I recently had the opportunity to work together on Instagram with some amazing Montessori mum’s who shared lots of fantastic information for our miniseries called ‘#themontessoribaby’. Check it out if you haven’t already! I enjoyed sharing timelines for most topics as a way of reflecting back on past 6 months depending on what has been Anika’s favorite and how each book, mobile and rattle has worked for her developmentally. Montessori mobiles, rattles and books are baby’s “main toys” for the first 6 months and here is our timeline for each….
Babies have an immense capacity to concentrate for long periods of time and these early years are a sensitive period to build concentration. Montessori mobiles are scientific in the sense that they are developmentally appropriate to a child’s growing visual sense. Here is the sequence we introduced the Montessori mobiles in…
- Munari mobile– We introduced this to her when she a month old. Since babies can see only high contrast colors in early days, this black and white mobile was perfect for developing tracking skills and concentration.
- Octahedron Mobile– introduced at 6 weeks old. Babies eye sight develops at rapid pace. This mobile introduced primary colors in 3 dimensions.
- Gobbi Mobile– introduced at 8 weeks old. Gobbi introduced gradation of colors from the darkest to the lightest.
- Rainbow mobile– introduced at 9 weeks old. Introduces secondary colors and was Anika’s favorite mobile.
- Dancers mobile– introduced at 11 weeks old. It shows realistic shapes, movements and bodily expressions.
- Wooden figure/ whale mobile– introduced at 13 weeks old. Represents concrete and realistic form which aids in visual development and tracking.
- Ring on ribbon or bell chimes mobile– introduced at 15 weeks old. Strengthens grasping skills that is developing at around this time.
We have read heaps of baby books from day. 1 and we have read lots. Anika showed a preference for the following during each month….
- 1 Month Old and 2 Months Old– We loved reading black and white books as she could only see in high contrast. She also enjoyed concentrating on high contrast flash cards. She enjoyed the visual aspect more than the oratory, so we spoke little and watched more.
- 3 Months Old- She could see primary colors well and we loved reading small simple books with 1 picture per page and no words. We started talking a wee bit more about each page.
- 4 Months Old– She started grasping everything. We loved reading the ‘indestructible series‘ for grasping and chewing. Instead of constantly saying No, we choose books that were safe for her to mouth and chew on.
- 5 Months Old– She was fascinated with ‘lift the flap books’ which made her an active participant in our reading time. For the first few weeks, she watched me open the flaps and slowly she started trying to do it herself. I have written about our top 3 favorite lift the flap books here. She also enjoyed visual as much as oratory, so we talk heaps. I also added a lot of synonyms and actions into each page; example- elephant was too big is described as he was huge, gigantic, humongous, massive (with actions) etc. She seemed to understand some words and many actions, even if not she enjoys the description.
- 6 Months Old- She was fascinated with body parts and loved to stare and play with my eyes, nose, ears etc. So we loved reading “My first Body” book along with some other favorites from the Indestructible series and Lift the flap series.
Rattles help in strengthening hand muscles and developing baby’s grasp. 2 Montessori concepts we always follow with any material are:
- Are they ready for it?- Never set them up for failure! It should be doable, not too easy (results in boredom) and nor too difficult (results in low self esteem).
- Order of introduction- Every material is introduced in order from the easiest to the most difficult, when they are ready for it. So here is the rattle timeline that we followed with Anika…
- 2 Months old- We introduced the soft crochet black and white rattle. This soft and light weight (and safe!) bell rattle perfectly fit in small hands.
- 3 Months old– We introduced the stick rattle. We love this willow rattle and also the wooden rattle. The stick is a firmer texture for a babies growing hand control and excellent for grasp refinement.
- 4 Months old- We introduced circular rattles, which gave her a different grasp to work with. It also gave her an opportunity to practice hand to hand transfer.
- 5 Months old- Anika could grasp and hold things with both her hands and the egg rattle was great to practice that skill.
- 6 Months old– Anika was slithering and the rolling rattle encouraged her to move more.