Monday, January 9, 2017

Montessori Baby Week 6 - First Mobiles

I can't believe that Augustus is already 6 weeks old! And, I can't believe that I am just getting around to doing a formal post on his first mobiles. At this point, I have introduced two mobiles to Gus. The first is my DIY Munari-inspired mobile, the second is a DIYed traditional Munari. While, I'm only writing about them now, I want to make it clear that these have been used since birth! 



The Munari mobile is the first in the series of Montessori visual mobiles for babies. These mobiles are carefully ordered to help develop an infant's senses and concentration. They are essentially the first "work" of the child. These experiences are important and start to help the child form impressions of the child's environment! In the words of Maria Montessori, "The things {the child} sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul."


The Munari mobile is used from shortly after birth until between 7 and 8 weeks. It is generally hung in the movement area, about 12 inches from a child's face (since that is about the distance that new baby can see). They are used when the child is alert (not for sleeping) and only move slowly based on movement in the air.


With Nora, I only had the Munari inspired mobile, and it was a huge hit. She enjoyed it for the first couple months of her life. Augustus is also proving to like it a lot. He will stare at the mobile for 15 to 20 minutes at a time as it slowly moves in the air. Just this week, he has started making cooing noises as he stares.

This mobile was extremely simple to make. I simply painted foam craft balls with black and white pattern similar to the traditional Munari mobile. Then, I hung at various lengths using an embroidery hoop and embroidery thread. The thread is literally sewn through the ball and tied around the hoop.


The traditional Munari mobile is a bit different. It is hung using various lengths of dowels that are painted specific high-contrast colors. It is carefully balanced between a glass ball (to reflect light) and simple 2-D geometric shapes. There are great tutorials explaining how to make a Munari at Little Red Farm. Midwest Montessori also has a great printable (that I used) to make the Munari on your own.

I had planned on making the Munari before Gus was born, but he came early so it only got done a couple weeks ago. For some reason, Augustus has not taken to the Munari like I expected him to. Instead, he only spends a few minutes with it before getting very fussy. He often looks away from it, choosing to stare into his mirror or at the windows instead. I wasn't expecting this, but I do follow his cues. I will try a few more times over the next couple weeks but if he prefers the other, that's fine too!


It's been such a joy introducing these mobiles again! I truly love these simple and beautiful infant materials. They are such an amazing contrast to the noisy, flashy commercially produced alternatives.

Did you use a Munari or Munari-inspired mobile with your newborn? Did your baby enjoy it? 

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