Stories for Free Children – A Must for Any Child’s Library

You'll have to get a used copy. This book has been out of print for a while.

You’ll have to get a used copy. This book has been out of print for a while.

Stories for Free Children is one of the best collection of short stories, fairy tales, and fables I’ve ever come across for children. It emphasizes non-sexist, multi-racial and multicultural themes, but in a natural, non-preachy or judgmental way.

Compiled from the features in Ms. Magazine from 1972-1982, the book is divided into three sections: “Fables and Fairy Tales for Everyday Life”, “Famous Women, Found Women” and “Fun, Facts and Feelings.” In the first section you’ll “find stories that both escape the bounds of the here and now and help children cope with their own here and now with fresh insight”. In the second, stories introduce the reader to female heros both known and “almost anonymous.”  The last section “deals with everyday reality, the people children know, the circumstances of their lives, the problems they face, and what they think and feel about it.”

Totally thought this story was going to end differently...

Totally thought this story was going to end differently…

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DIY Crinkle Tag Toy


DIY Crinkle Tag Toy

Over the past several weeks Faye has become increasingly fond of tags. Apparently this is some sort of baby OCD milestone.

In order to fully support her craziness, during her afternoon nap I made her a crinkle tag square to chew/pull/manipulate. The moment her eyes fluttered opened they were met with my creation. I’m happy to report my endeavor was a success. She’s been playing with it non-stop.

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Book Review: “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back - Cover

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen has won numerous awards and praise for both its story and visuals. In this mom’s opinion they are all well deserved, especially the 2012 E.B. White Read Aloud Award. Maybe it’s my background in animation and acting, but I love, love, love making up character voices and this book makes it sooooo easy to do so. And, Faye gets a total kick out of them–especially my turtle. I get a kick out of watching her react.

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“The Abecedarian Book” – One of the Best Children’s Books to Date

The Abecedarian Book Cover

If there is one book you should purchase for your kid, this is it. The Abecedarian Book by Charles W. Ferguson is the most interesting children’s book I’ve come across to date. Simply put, this book teaches big words, letter by letter, and their etymology in a memorable way.

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DIY Montessori Grasping Rattle


This grasping rattle was the first rattle of the bunch that excited Faye, (and it still does over a month later). It was cut from the same ⅜” dowel as the Bell Rattle and takes even less time and effort to make!

All parts of this rattle are exceptional for building grasping skills and are great for munching. The two larger beads on the end make it easy for her to pass objects back and forth between her left and right hand and allow the rattle to roll across a surface encouraging Faye to move by stretching, rolling, and crawling after it. The past two weeks I’ve noticed that she’s using the rings around the dowel to develop the beginnings of her pincer grasp.

When shaken, the sound is very light and earthy – great for those mornings when you’d like a little more calm or when you’re out and trying to have a conversation over the sounds of a baby.

Assuming you are using the wood glue you purchased and the natural sealant you made for the Bell Rattle, this Grasping Rattle takes under 10 minutes to construct and costs less than $2.00 to make.

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DIY Montessori Bell Rattle


Faye has been in love with the Bell Rattle for about a month now. The size is perfect for her tiny hand, it’s easy to hold, and the sound it makes is quite lovely. At four months, she was working on purposeful grasping and this was a great toy with which to practice.

At a week shy of 5 months, she still chooses this rattle over all the others. It’s quite safe to chew on which is great since she gums up that metal like no other toy. I think the cool temperature of the metal helps calm her teething pain.

This is a toy that could easily be introduced at 2 months, teaching the child how its movements can influence sound.

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1 2 3 4 5… I Once Caught a Fish Alive…

I think I spend 95% of my day singing to Faye. 92% of those songs are completely made up and are pretty much a narrative of what is happening at the moment.

Claire (another August 2014 mom) was awesome enough to introduce this great British children’s song to the rest of us at our first Montessori-esque meetup last week and both my husband and I can’t get it out of our heads. We also can’t stop singing it with an English accent, but that’s another issue entirely.

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