Montessori in the Home - Infants
Our second parent gathering this month we discussed how to integrate the Montessori philosophy in the home for children of all ages. Toddler and Primary age families learn how to set up different areas in the home to foster independence while Elementary teachers shared what tasks and responsibilities older children should participate in at home for daily “homework.”
“Montessori is an education for independence, preparing not for school, but for life.” – Maria Montessori
Infant tasks to promote independence
1. Tummy time
2. Time on the floor, not held
3. Cozy area for sleeping if tired, something at their level
4. Colorful/Natural toys
6. Little table and chairs for eating
8. Holding their own bottles
10. Picking up toys/food
Preparation of environment to help promote independence:
1. Soft flooring/carpet, mirror to look at the reflection and using boppy for support for a newborn.
2. Sit next to or nearby and have toys to play with for entertainment.
3. Boppy, bean bag and crib
4. Musical instruments, toys to stack (stacking cups), balls to roll and stuffed animals to feel.
5. Mobiles help the child notice their surroundings more and to help to self-soothe.
6. Have utensils, plates or bowls at the table even if its just finger food. Have bibs and cloth available in case of a mess.
7. Showing the child how to use a toy or object a few times throughout the day/week and have them try on their own to be able to master the task on their own.
8. Use of bobby for support, soft area to sit if able to sit up with a bottle
9. Start putting the child into the crib when they are getting tired and see how they do without having any contact at first. If they become upset, simply pat them on the bottom or rub their back to help soothe and as time goes on, shorten the time along with patting/ rubbing, so they get into the routine of sleeping in their crib on their own.
10. Show the baby how to pick up an object or food (with food also show how to put into mouth), so they can strengthen their fine motor skills and independently pick up a toy on their own and pick up food with their whole hand or finger grasp.