Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend. Our daughter traveled pretty well all things considered, but one thing she really seemed to miss were her mobiles. Montessori From the Start recommends a very specific set of materials (most are diy friendly) that are developmentally appropriate for a young infant. Many of them are designed to be used merely weeks apart because they are learning at such an explosive rate. This week I am starting a series on the mobiles we use with Kate, as well as some notes on their design and purpose.
Black and white pictures (0-4 weeks)
My friend Bea made this beautiful modified Munari mobile (the Munari is a black and white mobile and the first in the series for Montessori mobiles) for her own children and passed it on to me with her handmade wooden baby gym. Bea has her degree in early childhood development and I feel really blessed to have her insight, especially now that I am a mother. I will never forget the first day we used this mobile with Kate! She was about 2 weeks old and I told Will that I was going to have her try it out, but he was not very enthused. She had not cared for the traditional baby gym that we had set up in the living room, so he didn’t have high hopes for this one either. The moment I set her underneath, her eyes focused and she started following the black and white designs. I called Will over and he was delighted! He has listened to me share all of the things I’ve learned in my AMS primary training for the past year, but this was the first time he had seen anything Montessori be truly effective. We watched her watch the mobile for over 5 minutes that first day and now it is common for her to enjoy it for upwards of 10 minutes. While she is spending time with her mobile I usually try to leave the room so I won’t be distracting to her. She lets me know when she has had enough! Benefits of a black and white mobile:
- Provides high contrast that newborns are drawn to while their eyes are still developing.
- Allows the baby to build her concentration when she can observe uninterrupted.
- Encourages her to track the objects as the mobile moves slowly above her.
For more information you can look into howwemontessori.com, Montessori from the Start (by Lynn Lillard Jessen and Paula Polk Lillard), and www.littleredbarn.com, which offers great examples on how to make your own