Six Homemade Montessori-Inspired Toddler Toys

One thing I love about homeschooling: I never stop learning about teaching. Recently, I read that Maria Montessori discovered her educational methods while working with children who were mentally challenged. I have always admired the work of Maria Montessori, but now that we have little Junior with T21, I’ve embraced her methods for preschool. And Junior is thriving on them.

But there’s one little problem: Montessori toys are really expensive. So, with the help of Pinterest and a little creativity, I’ve been making our own Montessori-inspired toys. Here are 6 inexpensive homemade toys for your toddlers:

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The Privilege of Raising a Child with Down Syndrome

“You are a joy for Jesus.” A priest once told this to me in confession, and I was startled and surprised. I am so often aware of my faults and failings. They pile up before my eyes and fill me with self-doubt and discouragement. How could I, a spiritual weakling, one who does not pray enough and falls into the same sins again and again, possibly be a joy for Jesus? 

It took a child with Down Syndrome to show me how.

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Faces of Down Syndrome

Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day! As many of you know, there is a real need to increase awareness about Down Syndrome. Each year, about 6000 children are born with T21 in the United States. And they need all the love and support they can get to thrive in a world that seeks to eliminate them before they see the light of day.

Many of you have seen the stats. In many European countries, over 90% of babies diagnosed in utero with T21 are aborted. In the U.S., that number is estimated to be about 67%. If you do the math, that’s about 12,000 innocent children who die each year in the U.S. just for having an extra chromosome. Children like this:

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A Score for Down Syndrome

Happy November! October was Down Syndrome Awareness Month… how did it go by so fast? Even though I’m a little behind the ball, I’d like like to share this little story with you:

It was the last game of our son’s basketball season, and his fifth-grade team was winning. Towards the end of the last quarter, the coaches called a time out. The teams huddled around their coaches and listened to their instructions. Then the players  ran back onto the court to finish the game.

But something surprising happened. Instead of playing with their usual energy and aggression, the boys on my son’s team started fumbling. A player on the opposing team quickly got hold of the ball and tossed it to his teammate, No. 33. It was a strange move for a player who only had a few minutes left to close the gap on the score. You see, No. 33 was the least athletic kid on the team. He was the smallest. He was the slowest. He had Down Syndrome.

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12 Down Syndrome Baby Shower Gifts

Hi! It’s me, Junior! And yep, I hacked into my Mommy’s blog. I want to tell you about my favorite things, just in case you happen to know a mommy who is having a  baby with an extra chromosome, like me. Of course, this stuff is great for babies who only have 46 chromosomes, too. So go ahead and take a look: my favorite things that make great baby shower gifts.

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The Truth about Down Syndrome

Today is World Down Syndrome Day! To commemorate, I wrote this article for MercatorNet. Please read and share to raise awareness about Down Syndrome.

Recent efforts in Ohio and Utah to protect the life and rights of unborn babies with Down Syndrome have many pro-abortionists up in arms. They are terrified that women might be forced to carry and deliver an intellectually disabled child they do not want.

As a mother of a baby with Down Syndrome, I am saddened by their outrage. While some of these people admit they are selfish,  most are terribly misled. Many people just don’t know the truth about Down Syndrome. They have no idea what a gift children and adults with Down Syndrome are.

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Words to Welcome a Down Syndrome Baby

The moment I first held baby Junior, I looked into his eyes and I knew there was something different about him. “I wonder if he has Down Syndrome” I thought. But I quickly brushed the idea from my mind and revelled in the joy of holding our newborn.

The next day, the kids came to the hospital to see their long-awaited baby brother. They could barely contain their excitement. But they had to wait and wait and wait, since Junior was in the nursery with the pediatrician. He was taking an awfully long time. When my husband finally returned with the baby, the children were ecstatic. As they surrounded my daughter, who was holding little Junior, my husband whispered into my ear, “The doctor says the baby has Down Syndrome.”

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Super Special Fathers

They come to church on Sunday mornings, a father and his son. Although we try not to stare, we can’t help but notice because there is something so beautifully edifying about this pair. The father, large and strong, carries his son, thin and frail, into the church. He places him on the pew and gently props the limp boy, whose arms and legs dangle uselessly, against his own muscular build. The boy is about twelve. We don’t know their names or their story. We don’t know the medical condition that renders the boy so helpless. Yet my husband and I both agree that no music is as moving and no homily as uplifting as the sight of this father and the love he bears for his son.

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