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Our Montessori Baby and Toddler Placemats

In Montessori, babies and toddlers are given as many real experiences as possible when it comes to eating. What I mean is that they are given the chance to eat at a real table, with real dishes, and the chance to feed themselves. The same goes for other children as they grow. Children are complete humans from birth who deserve our respect, love, and beauty. 

A look at our DIY Montessori placemats for babies and toddlers.

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Giving them real materials helps to provide all that and more. So many wonderful possibilities and opportunities. A placemat may not seem like much, but it really is. It provides a baby/toddler with the chance to use real materials, it speaks to their sense of order and gives them (or plants the seeds for) the ability to set the table, and it's a beautiful touch. Practically, it can also make eating easier by keeping plates/bowls cups from sliding around. 

Now, there are tons of commercially available {these, these, and these are all beautiful} Montessori placemats. But, I wanted to try my hand at making my own. Embroidering Montessori placemats is in no way, shape or form my idea. It's been done a million times by a million people. But, I thought I would share what I did in case you were looking for an easy DIY. 

A look at our DIY Montessori placemats for babies and toddlers.

You'll Need

Your dishes 

To make these, I took the burp cloths and cut them into 4 pieces using the outer edges of the fabric. I chose this because the burp cloths were large, not distracting, absorbent and I knew they would be easy to wash/dry/clean. Plus you can't beat the price. Once I had them cut, I simply hemmed the edges with my sewing machine. 

A look at our DIY Montessori placemats for babies and toddlers.

When all the placemats were hemmed, I placed a set of our dishes on top of the placemats and traced them with the pencil. Then, I used some coordinating colors to hand stitch around the lines I had drawn. I picked the colors because I liked them, not for any particular reason. And that's literally it. I store them folded on a tray in our children's kitchen.

A look at our DIY Montessori placemats for babies and toddlers.

I only made a set of 4 for now, we do laundry pretty frequently so that has been enough. I also used the star fabric that came with to make a set of non-embroidered placemats for Henry and Nora. I will say they shrank some in the wash, but otherwise this has been a great addition to our weaning experience.

Have you made or bought Montessori placemats? 

A look at our DIY Montessori placemats for babies and toddlers.

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Comments

Nora said…
These seem developmentally appropriate for toddlers, but I'd be interested in hearing more about why you find them useful for babies. The layout on the mat is an abstraction that babies wouldn't yet grasp: why not just model the placesetting concretely at ages before the child could understand something like layout outlines?

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