Skip to main content

Creating a Space for Play -- Montessori Baby Week 24

I am officially in unfamiliar parenting territory, friends! I have a non-mobile baby past the age of 5-months. I have a baby that is interested in the world around him, but unable to get exactly where he wants to go. Using a treasure basket or shelf isn't a super effective way for a baby like this to get materials. And, you don't want to have to hand them everything. So, what do you do when you have a non-mobile older baby? How do you create a space for play in a Montessori way? 

Creating a Montessori baby play space for a non-moving baby. Setting things around the floor can help to encourage movement and the free exploration of materials.

This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. 

Augustus is nearing 6 months old and doesn't sit, crawl, or scoot. He does roll both ways but slowly and less effectively than Nora or Henry ever did. Henry and Nora were both very quick gross motor movers and by this age both moved very efficiently. Henry was even crawling. Gus is, however, on his own path -- which we are happy to follow.

But, it does mean that we have to make some modifications. We can't yet rely on him moving to a shelf to pick work for himself. So, what do we do? We create a play space! This can be done in your movement area, or in another space on a large blanket. We do it both ways. Here we are in our living room, because that's where we were hanging out.

Also we tend to make this sort of play space more in the living room, since the shelves are so close by in the movement area. In that case, I choose a few things from the shelf and offer them to Gus or place them around the room in front of him. Then, we restore as he finishes. This gets him in the routine -- from birth -- that we choose and restore from the shelf. 

These materials are also restored to the shelf -- the one by the fireplace in the background -- but they are too hard for him to feasibly access at this point. So, we choose and use the floor. 

Creating a Montessori baby play space for a non-moving baby. Setting things around the floor can help to encourage movement and the free exploration of materials.

To create this space, I simply choose a small variety -- no more than 5 -- of things I think he would enjoy exploring. Then, I place them around the blanket in a pleasing, yet accessible way. I don't want anything too far, or too close. I also try to choose a variety of materials that I think would suit him at this time. 

This time, I choose a DIY rainbow ribbon tactile mobile on our play gym, the glitter drum (his favorite right now), an O-Ball, and a small soft book. 

Then, we place Gus in the center of it all. That allows him to roll around and explore the materials as he is attracted to them. This also helps to encourage movement as he sees something he would like and works to get to it. 

Creating a Montessori baby play space for a non-moving baby. Setting things around the floor can help to encourage movement and the free exploration of materials.

Have you created a baby play space? How have you helped your non-mobile baby access materials?



Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2019

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure!

2019 UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a variety of brands and new product finds! Just a reminder that no one child will be interested in all of this or needs all of this. These toys are just here to spark ideas and give you a feeling for some Montessori-friendly options available! 

So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. 

First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created to…

Sensitive Periods from Birth to 6 - A Chart and Guide

Dr. Maria Montessori spent her life observing, studying, and writing about children. During her lifetime of work she discovered that young children move through a series of special times when they are particularly attracted to specific developmental needs and interests. She called these times, sensitive periods. During the sensitive period, children learn skills related to the sensitive period with ease. They don't tire of that work, but seek it, crave it and need it. When the sensitive period passes, this intense desire is gone, never to return. 

That doesn't mean the skill is lost forever once the sensitive period is over. Instead, it just means that it will take a more conscious effort to learn. As Dr. Montessori explains, 
This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.
"A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables a…

Working from Home with Kids - A Montessori Schedule

One part of my life that I haven't talked a ton about here on The Kavanaugh Report is how I'm a work-from-home parent. Eight years ago I started to work at home while parenting full time. For the first several years, I worked as a legal writer while maintaining this space on the side. When Gus was born, I moved into working on sharing our Montessori life full time. It has blossomed into a full time career sharing content here, teaching courses, and now the podcast! Through it all, my kids have been home with me. 
This all seems more relevant to so many of us now that Covid-19 has closed schools and forced parents to stay at home and work while caring for children. I'm not going to lie - it's tough. It's hard to balance work and kids, especially when children are used to a completely different routine. But, it's not impossible! And, it can even be enjoyable. 

As I talk about in my podcast Shelf Help, we block our days into 3 hours groups. It helps me remain fle…