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The Tidy Books UK Blog

  • Why my designs have the Montessori philosophy in mind

    When my two children were growing up, I was quite a hands-off parent. My attitude was to let them do their own thing and learn about their environment and I’d be there if they needed me.

    My daughter, Adele, was an early crawler – she was crawling at around six months – and I remember watching her crawl across the living room floor towards the kitchen. Between the two rooms there was a small step down and at first Adele would stop at the step. Then she would crawl to the step and attempt to go down it before crawling back again. Eventually, as Adele’s curiosity and confidence grew, she finally crawled down the step into the kitchen.

    It was just a small step and I knew it wasn’t dangerous, but of course I stood watching to make sure she was OK. And she was. It was so fascinating to watch Adele on her journey from the living room to the unchartered territory of the kitchen. I could literally see her mind working out how to get down that step. Interestingly, when other parents brought their children round to the house they all intervened to stop their kids crawling down the step.

    geraldineadele-et-emile-eping-forest-l

    As long as my children were safe, I felt it was important to let them explore and find out about the world in their own way. In that respect, I’m aligned to the Montessori way of teaching – allowing children the freedom to develop and to learn by ‘doing’ rather than being instructed how to do something.

    I didn’t send my children to Montessori schools, but I like many of the values that are set out in their teaching approach – so much so that elements of the Montessori philosophy run through my designs. Take, for example, the Tidy Books bookcase. Its front-facing shelves mean children can easily see their books and so can independently choose the one they want to read. And with the bookcase’s 3D alphabet, kids can play and learn in their own time. All my Tidy Books designs work in a similar way to give children their own personal environment to work things out for themselves.

    Tidybooks Belle Vue Road

    While I design everything with children in mind, I don’t make nursery-style furniture that looks out of place in the home. The beauty of Tidy Books products is that they are also created to blend seamlessly into your living space. That’s great news for parents who, like me, hate too much clutter. And for your kids, it means opening up their world of independence way beyond their bedroom.

    Tidybooks Belle Vue Road

    * I’d love to know what you do to help your child foster their independence. Do drop me a line and share your experiences.

  • Get sorted for Christmas...

    Yes, I’ve done it – I’ve mentioned the ‘C’ word and it’s still only October! I’m sorry if I seem a little premature but I’ve got two very good reasons for talking about you-know-what now.

    Firstly, I’ve just designed a new product that I think will make a perfect Christmas gift. It’s called The Sorting Box and it’s for children to store all their little toys and games. Now you might already have a storage box at home, and when your kids have finished playing they probably just chuck everything into it higgledy-piggledy and jumbled together.

    The Tidy Books Sorting Box

    Well this box is different. It’s got three different compartments so kids can put their things away in a neat and tidy order. They could use one compartment for all their trains and another for cars, or use the compartments to separate different Lego colours. When they next come to play, they won’t have to delve around in the storage box trying to find what they’re looking for.

    It’s a good way to give your kids ownership of their toys and build up their independence – with everything nicely sorted, they’re less likely to get frustrated and ask you to track down missing toys!

    The Sorting Box is great for younger kids, too. When you’re helping them to put away their toys, you can turn it into a learning game to teach them about different colours, shapes and sizes.

    I’ve designed the box so it won’t look out of place in any room of your house – in fact, you might want one for organising your own things! It comes in soft grey, dark grey, soft white and natural.

    So – what’s the second reason I’m talking about Christmas now? Well, the Sorting Box is currently available for pre-sale – which means if you order it now it will be delivered in time for Christmas. It’s something different to give as a present – but also very handy to have in your house for all those toys Santa will be bringing the kids!

    * The Sorting Box is suitable for children aged 3+ and costs £59 + £12 per lid (you can stack two boxes on top of each other, with one top lid). To pre-order yours head to our website

     

  • Joining up the dots...

    It’s a great week for children’s authors. On Tuesday, we had Roald Dahl Day, celebrating 100 years since the birth of the author of classics like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and The BFG. On Friday it’s the birthday of Julia Donaldson who wrote The Gruffalo – which if you read my blog back in January you’ll know is my favourite business book. I love the story of the little mouse outwitting the huge, scary Gruffalo – it reminds me that it’s not always the biggest or the loudest that gets ahead.

    And now I’ve discovered an American author and illustrator called Peter Reynolds whose book The Dot is behind today’s International Dot Day. The Dot tells the story of a young girl who believes she can’t draw. Her teacher dares her to make her mark so in frustration she puts a dot on the page – and it’s that simple start that sets her off on a wonderful creative journey.

    the-dot

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  • How one school transformed kid's books from boring to fun

    “I love reading now, as we have a space that is clean and organised and many new books to enjoy!”  - Amine, Year 6.

    It’s not much fun trying to get into a book in a busy, uncomfortable space. That’s what primary school teacher, Clare Taylor recognised, and she set out to create a reading haven for her pupils to make reading exciting again. Working together with charity Give A Book, they built a school library and restocked it with compelling new titles.   

    At Tidy Books, we’re proud to support Give A Book with our monthly book drops at our offices, where we collect quality, pre-owned kid’s books to donate to Give A Book. Guest blogger, Adeela Khan of Give A Book talks about the magic created when Ashburnham Community School got a new library.

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