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  • 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, Adèle, 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 Adèle would stop at the step. Then she would crawl to the step and attempt to go down it before crawling back again. Eventually, as Adèle’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 Adèle 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.

    Tidy Books, family

    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.

    tidy books, clock, reading, Book Box, kids books, children, furniture

    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.

    tidy books, reading, Bookcase, kids books, children, furniture, alphabet

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

  • 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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  • Bonding over bed time

    I was recently chatting to a friend about our childhoods, and she said she loved growing up sharing a room with her sister. They had a bunk bed and at bed time she’d hang her arm down from the top bunk so they could touch fingers while they talked to each other. It was such a sweet story, and they’d obviously formed a real closeness during those early years – a closeness she says they still share today.  Continue reading

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