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Monday, November 10, 2014

Montessori Infant Mobiles -- Visual Series

Montessori from birth is a beautiful and respectful process. Maria Montessori's observations on infants have been life changing for so many families around the world. Dr. Montessori taught us the importance of the environment to a baby's development. While there are so many baby activities that you could include in your prepared environment, the Montessori visual series of baby mobiles are the perfect activities for newborns and young babies. 

An overview of the Montessori baby visual mobile series. The visual series includes the Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi and Dancers mobiles and are the first work for infants from birth until they are several months old.

The mobiles themselves are all developmentally appropriate for babies, meeting babies' needs based on their physical and cognitive abilities. They help to develop concentration, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, and other essential skills. Plus, they are wildly entertaining for babies. We have now used these mobiles for four of our Montessori babies. 

The first set of mobiles are visual mobiles, meant for the baby to look at. I have made four of these -- all DIYed on the cheap!

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Montessori Munari Mobile for Newborns

The Munari mobile is the first mobile in the visual series. It can be used starting at birth.

Traditional Munari

The traditional Munari is a high contrast mobile with various 2D geometric shapes and a glass 3D ball. It is carefully balanced to float pleasingly above a baby. Hung around 12 inches above a baby, it is made to meet a baby's visual needs. 

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Munari Inspired

Before I had a traditional Munari mobile, I made a mobile inspired by the Munari. This simple DIY is also high contrast and slow. This has been a very big hit with all four of my Montessori babies. 

An overview of the Montessori baby visual mobile series. The visual series includes the Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi and Dancers mobiles and are the first work for infants from birth until they are several months old.

Nora loved this mobile. It kept her attention from birth. And she would stare at it for long periods of time. We used it from birth until around 7 weeks when I noticed it was no longer keeping her attention like it used to. 

Montessori Octahedron Mobile for Babies

Octahedron Mobile -- was the second visual mobile that I made for Nora. It consists of three octahedrons made from metallic paper (typically Red, gold, and blue) and hung at different levels. I followed the tutorial at Little Red Farm to complete it. The only thing I did differently was that I used superglue to hold the paper together. I tried double sided tape at first, but couldn't get it to actually keep the paper together. 
An overview of the Montessori baby visual mobile series. The visual series includes the Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi and Dancers mobiles and are the first work for infants from birth until they are several months old.

This was the most frustrating of the mobiles to make and required several attempts before it was actually correct. But, it was worth the hassle. Changing to this mobile was the first time that I saw Nora respond to a change in her environment, which was awesome. We used this mobile from 7 weeks to around 12 weeks. 

Montessori Gobbi Mobile for Babies

Gobbi Mobile -- this mobile was the first that captured my attention when I was learning about Montessori newborns. It is a mobile with 5 different balls hung on a 45 degree angle from lightest (shortest) to darkest (longest). The balls are all a shade of the same color and usually made with string/embroidery floss/yarn. I choose yellow because it matched Nora's room and I wanted something gender neutral in case we had another baby. 

An overview of the Montessori baby visual mobile series. The visual series includes the Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi and Dancers mobiles and are the first work for infants from birth until they are several months old.

This mobile was very time consuming to make and took me weeks while I was pregnant. I had a lot of fun making it though and I'm happy I took the time. Nora really likes this mobile. Unlike the other two, she's much more animated with it, she talks to it, tries to grab it (it's hung higher than her reach), and laughs when it moves. We started it around 12 weeks and we are still used it until about 15 weeks. 

Montessori Dancer Mobile for Babies

Dancer Mobile -- at this point, this is the last of the visual mobiles I've made. It's a beautiful flowy mobile meant to look like people dancing in the wind. I sort of just did my own thing with this mobile -- using a colorful, shimmery, reflective paper, I free handed the figures. The hung them with fishing wire and wooden dowels. 

An overview of the Montessori baby visual mobile series. The visual series includes the Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi and Dancers mobiles and are the first work for infants from birth until they are several months old.

Nora really enjoys this mobile (and its the one we still use today at 4 months). This is her favorite to watch move in the mirror and not just from under it. The way I have hung the mobiles (binder ring attached to a ring that is permanently attached to a ribbon) it is easy to interchange mobiles depending on Nora's mood, the time of day, etc. 


There are many other mobiles that you could choose to make and use with your newborn. There are the whale mobile, rainbow ring mobile, the butterflies and many other appropriate and stimulating mobiles. But, for us, these were the best. Now it's time to move on to the tactile mobiles -- I'll save those for another post! 

Do you use Montessori mobiles with your baby? Which ones were your favorite?

If you liked this post, don't miss: How to Hang Your Montessori Mobiles 

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Would you like to comment?

Anonymous said...

Great post Nicole! Love seeing the progression of your daughter's development through these mobiles. She looks like she thoroughly enjoyed each one in a different way, perfect for each stage of her development. I found the octahedron the easiest to make! Perhaps it depends on the material used. I used a thick, shimmery scrapbook paper, like a thin cardboard. I found the Munari (I made the traditional one) the most challenging to actually balance. Thankfully my husband helped me out! Thanks for sharing!

Meghan said...

This is so perfectly timed -- I have all things Montessori baby on the brain right now. I especially love your sparkly dancers. Great post!

Heather G. @ Golden Reflections Blog said...

Loved all of these. I wish I had known about Montessori when E was this age. If we ever have another, I will definitely be making some of these.

Allyson S said...

Love these, Nicole! I would love to get into making some of these!

Nurul Retno said...

hi Nicole! I love this article so much. I am now in my 7th month expecting and wonder if i can make those amazing mobiles by myself. the problem is that I have just moved to Germany and don't know the name of the materials i need (in german) as well as where i can get it. Do you think it is possible to make the gobi mobile with pompom? as I only can find the yarn (wool). thanks in advance for any respond for me.
Warm regards, Nurul

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for this post..your mobiles look great! Our first baby is due feb 24th..can you recommend any good montessori books specifically for birth-1 year?i have read montessori from the start which is brilliant. We made the manuri mobile (but trying to balance it and keep it stable at the moment which is really hard!). I have made the gobbi and making the octahedron now. the bit i am findinig hard with all of them is trying to secure and balance them so they are safe. My biggest question is how do you attach them to the ceiling and make them transferable to the other rooms in the house? I have just purchased a play gym from ikea to help me with this. Did you use some kind of hook in the ceiling? Im guessing it would have to be pretty sturdy? Do you have any photos of the attachments? I have ordered some binding rings as i saw these in your photos- thanks again x

E said...

Is there a reason the Gobbi mobile has to be made of floss?Can it be painted?

Unknown said...

nice mobile article to show.
thanks for sharing.

echaimutenan said...

awww...i love your idea for newborn
thank you so much