops to break up the drive and most importantly back a cooler. 

I’m always surprised when I get asked why a normally calm and happy child is suddenly hyper, angry, or destructive. My first response is always (like in any Montessori situation) to observe child (or adult!).

Did you confine a small child to a tight space for extended periods of time? Did you feed them packaged, processed, fatty or sweet foods? 

Taking the time to prepare wholesome, delicious food will keep everyone happy during the long hours while ensuring no one is reading nutrition labels, worrying about fat content or trying to decipher the chemical list. 

Back row: Coconut Chia yogurt, fresh cut veg, fruit and nut couscous, green salads
Front row: Raw energy bites, fresh fruit, organic cheese, banana choc. chip muffins. 

Sunday Book Club: Summer on the West Coast

It feels very good to be back in this space. I have missed being here. 

As the days warm here we are seeking even more time outside. We picked up two excellent books this week that have really complimented our need to be out in Nature. 

The Specific Ocean by Kyo Maclear 

A girl is unhappy about leaving her friends behind to travel with her family to the ocean. However once she gets there, her prospective slowly changes and she allows herself to be drawn in by the sensorial  beauty of the Pacific. This book is full of rich, flowing vocabulary and it will challenge you to explore this type of vocabulary with your own child the next time you are at the beach, the park, or anywhere for that matter. 

West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet by Deborah Hodge 

This is the perfect alphabet book for anyone living in the Pacific Northwest, or wanting to learn about it. We just so happen to fall into both categories. An entire alphabet book dedicated to the wildlife and vegetation we see every day but would like to know more about. 

If you have any suggestions for excellent, Montessori friendly books let us know. Have a great week. 

A Child in Nature

 We are going to take a break from our Sunday Book Club this week to instead tell you about this.  
I love spending time out in nature with both boys. We are lucky to live where there is such a vast and diverse wilderness. I also love reading about the different Montessori friendly activities out there for children and their families so when this came along for us I was interested right away. 

We have been reviewing Wild Explorers Club for the past 6 weeks. Their website is well put together and explains the entire two year programme really nicely. It is a monthly subscription service and at a cost of $12US a month I thought we got what we paid for. 

Each week there is a new activity for the child and their family to try. The programme starts when you sign up so you don’t have to jump in part way through anything. The first assignment was make an adventure pack. Others included hike a new trail, find a walking stick and make a nature journal. It includes a monthly paper magazine shipped to your door and all the weekly assignments and final certificate for a level are accessible on your account page and are easily downloadable. 

Quentin was so happy when his badge arrived in the mail. I’m not sure we will do the full two years but it has been fun for us so far and it helps motivate me to get us out and seeing the world. 
* All right, I’ll put up a disclaimer: We are not affiliated with Wild Explorers Club and I was not compensated for my review. All opinions expressed are purely my own. 

Our Montessori Semi-Holiday

We live in a small fishing village on the edge of the Pacific. Snow is a rarity for us, so we have to seek it out.


Whistler Mountain (home of the 2010 Winter Olympics) is a few hours away (plus of course the ferry ride). Both boys are used to long car trips. We stop when we need to and keep everyone’s “limits” in mind. Anthony has things to pass the time in the car, but he enjoys looking at the passing scenery. Quentin still rides rear-facing in his car seat, and activities aren’t really an option, but he enjoys pointing out the things he sees and knows the name of. “Truck!” “Water!”

He as never seen snow before, he has no idea what it is.


He walks the sidewalks saying “Bubbles, bubbles.” He thinks it’s soap. This still fascinates me. He has never experienced this before, yet he has the ability to search his knowledge of the world and come up with a conclusion of what the new thing might be. It takes him a while to confirm what we are telling him.

This is definitely not soap.


We filled our day “Following the Child”. It was magical watching him expand his world.