Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Black and White Images -- Montessori Baby Week 5

When babies are born, they are not able to distinguish between colors the same way that older babies, children, or adults can. In fact, it even takes some time for infants to see any color at all! {Read more about infant eye development here.} As a result, new babies love high contrast images, like black and white pictures, since they can more easily distinguish them.


In a Montessori baby environment black and white pictures are often present. These images provide some visual stimulation for newborn's and provide and opportunity for a baby to concentrate and focus. It essentially becomes an exercise for the baby's eyes.


In addition to our black and white Munari and Munari-inspired mobiles {more on those next week!}, we have many black and white images in our home for Gus to look at. Although I am writing about them in week 5, we have actually used these images since birth. It's just that as he has more awake time, he is using the images more and more this week. These images have easily been his favorite thing outside of looking at me {moms are awesome, it's science} or himself. Specifically, we have them in our movement area, and in Augustus' changing table area.


The great thing about the black and white images is that they don't need to be complicated at all! Just simple high contrast images. I, personally, wanted something that I could easily move around when Gus wasn't in his movement area. So, I found some inexpensive, plastic frames at IKEA and filled them with black and white scrapbook paper. This allows me to change the images easily and cheaply. This solution also allows me to move the images around the house for those times when we can't be in the movement area.


We also use a set of images that I painted on thin pieces of canvas back before Nora was born. Then, we recently added this book to our collection. I love it because it stands on its own and includes more realistic, yet high contrast, images instead of just patterns.


There are many commercially available black and white products for babies. Other Montessori friendly options include art cards, printables and flash cards. We will continue to use these black and white images for the first several months until Augustus loses interest. 

Have you noticed that your baby likes black and white images? How have you incorporated these images into your baby spaces? 

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