Montessori for Baby

by , posted on October 3rd, 2013 in Baby, Play + Learn

Montessori for Baby

When my daughter was born 7 1/2 months ago, I was thrilled with the idea of introducing Montessori to our home. I was ready to create little Montessori environments for her in different rooms of the house and her own special space in our attic.

Then I realized, she’s a baby. A very tiny baby, who can’t do much at all. As a trained 3-6 Montessori teacher, I was at a loss for Montessori inspired toys and ideas for the infant. I started doing some research on simple ways to incorporate the philosophy into the life of an infant and came up with a few ideas of my own too. Here they are:

Egg and cup and peg and cup toys
The purpose of these materials is to: help develop hand eye coordination, grasping abilities, wrist development and to eventually successfully place the egg or peg into their cups, which, builds self confidence. They will also LOVE banging these toys on any hard surface. They are great for stimulating the baby just enough without being overwhelmed by an insane amount of color or sounds.

montessori for baby

Baby level mirrors
Tummy time in the first few months of Ruthie’s life were not fun for anyone, but something that helped a great deal was placing mirrors at her level so she could coo and look at herself. As is everything in Montessori, you want materials to be at their level so they can learn independence.

Outside time
This is not necessarily specific to Montessori (although nature exploration and appreciation is certainly part of the over all philosophy), but I like to make sure we get out, whether we hit the park or just sit and play in the yard, for a bit each day. I try not to worry too much about dirty hands and just allow her to explore her surroundings. She pulls up grass, sticks her hands in dirt and absolutely loves a good breeze. My hope is that our time outdoors now will give her an appreciation for the natural world as she grows.

Water play
Ruthie loves the water, so I make sure some of her play time focuses on the things she loves that are also in line with how we want to raise her. (Meaning, meaningful play – not sticking her in front of a tv or screen). I fill a small bucket of water, or the sink, and allow her to splash away. It’s so simple and easy and one of her favorite things to do. There is really no goal, but I do think she will enjoy helping mama and papa in the kitchen and enjoy the simple task of cleaning dishes as she grows.

Less is more
I try to be mindful of the types of toys Ruthie plays with, and, how many she has access to. I don’t want her to be overwhelmed by too many choices in her face every day. I also don’t want her to be over stimulated with super bright, plastic, obnoxious toys. A great deal of the Montessori philosophy focuses on the beauty in our surroundings and environment, which, is why Montessori materials were crafted with such thought and out of natural woods. In today’s day and age, it is hard to avoid plastic all together but we always try to find simple, beautiful wooden toys for her to enjoy. Also, most are great for teething too!

Also check out…
-Creative Not Crafty: 5 Ways to Encourage Storytelling and Play

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3 Responses to “Montessori for Baby”

  1. Jennifer Cooper Says:

    October 3rd, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Great tips & advice Lindsay! J was my water player. He still loves it.

  2. lacy Says:

    October 3rd, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Awesome tips! :)

  3. Jess White Says:

    December 8th, 2014 at 3:19 am

    lovely post!

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