There are two new release Montessori books that you need to know about. The Montessori Book of Coordination and Life Skills (for ages 2+) and The Montessori Book of Words and Numbers (for ages 3+) by Maja Pitamic.

These are both activity books, each book contains 70-80 activities. The activities are all very Montessori, which is fantastic for Montessori families who just want to be able to pick up a book or resource and know it will suit their teaching methodology. All of the activities are easy, easy to do and easy to present. They are not complicated. They also explain a lot. If you have ever questioned how to introduce colours to your child, or asked how Montessori parents introduce counting or reading, these books are an excellent place to start! If you have a friend or family member who wants to start 'doing Montessori' but isn't sure where to begin, these are a perfect starting point. Perfect. 

These are fantastic for parents who want to try some Montessori activities at home on little to no budget. These are very budget friendly activities. The books contain worksheets at the back that you can scan or photocopy to use but most of the activities use materials from around the home or perhaps the craft store (items like card, string, playdough, tape, tray, paint, ribbon, spoon, buttons). 

These activities will not confuse, they will not overwhelm. You could also do a whole year's worth of activities just using these books. They are also useful for parents like me, looking for a little inspiration, I can flip through the book and find a quick activity to put together. The books are colourful and approachable. They also contain a little introduction on Montessori and a few tips and frequently asked questions. 

These would be nice additions to the Montessori preschool, playgroup, school, toddler group or parent library. 

Maja Pitamic is also the author of I Can Do It: Play and learn activities to help your child discover the world the Montessori way. Which we have had in our home library for many years. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and holds a degree in Art History and Montessori Teaching Training.

The Montessori Book of Coordination and Life Skills - for ages 2+. Although I would suggest for children 18 months-3 years.

The Montessori Book of Words and Numbers - for ages 3+. I suggest this would be useful for children 3-5 years.  

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Cyberbullying Could Be Linked To Poor Sleep Quality And Depression In Adolescents, Study Says

A new study may have discovered a mediating factor between cyberbullying and increased rates of depression in adolescents: Sleep.

The University of Buffalo researchers found that teens who report instances of cyberbullying sleep more poorly, and this lack of sleep increases their chances of developing depression.

“Cyber victimization on the internet and social media platforms is a unique form of peer victimization and an emerging mental health concern among adolescents who are digital natives,” the authors said in the study abstract.

“Although studies have explored the relationship between cyber victimization and depression, fewer have explored how sleep quality influences this association,” the researchers said. Mattress Clarity reached out to the researchers but did not hear back.

The Effects Of Cyberbullying

During the study, the researchers looked at a sample of 801 adolescents with an average age or 14 years. The teens reported on their sleep quality by filling out the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).

The subjects responded to questions regarding their sleep and wake times and rated their perceived sleep quality. The students also scored their experiences with cyberbullying on a cyber aggression scale and filled out the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

Compiling these answers, the researchers found that intense experiences of cyberbullying predicted poorer sleep quality. Poorer sleep quality was then associated with greater depressive symptoms.

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

We spoke with Diana Graber, the author of “Raising Humans in a Digital World: Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology.” She is also the founder of Cyberwise and Cyber Civics.

Graber was not affiliated with the study but commented on the results. “By linking cyberbullying to sleep, this study adds to the existing research by underscoring an additional way it contributes to depression,” she said.

She explained why cyberbullying has such an intense impact on teens:

There is no delete button online. Targets often live with the constant reminder of cruelty when it’s online. Even if they block the sender or delete the evidence from their own devices, other kids may see, save, or share it.
It’s constant. While kids can walk away from physical bullying, there is no hiding from cyberbullying when they go home. Most kids carry their devices around 24/7.
It’s public. Everyone sees bullying when it’s online.

We also spoke with Robert Faris, Ph.D., Sociology professor at UC Davis and cyberbullying researcher. “Kids just don’t get to escape it,” he told Mattress Clarity. “If you’re getting bullied at school, it used to be you could come home and it would be something of a refuge. Not anymore, sadly.”

Faris said that the results of the new study do fit with previous research into the connection between cyber aggression and depression. However, he said that the depression can circle back and actually increase chances of one experiencing cyberbullying.


“It is pretty clear that bullying victimization is associated with increased depression and rates of depressive symptoms over time,’ he said. “It’s also clear there’s a reinforcing vicious cycle there such that depression can place a person at increased risk of being victimized.”

He also told us that depression is not the only harmful effect of cyberbullying. “There are a host of physical symptoms that can arise as a result of bullying: elevated levels of stress hormones, inflammation,” he explained. “There are physiological consequences to non-physical bullying or victimization.”

How To Address The Issue

According to one study, 9% of students grades 6-12 have encountered some form of cyberbullying. Another survey of students grades 9-12 found the number to be closer to 15%.

The numbers are much higher when we look specifically at the LGBTQ community. The 2011 National Climate Survey reported that 55.2% of LGBTQ teens had suffered some instance of cyberbullying.

The study authors said they hope their findings could help address this serious issue. They said, “Understanding these inter-correlational associations supports the need to provide effective risk prevention and interventions targeting cyber victimized youths who exhibit signs and symptoms of depression and to incorporate sleep hygiene education.”

However, Faris told us that he isn’t sure that sleep education is the most effective way to combat cyberbullying. “Most productive though would be the find ways to reduce victimization rates rather than focusing on that intermediary step,” he said. “That’s what I’m interested in. How do we reduce instances of bullying? We haven’t been that great at it so far. Millions of dollars spent on bullying prevention programs and most of them are not successful. Some of them are making things worse. So, we have a long way to go on bullying prevention.”

Featured image: Darren Baker/Shutterstock