Toddler Practical Life: Clothespins


Sixtine had the opportunity to experience clothespins a few days ago. It is part of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum and it helps develop pincer grip (which will later be helpful for writing). I used a small basket filled with clothespins and a plastic bowl. This activity wasn’t a success – Sixtine pinched her finger and was a little nervous at the thought of trying again. She quickly realized that the clothespins could stay on the edge of the bowl without pinching. And she seemed happy with herself. I tried to show her again the mechanism: squeeze, line up, relax grip in vain. She quickly showed lack of interest. I will try again another time but with a different bowl – I wonder if the edge was too thick and therefore, harder to work with?

Worldwide Culture Swap May Giveaway l UK mini-package

WCS May Giveaway – UK mini-package inside!

 Thank you for all the warm wishes that we have been receiving since setting up this new site!

To give back a little love and in the spirit of culture swaps we are introducing our first giveaway!  Oh and we will post it to anywhere in the world 🙂

Each month we will have a competition/giveaway with a different theme and there will be lots of ways to take part so keep your eye out for them.

This month’s theme is the United Kingdom.

The lucky person chosen at random from all entries will receive this wonderful little mini culture swap package with some goodies representing the UK.
The package includes 3 die cast metal models (a London bus, a telephone box and the clock tower from Westminster (Big Ben) as well as a Union Jack notebook and pencil.
How to enter the giveaway?

There are lots of ways to enter this giveaway; you can choose to do them all or just one or two but each different thing you do will count as another change of winning. You can:

  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Follow us by email (at the bottom of the page).
  • Pin us, G+ us, share us etc – just be sure to leave us a comment telling us what you did.
  • Send us a post from your blog that we can feature here (any culture related posts welcomed including recipes, art and crafts and explanations of customs or traditions).
  • Sign up for any of our swaps.
  • Spread the word about this site in a new creative way that we haven’t listed (just tell us what you did in the comments). 
  • For an extra opportunity to win you can also submit a UK culture themed post or email us pictures or drawings to rachael (at )glaving (dot) com.
We will randomly choose a winner on the 31st may and announce it on the site, so be sure to check it on that day!

Worldwide Culture Swap l Our site is launching tonight !

A lovely lady named Rachael (a British expat mum of two in France and Sweden) has been running a Worldwide Cultural Exchange for some time and it has proved so popular that she asked for help a few weeks ago. Myrtille (a French expat mum of one located in Gran Canaria, Spain) and myself have joined her to work on extending her beautiful project into the Worldwide Culture Swap (WCS).

It includes four different culture swaps:

  • The Worldwide Culture Swap: you will be put in a group with 5 families from around the world.  The objective of the swap is to share information with each family about the country in which you live (or that you will be representing) so that they can get a feel for the culture of that country. This is achieved by sending a package (usually addressed to the child or children) with bits and pieces that you have chosen to give a good overview of what it is like to live there.
  • You can also sign up to an Individual Worldwide Culture Swap via the Worldwide Culture Swap. You will be match with another family and will only have to send one package. This is great for family who have less time, or can’t spend too much at a given time, etc…
  • The US States Culture Swap:  you will be put in a group with 4/5 other families representing different US states.  The objective of the swap is to share information with each family about the state in which you live (or that you will be representing). This is achieved by sending a package (usually addressed to the child or children) with bits and pieces that you have chosen to give a good overview of what it is like to live there
  • The Culture Swap for Schools: If your class signs up for the Culture Swap for Schools it will be matched with a class similar in age from another part of the world so that you can put together your own cross cultural project to suit your needs. You will send and receive letters, packages, postcards or whatever you agree between the two educators.
  • Find A Penpal: Are you interested in a the Worldwide Culture Swap but you would rather develop a long term relationship with a corresponding family? Would you like your children to learn more about the world, make new friends, develop an interest in writing or even practice a new language?
    If yes then the Find a Pen Pal initiative is for you.
  • Get involved ! This is a collaborative site compiled from submissions sent by you from all around the world !

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest !

We will soon be running our first giveaway competition so keep an eye out ! And spread the wor(l)d !

To Stay Home Or Go Back To Work. That Is The Question.

Well…actually, I am not asking myself the question. I already know that I want to go back to work as soon as I can. I love my daughter to pieces but I have been feeling the need to work. I am not just a mum. I am an individual that has other needs such as intellectual challenges, creativity, adult time and sociability. I just miss my old self and feel that I will never find it again if I stay home. It was never an option anyways. Times are hard. But even if we had been able to live on a single income forever, I don’t think I would have wanted to stay home. It has only been six months, add eight months since I had to quit working very early in my pregnancy (severe morning sickness) and it is been very lonely, and emotionally challenging. But whenever we are apart, I miss her terribly and wonder if she misses me and if she is happy away from me. Confusing…

In Canada, most mums take a one-year long maternity leave which is very impressing as their French counterparts usually take two months-ish. I would be a much happier person and for that matter, a better mum if my life didn’t solely revolve around keeping the home and raising our beautiful child. I have always thought homeschooling and stay-at-home mums were amazing and I wish I could do it but I know I don’t have it in me. I feel very guilty about the fact that I can’t seem to feel satisfied by being a mother only. I am writing this as a confession as I feel this may not be shared by everyone. I would love to here your thoughts on the topic.


Montessori : Intriguing, Exciting, Overwhelming

I want the best for my child. But doesn’t anyone?

When I was pregnant, I liked to picture my baby-in-the-making running towards me at the end of a fun day at school. And it got me thinking. What do I want for her? Is there any alternative to the regular curriculum? I am not sure why I was interested in something potentially different for her but I was/am.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I would like to provide her with as much opportunities as possible to speak French and go to a French daycare if at all possible.But what else?

I am currently ready “How Smart is Your Baby?” by Doman which is a very interesting book. Some of the activities suggested for babies aren’t always realistic but I enjoy knowing more about ways of developing my baby girl’s potential. We have been using flashcards and she seems to be very interested in them.

On the other hand, I have started to look into Dr. Maria Montessori’s philosophy of education and I am intrigued, excited and overwhelmed.

There are three English Montessori schools here (with French initiation) on the island but they only offer education from 16 months and up.

Until then, what can I do for her? Is there some kind of “curriculum” for young infants?

I am not sure where to start. when to start. if I should start at all.

I would love some feedback from parents sending their children to Montessori schools or homeschooling the Montessori way. And for those who are against or not interested in this philosophy of education, please share why ! Thank you !