The common mistake of the parents is that they think newborn babies do not remember anything and that’s the reason they keep little ones unattended and alone. But the first years are the most important ones. Whatever child’s absorbent mind soaks in is creating his personality. First 6 years child absorbs all the available information and learning happens without the efforts, naturally. If you are expecting baby or have one infant at home and you are reading this article you just started your Montessori lifestyle 🙂
You really don’t need a lot to prepare the environment for little one so you incorporate Montessori principles directly from birth. All you need is mattress on the floor/floor bed, mirror, mobiles, order and time. I would like to get more into details of Montessori visual and tactile mobiles.
Montessori mobiles are first specially designed materials used for the smallest babies to develop the eyes, vision and focus. As the sight of the baby changes also mobiles changes. You can make them at home by yourself or you can get ready made ones.
Montessori mobiles are completely different from typical mobiles you can get in toy stores. Made simply and precisely from beautiful materials, without noise interrupting babies attention, they are great for learning about fixating the eye sight, following the movement, focusing on colors and dimensions and later developing motor skills.
HOW TO INTRODUCE VISUAL MOBILES:
You can introduce new mobile every 2 weeks or once you see your baby became bored of the recent one. You don’t have to get rid of the old mobile, you can again take it out whenever you feel like if your baby is its fan. Agastya just felt in love with his Gobi Mobile and his love lasted till he was 7 months old and managed to remove the sphere and throw it to our dog 🙂
Following weeks are approximate only. All depends on babies interest. So prepare your mobiles in advance, hang one and just watch your baby.
- 2 – 6 weeks old baby – The Munari Mobile – baby sees only contrasting colors of black and white. Munari Mobile is developmentally appropriate. Not overstimulating or overwhelming neither. Develops both vision and concentration.
- 6 – 8 weeks old baby – The Octahedron Mobile – “The octahedrons are designed to lay the foundations for future understandings of geometric proportion, relationships and patterns. “ At Home with Montessori. Octahedron introduces basic colors.
- 8 – 10 weeks old baby – The Gobi Mobile – The Gobbi mobile consists of light weighted spheres (so they can move in air) in graduated shades of one colour to stimulate the visual sense.
- 9 – 12 weeks old baby – The Dancers Mobile – This mobile moves relatively slowly so can be introduced also earlier which can be helpful for teaching baby to fixate the eye sight and focus.
- 12 – 14 weeks old baby – The Rainbow, The Butterflies
HOW TO INTRODUCE TACTILE MOBILES:
- start around 12 weeks – Bell on the Ribbon – Hanging the bell on the elastic would be best idea as it comes back again and again. It is great for developing eye-hand coordination, concentration and learning about cause and effect.
- start around 12 weeks – The Primary Colors Mobile – When moved, wooden spinning disks in primary colors (red, blue, yellow) attract the child’s attention. Serves as both tactile and visual mobile.
- start around 12 weeks – Ring on the Ribbon – Easy to grasp and if hanged on elastic it returns back after releasing. Great to understand and learn about cause and effect.
- Hang them at the time of activity (when baby is not tired). It is ‘work’ for baby and he has to remain active. Mobiles are not used to make baby sleep.
- Hang them approximately 25-30 cm above the baby so he can not touch them. (First weeks babies can focus only 30 cm max.and only on slow moving things.)
- Once baby is around 3- 4 months old you can introduce tactile mobiles where baby is encouraged to practice batting skills.
When I started with Montessori with my son, I did not have any idea one day I will end up writing about all I learned on our Montessori journey so all the photos used above are from different bloggers. Surely check their websites 🙂 Happy Montessori.