I have openings!

Hello friends, I am looking for two children to complete our group for 2015- 2016. I’m also meeting with families who are interested in starting Tigerlily for fall 2016. This is a great time to be in touch with me for more information. marie.catrett@gmail.com.

What parents say about my work: 

Marie Catrett is a child whisperer. I have never learned so much about my kid, how he learns, and how to help him learn than I did in his three years at Tigerlily. Those lessons stand our family in great stead as he progresses. Marie teaches children to read and make, but mostly, she teaches them how to become themselves. -Caroline

We are so very grateful for our son’s time with Marie at Tigerlily. We love her little school so much, it’s hard to put into words. Marie is gentle, kind, and incredibly understanding with the children. She delights so much in the magic and wonder of early childhood, and creates an environment where children are empowered to imagine, create, and be exactly who they are. Our son blossomed so much at Tigerlily, and we can’t wait until our daughter is old enough to attend.  -Brooke

Marie is absolutely magical with this age. Two years after my daughter’s time at Tigerlily, I can still see so many things she learned there blossoming in her. Being with Marie laid the foundation for her confidence, problem-solving skills and empathy.  –Piaf

Tigerlily was the perfect introduction to school for our energetic and curious boy. Marie takes great care to reach each child where he or she is, and to provide parents with loving, thorough documentation of the group’s learning. From the beautiful, well thought-out learning environment, to the kind and respectful attention to children, Tigerlily is an excellent preschool; we couldn’t have been happier with our choice. -Paige

Marie Catrett is the most present, connected, thoughtful, intentional, magical teacher I’ve ever met. I am so, so grateful her beautiful school came into our lives and started W on her educational journey. It’s shocking to me that there is not a multi-year long wait list for this gem of a school. If you want a classroom leader who sees and celebrates each child with love and compassion, while surrounding them with creativity, curiosity, and kindness then this is the place for you. -Karen

make bubbles

Our 2014 Austin Maker Faire project, Code name Bubbles: Imagining new ideas, featured 40 gallons of bubble solution and household tools to experiment with. The Tigerlilies’ favorite bubble makers are children’s plastic coat hangers and some placemats I found at IKEA last year. If you have children you probably already have the coat hangers and I see that IKEA still carries those awesome placemats for… ready?… $2.99! You want the Snar placemat. ;)

I recommend offering kids the solution, a variety of tools to try, and then letting them experiment in their own way. In my classroom I  observed the children’s exploration and offered many repeat experiences with the bubbles over multiple days. We’ll probably be back at it tomorrow! “You got a lot of big bubbles from the coat hanger. Maybe today you’ll look around the room and see if there’s something else you think might try?” No rush. Figuring it out over time. At the Maker Faire even young toddlers were able to get pretty spectacular results from playing with the placemats and it was a joy to watch a ten year old explore multiple tools and then put them all down and find skill in blowing bubbles using only her hands.


When I wait and let the child be the one to make the discovery for themselves then instead of “Oh, Marie showed me how to make lots of bubbles,” we get “HEY! Look what I figured out! Everyone, look at what I can do!!”  Children who make their own discoveries through trial and error are active, inquisitive, creative, and powerful thinkers and doers! See We are all Makers for more about using language to support discovery.


Tigerlily bubble Mix recipe

1 slightly heaping teaspoon Guar Gum powder (available at Whole Foods or other health food store,  $8)

2 tablespoons isopropyl alcohol (70% or greater will work, avail in first aid section of grocery store, dollar store, drugstore)

15 1/2 cups hot tap water

6 tablespoons Dawn Advanced Power dishwashing liquid (available Costco, this is recommended over the more widely available Dawn Concentrated you’ll usually see at HEB, Target, etc., $8)

2 teaspoons baking powder


In a clean, dry glass 2 cup measuring cup add 1 heaping teaspoon guar gum powder and 2 tablespoons isopropyl alcohol. Mix well to dissolve the powder completely in the alcohol liquid. Add 1 cup HOT tap water (or boiled water that has just cooled slightly). Mix extremely well, a chopstick works great for this part. Keep stirring for several minutes as the mixture thickens. Add another cup of HOT water, stir well, then transfer to larger container. Continue to add remaining water to measuring cup and then to larger container, rinsing any remaining guar residue into the larger container, until you’ve added the remaining water and total in large container is at 15 1/2 cups, stir well. Add Dawn soap, mixing gently now, and then adding 2 teaspoons baking powder. Again mix gently. Do not worry about lingering baking powder residue.

Let mixture sit for fifteen minutes before use.

Makes approximately  3/4 gallon. 



I’d love to hear about the discoveries you make!


Many thanks to the resources shared on the Soap Bubble Wiki page for recipe basics.





We are all makers

Austin Mini Maker Faire is just a few days away and I’m eagerly hoarding way too much stuff in my garage, sorry Josh! gearing up for our contribution this year as  Code name Bubbles: Imagining New Ideas. Once again I can’t wait to see what people create there! Last year it was interesting to observe many adults engaging their kids with the open-ended materials we offered and I sure can remember how supporting kids to create without intrusion can feel uncertain. Aren’t we grownups supposed to help children learn how to do things “right?”  These days when  a creation is presented to me, small arms outstretched, do you like it, I pause and smile. Hmmm, I’m more interested in what you think about your work. What do you think about your picture? Are you satisfied?

Language I use with children:

“I see you figured that out.” Highlights the trying, Supports the belief for the child that, hey, I’m a figuring-it-out kind of person!

“Look at how you _____” Emphasizes the kid as the active doer in their own experience.

“What are you noticing?” Casts the child as a noticing kind of person! I’m listening, tell me more! 

“How did you do that?” Such a great one. To answer the question, the kid puts him or herself directly in the center of the action of his or her own story. 


I hope you have a great time at the Faire. Happy Making!


Save the date: parenting workshop 2/23/14

Loving Limits” How to say “no” with love and respect, and why it’s important, with Bethany Prescott.

Setting appropriate limits with children, and sticking to them, is a challenging but incredibly important task for parents. This workshop focuses on both the “why” and the “how” of limit setting. We will practice using language in our discipline that leaves children feeling loved while still having them listen and respond. We’ll also discuss what appropriate consequences are and how to use them in a respectful way.

Cost: free (What? Yes. Just come.) RSVP on our Facebook page here.

Different hats for Halloween Part II

Documentation from 10/31/13


Nayeli (skipping): I’m wearing Little Red Riding Hood over my regular clothes. The same Marie. The same house. The same deedle-eee-dee with Marie!

Marie: The singing?

Nayeli: Yes! The singing!


Nayan: I’m a giraffe, giraffe, giraffe!



the butterfly


Daphne: We should put the bananas in the biggest bowl.

Nayeli: We’re cutting them into all shapes and sizes.

Elias (red cabbage, at sink): Peeling a leaf!



The peacefulness of the day says to me that we built a just right day for the children on a day that can be so exciting, confusing, different, and wild all at the same time! 


Singing together then preparing Silly Snack…