Articles from January 2020

January 30, 2020

Baby Mobiles Hits and Misses - Montessori Baby Week 19

Baby Mobiles Hits and Misses - Montessori Baby Week 19
This past week I introduced the last mobile that I plan on giving to Theodore to interact with. It's such a big moment and I can't believe that we are already moving past one of my favorite parts of having a Montessori baby. These early months are so quick. One day your helpless little newborn is staring at the Munari mobile is slow and steady wonder and then next your big old baby is grabbing the a tactile mobile with such vigor that you hope he doesn't pull it down! 
January 27, 2020

Developing the Senses - Taste

Developing the Senses - Taste
One of the most amazing ways that Montessori helps to respect a child's natural development (both in and out of a classroom) is by focusing on the development of the senses. Each sense is given specific opportunities to develop in its own way. Even the sense of taste is honored and developed through Montessori work.  The Sense of Taste and Montessori Homes Recently, Theodore has been watching everyone eat with intense concentration. He's trying to figure out what exactly we are up to as we all sit together around the table together. While he isn't quite ready to eat (we will wait until he can sit more independently) it has made me think about the ways we do isolate and develop the sense of taste in Montessori.  Babies and Young Toddlers While Teddy is at this stage, it's very amazing to think that he has already been developing his sense of taste before he was even born! This is a time for exposure, and a time for exploration with taste. Here are some specifi
January 22, 2020

Paper Punched Valentine's Day Cards

Paper Punched Valentine's Day Cards
With Valentine's Day right around the corner I've been trying to get ahead of the last minute rush that I face every year. See, Nora's school highly encourages handmade cards that can be passed out to her friends in the Children's House at their celebration. I love this tradition, it means that we don't have to buy anything and avoid getting candy or little junky toys that break or end up in the landfill within a few days.  But, it also means that my small human needs to make 25 or so cards by February 14! And in a Montessori environment where I don't feel super comfortable requiring her to work on a project like this (at least not at her age) there have been some stressful last minute card making (by me) nights in the past.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  So, this year, I thought we will do something a bit differently and we'll get all the kids involved! I set up a simple paper punching and gluing tray for the
January 21, 2020

Montessori Parenting - When Your Baby Concentrates

Montessori Parenting - When Your Baby Concentrates
There's a tendency to assume that small children - especially babies - are incapable of concentration. We can see that just by looking at the products that mainstream toy companies make and people buy for babies. They have lights, sounds, and artificial movement to the extreme. They are literally designed to distract and entertain a baby as if a baby is unable to entertain him/herself. But the truth is that baby's (and all young children) are able to deeply concentrate. And, they know how from birth. 
January 17, 2020

Pin Punching Work

Pin Punching Work
As Gus is getting older, he is spending more time refining some of the skills he needs to move on to bigger work in Children's House. One thing that he has been super into lately has been pin punching work. This work is excellent for working on pincer grip and hand-eye coordination.  The purpose of this work is for the child to punch little holes very close to one another and eventually punch out a shape from a piece of paper. This seems simple, but it take a great deal of control to get the punches close enough that the shape will come away from the paper easily and without ripping.  For Gus, it's been a great source of concentration, and if you watch my stories on Instagram , then you know it has been very popular with him lately. To make this simple tray, you'll need:  A puncher - we use this one which mimics a pencil, but I've also seen people use large push pins with success  Punching surface - we use a thick piece of felt but cork or other prote
January 15, 2020

Montessori Baby: Using an Infant Shelf

Montessori Baby: Using an Infant Shelf
I've noticed something in the past few days that I thought was very interesting and wanted to highlight it before my tired brain completely forgets about it! Teddy has discovered his infant shelf in his movement area. This seems like a little detail, but this means we are on the cusp of some really amazing discoveries. And, not only has he discovered his shelf, but he has been watching me restore the materials from his shelf more and more. 
January 14, 2020

Our Multi-Age, Multi-Use Montessori Playroom

Our Multi-Age, Multi-Use Montessori Playroom
As a new year begins, I am feeling an itch to move all the things around in my house. This desire has been brewing for awhile as I have been watching my children work in their old art area . The area was starting to feel just a little bit small for my rapidly growing children. So I decided to make some changes, incorporating more of our art materials into our general play area . The conclusion has been a new multi-use, multi-age play and art space. This space has been crafted now so that all of the kids can work and play in the space together. I've made a video tour of the space but I wanted to provide some details here too.  The room is broken down into four main areas. They are:  Baby Area This sweet this little movement area is Teddy's main play area. He is currently 4-months old. Mirror: Bottom part is thrifted acrylic mirror and top part is from IKEA. Bar is a DIY . { Similar } Shelf - Infant shelf from Sprout Rug   Mobiles : a combination of DIY and
January 13, 2020

4 Tips to Make it Montessori

4 Tips to Make it Montessori
Toys aren’t always designed and packaged to be the most convenient for children right out of the box. This can be frustrating as we strive to create our own Montessori prepared environment for our children. But it doesn’t have to be, a few simple adjustments are often all that is needed to make a toy accessible and ready for your Montessori space. Before I get into the tips, just a friendly reminder that I’m talking about commonly available toys here, not traditional Montessori classroom materials. This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. Create/keep a control Control of error is an important part of a Montessori environment. If materials have a control for error, children are able to work more independently and don't need to depend on you to let them know if they have done work right or not. So when you're adapting a traditional toy, think about how you can add some sort of control. Can you add a picture of how the toy should look when completed? Or
January 12, 2020

Montessori Baby: Rotating Toys at 3-Months

Montessori Baby: Rotating Toys at 3-Months
I've mentioned this several times, but at this age Theodore is becoming more and more interested in manipulating his environment with his hands. This is done in a coupe of ways. One, through the use of tactile mobiles. Two, by introducing some simple toys - mostly rattles. Now, being a fourth baby, we have a lot of options for materials that Teddy *might* like at this age. Right now, I have a small selection of items that I can offer based on my observations of his skills and interests.
January 08, 2020

Top 3 Montessori Baby Grasping Toys at 3 Months

Top 3 Montessori Baby Grasping Toys at 3 Months
At 3 months old, Theodore is starting to grasp more and more of the items in his environment. With this development, I have begun to offer more opportunities to explore this skill by introducing a few toys. There are lots of options that you could introduce around this age (see some options for 3-6 months here) but here I'm just highlighting the Teddy's favorites. 
January 03, 2020

Batting -- Montessori Baby Week 14

Batting -- Montessori Baby Week 14
Teddy is getting to the age where new interests and skills seem to be popping up every day! He is becoming more coordinated, moving more intentionally, and is much more interested in changes to his environment. With these new skills, I have been observing him closely to see where his interests lie and how I can provide opportunities for him to explore these interests.