Sunday, November 18, 2007

Teach your Montessori baby to communicate

In a practical, creative Montessori response to teaching thinking skills to babies and
young children, Wendy Fidler explores new research about the mechanics of thinking,
and dispels some modern myths about brain development and early thinking skills.
In the second of her practical, creative Montessori responses to encouraging brain development in babies and young children, Wendy Fidler describes ways in which babies and small children learn to communicate.

Montessori is a way of life, a philosophy about how human beings might live their lives and treat one another; it is an attitude of respect and encouragement. When babies are born they lack independence; it is the role of the adults caring for them to nurture and protect them and to help them to think, communicate and speak for themselves.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Activities for Infants - Animals

Practical Life: Sweeping the Floor, dusting with a feather duster or hand cloth.

Sensorial: Different Fabrics cut into the shapes of animals, holiday items, chapes, etc. to feel the different surfaces.

Language: Look at pictures of animals and name it's features. Is it fuzzy, tall etc. Have several animla board books avaliable to look at.

Math: Counting body parts of animals. Counting 1-4, 2 ears, 4 legs etc.

Science: Work with homemade playdoh. Use cookie cutters in the shapes of animals.

Art: Sponge painting with different shapes of sponges.

Music: Listen to different animal noises and identify them. Try using pictures or hand pupperts. Sing I like Baby Animals (Sung to: "London Bridge”)

I like baby animals,
Animals, animals.
I like baby animals,
I'll name some for you.

Kittens, puppies, chicks and foals,
Chicks and foals, chicks and foals.
Kittens, puppies, chicks and foals,
I can name some more.

Goslings, ducklings, lambs and calves,
Lambs and calves, lambs and calves.
Goslings, ducklings, lambs and calves,
I like baby animals.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ideas For 18 Month Olds

Go here:

Sink and Float - Baby Style

Oh, How I love Montessori!

Just this afternoon my 17 month old finished his lunch, took his plate to the counter. Went and got himself a bamboo mat, 2 plastic Trays, the towel from the refrigerator, the large measuring cup from the big boys measuring tray, and the sink and float drawer. Now mind you, these materials are all in 3 separate rooms. I watched with such delight trying desperately not to let out a belly laugh!

He proceeded to take his clothes off (to the point he could) and I asked him, "Do you want to do sink and float?" He smiled from ear to ear and said, "vrah". Of course I quickly dodged up the stairs got a large towel, moved the proper materials to it, gave him a pitcher of water and he is having such a good ole time!

Guess this means that I now need to keep the sink and float materials together in an area for him to do....

I bet if I would have let him go he would have pulled a chair up to the sink and filled it up himself.....

Yes, yes I hear you loud and clear *nodding my head* time I will continue not to get involved until he asks is so true that the hardest thing a Montessori Educator can do is watch and observe.

Perhaps it is just our inner child who calls us so loudly to come out and play too....

Friday, August 17, 2007

Presenting Activities to Infants

These are points to consider when presenting activities to infants.

-Keeping the infants sensitive periods in mind, prepare materials and keep them nearby, available for a time when the infant is ready.

-To help accustom infants to the idea of work space, present activites on a work mat placed on the floor. As much as possible, especially when several materials are involved, use a tray, basket, or other container to carry the materials to the work mat. Remove the materials from the container, move the container aside, and work with the materials on the work mat.

-Choose materials that you know will interest the child and appeal to the childs senses

-Present materials that are unfamiliar to the child as often as you present familiar materials

-Present an activity when the infant is alert, comfortable, and rested. Do not use an activity to distract an infant who is tired or hungry

-Make sure you have the infants attention before you start to present the activity. For example, wait until the infant focuses on your face or smiles at you.

-While presenting, move very slowly and make sure that the infant can see what you are doing

-Place the activity where the infant can reach it easily, even if he/she cannot sit unaided.

-Until the infants vision develops, hold objects at the infants eye level.

-If the infant tries to grab an object you are presenting, allow the infant to do so for as long as he/she wants. When the infant returns the object, continue with the activity or present it at another time.

-If the infant becomes frustrated or irritable, calmly finish the activity and take the inant with you to return the materials.

-Once the infant starts focusing on the activity, remain nearly where the infant can see you. Young infants especially may need your presence as an emotional anchor to develop confidence in this new situation.

-Stay attentive to the infants safety. Remember that infants explore with their mouths as well as their hands.

-As long as the infant is not in danger, allow the infant to explore freely. The Montessori approach gives the infant freedom to choose, explore and learn. The caregiver does not correct how the infant holds an object, does not intervene or interrupt unless absolutely necessary, and does not let other children interfere. The goal is to let the infant explore for as long as his/her focus lasts.

-Stay aware of the normal infant growth and development. Many Montessori centers post a growth and development chart where staff can refer to it quickly and easily.

-Take the infant with you when you return the work mat and materials to their proper places. As soon as possible, involve the infant in setting up and putting away. For example, invite the infant to help you pull the work mat you will use for an activity off the shelf and push it in after the activity is finished.
-Except for young infants who are not mobile (3-6 months) place the materials presented where the infant can access them easily another time – for example, on a very low shelf.

(Please note I did not write this wonderful information. I feel it important to share however, as there is very little information for new moms in using Montessori with their newborns. I give thanks to the special person who did take the time to write this up and share their work.)