Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood.~William Wordsworth
What's included for infants and tots birth to 24 months old:
- Website access to 50 Montessori lesson activities for 0 to 24-month-olds, including un-toys using upcycled and recycled materials and items from around the house. Most lesson activities have pictures, some have picture galleries (multiple pictures or photos), and others are text only. The lesson activities are easy to download and save to your computer. Some of the lesson activities can be handmade or prepared with materials from home, others can be bought at Montessori suppliers.
- Website access to infant tot articles including: The Absorbent Mind & Sensitive Periods in a Nutshell; Fine Motor Development; How to Place Activities in the Environment; Language Development 0 to 12 Months; Modifying Toys in the Environment; Rotating Activities in a Nutshell; Siblings and Lessons in a Nutshell; and Siblings Working Together. The articles are easy to download and save to your computer.
- Website access to resources for infant sleep; links to infant tot YouTube clips; and links to other Montessori and related infant tot blogs, websites, and articles.
Birth to 24 months articles:
- The Absorbent Mind & Sensitive Periods in a Nutshell: "In the first six years of a child’s life her mind is like a sponge, an absorbent mind, taking in everything in the environment with energy and enthusiasm through Sensorial exploration, touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing, and the use of hands-on activities. This absorbent mind creates a natural drive that supplies the infant..."
- Fine Motor Development: "In Montessori infant development, emphasis is placed on the use of the hands as an extension of brain development (hand-eye coordination, hand-brain coordination) beginning in the first few months of life and continuing on into infancy and well into the toddler and preschool years, as the brain continues to grow and develop. An infant, when grasping an object for example..."
- How to Place Activities in the Environment: "To place activities for your baby in the environment, all you need is some floor space in each room, a long side a wall, for your baby to crawl to (or sit them next to) and to choose from. (A small light shelf might not be practical at this time as babies will start to pull up to kneeling/standing and will pull the shelf down upon them.) Each activity should be..."
- Language Development 0 to 12 Months: "Abstract thought is developed with the help of hand-eye-brain coordination, interaction with the environment, and the baby's first language experiences. Exposure to language early on in a child's development is vital: through gestures, body language, facial expressions, and the sound of the human voice. In the first few months the baby will..."
- Modifying Toys in the Environment: "You can modify many of the toys in your baby’s environment. For example, if you have a shape sorter, take the top off and use it as a box to hold the shapes. At first, your baby will..."
- Rotating Activities in a Nutshell: "Your baby will soon get bored with the same objects, so starting at age 12 months you will want to rotate the objects and toys in the environment. (This is contrary to the 2 1/2 to 6 environment where activities stay in the environment and are repeated!) To do this..."
- Siblings and Lessons in a Nutshell: "You can give your older child a lesson in the morning, while your younger child.."
- Siblings Working Together: "Children, especially siblings, are very social! When we had siblings at school, they always played together, at least when first arriving at school. This will most likely be the choice of siblings, to play and work together: it is a natural urge, and they are close enough in age that they can play together. In a Montessori home environment, if you have multi-age siblings from birth to three, you need to..."
- Infant Visual Interactions: Stimulate your baby to look at, focus, and concentrate her vision on objects, drawings, and pictures; teach object permanence and self awareness.
Birth to nine months activities:
- Songs and Nursery Rhymes: Language and auditory development.
- Tracking: Develop visual focus on various shapes and colors.
- Grasping: Focus visually on shapes and colors to develop hand-eye coordination.
- Rolling Over: Coordination, focus on body movement.
- Tactile: Sensorial, tactile focus on objects and human faces to develop sense of touch, and experience of different textures.
- Single Object Cognition: Introduces color and shape awareness, enhances curiosity, and develops motor and concentration skills.
- Infant Social Interactions: Develop concept of self (apart from mom) and ability to focus on others through cooperation and taking turns.
- Names of Single Objects: Teach new words and help develop vision and concentration skills.
- Parts of the Face Language: Develop social skills, sense of self (apart from mom), and awareness of the body; increase and develop vocabulary.
- Fun With Fabrics: Encourage exploration using vision and fine motor skills, develop sense of touch.
- Reading to Infants: Identify a familiar object in a book; visual, fine motor, and language development.
- Sound Bottles: Build fine motor skills, early language and auditory development.
- Object Location: Develop object permanence.
- The Treasure Basket: Promote independence, enhance curiosity, and develop focus and concentration.
- Pot & Utensils: Develop auditory discrimination and fine motor movement (hand and eye coordination).
Birth to nine months FAQs:
- I need some advice in arranging the environment for two six-month-old baby girls...
- My son flips and turns during his diaper changes and fusses when I put clothes on him... any suggestions?
- What about a baby who is constantly throwing things on the ground? How can Montessori methods be applied?
- Time Line of Development for 0 to 6-Month-Olds: 1 Week: Hands can make a fist; flings arms and legs; wiggles, kicks, and twitches; moves head from side to side; lies on tummy like a frog (arms and legs tucked in); no head-neck control when held or picked up; sees light and dark images eight inches from eyes; becomes quiet when held, “swaddled” in a blanket, or allowed to suck on your finger or a pacifier; exhibits “rooting” behavior (search sucking with mouth for breast); will feed 7-8 times in 24 hours; will take 5-6 naps and sleep 18-20 hours a day. 1-3 Weeks: Infant will...
- Highlights and Considerations for the Infant of 3-6 Months: By six months of age, your baby may be showing a preference for a certain object, like a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, doll, or (in one mom's case) a rattle sock with a stuffed bug at the end. This object will become known as your baby's security object (or lovey). At the age of three, four, and five months you can...
Nine to 15 months activities:
- Hide an Object: Reinforces object permanence, a cognitive skill.
- Pincer Grasp: Develops visual perception, focus, and concentration.
- Working on a Bench at a Table: Indirect preparation for Montessori lessons and activities.
- Noise Makers: Auditory and early language development and fine motor skills.
- Placing Spoons in a Bowl: Develops fine motor and future sorting and counting skills.
- Rhythms: Experience rhythms in songs, develops listening skills.
- Exploring Various Food Textures: Develops hand and eye coordination and visual perception.
- Scarf Game: Social development through cooperation (playing a game), coordination and balance control.
- Language With Feeding Objects: Motor and cognitive development, indirect preparation for putting activities away.
- Warm and Cold: Language expansion, experience and develop sense of temperature.
- A Language Game With Object Descriptions: Practice listening skills, develop concentration skills.
- Putting In and Taking Out: Teaches sorting skills; coordination of hands and eyes (hand-eye skills).
- Putting In and Taking Out Sequence
- Make Your Own Shape Sorter
Nine to 15 months FAQs:
- We have a crib mattress, and I am aware of the Montessori method of putting the mattress on the floor.... I wonder if my child would stay in bed, or if I'd have her playing around in her room until midnight. Should we just move the mattress in and see what happens?
- Do you recommend having activities out in several rooms (i.e. kitchen, living room, her room)?
- The 12 to 15-Month-Old: "Your 12 to 15-month-old will spend 80% of his time interacting with his physical environment. He wants to listen to, look into, and manipulate everything. He will..."
- Tips for 9 to 12-Month-Olds
15 to 24 months activities:
- Fun Paper: Teaches art and practical life skills, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination.
- Stacking: Indirect preparation for nesting and block play, coordinating fine and large motor movements, balancing.
- Objects In Lidded Container and Make Your Own: Early practical life skills, teaches object permanence, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor development.
- Pulling Objects From Lidded Containers: Early practical life skills, teaches object permanence, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor development (pulling).
- Beginning Counting: Listening skills, beginning rhythm and counting skills.
- Mystery Bag: Develop stereognostic sense, line up objects from left to right, (pre-reading skill).
- The Nature Basket: Practice large and fine motor movement (walking, bending, grasping, holding…), promote focus and concentration, and develop language.
- Nesting: Early Sensorial activity for fine motor development and visual discrimination.
- Open & Close Boxes and Lids: A practical life activity for fine motor movement development.
- Sponge: Early practical life experience using sponge, water, and squeezing with hands, visual and fine motor development.
- Water Pouring: Early practical life experience with water, develops hand-eye coordination.
- Wipe Your Nose: Fine motor development and independence, care of self.
15 to 24 months FAQs and articles:
- With meals, when should I start with the whole place mat, plates and utensils?
- Do you work on activities one per day repeated over a week, till baby masters it, then you move to the next one? Or do you do more than one per day?
- Do you recommend having activities out in several rooms (i.e. kitchen, living room, her room)?
- I do have a question regarding the rugs or mats. I have read about them in certain books and have received catalogues that sell them. Should they be a certain color?
- How many lessons should I present during a day? And many, many more!
- Your 15 to 18-Month-Old in a Nutshell: The 15 to 18-month-old continues to be sensorial in his learning, through the use of his hands and mouth, examining things and their different qualities. He will also...
- Outline of Your Tot 18 to 24 Months Old: Active and inquisitive. Communication and fine motor skills are...
Montessori PDF ebooks included in the infant tot age group:
1) Montessori in the Home FAQs for Birth to Nine, a 130-page, text-only, printer-friendly PDF. It addresses the many challenges that parents face when implementing the Montessori Method in a home (or homeschool) environment with children age birth to nine.
2) The Introduction to Montessori Art, Music, and Poetry Plus Planner is a 112-page PDF that is designed for parents who want to incorporate Montessori art, music, and poetry into their home environment with children age birth to nine. It also includes an organizer and a three-month planner.
3) Beginning Montessori With Infants and Tots (116-page PDF).
"I just bought your homeschooling curriculum for my 21 month old! It's fantastic! I LOVEEEEE your blog and all of your ideas! You are truly an inspiration!"--Ashley Finestone
"Wow Lisa, what you have created is amazing. Thank you Lisa and let me say how much I admire your knowledge, experience and work you are doing with your son. I just looked into the pages and I am so totally overwhelmed that I am speechless..."--Ewelina Sobiecka
"For the price of a toy at Target I have enough activities to keep my daughter workingfor a long time and I feel that I can do a better job of offering a more natural environment for her to grow in. Thank you, thank you, thank you!"--C. Lisat
"Thank you so much for the service you provide! My son is 11 months old and definitely more focused on motor skills and trying to stand right now.... I really appreciate that you offer answers to everything the books don't explain."--R. F.
"Thank you for the wealth of information you are making available. I received my AMI diploma for the Primary Classroom from the Washington Montessori Institute at Loyola College of Maryland in 2007. I am now a stay-at-home mom. God bless you as you continue to educate the masses and care for your precious child. What you are doing is invaluable. Thank you!"--Jody Trainor
"Thanks so much! I'm very pleased with the layout of your [activities] and lessons. They are well suited for someone with Montessori experience and knowledge like myself, yet just as informative and user-friendly for my husband and baby's grandparents-to-be to pick up and follow. Well done!!!!"--Renay
"Your lessons and advice have been very helpful, particularly as I'm a payrollmother and don't have a lot of time with my son: your service is an excellent way to stay in tune with his development, and with him, and helps us to grow together. We like Montessori!"--Petit Canard
"Thank you so much for the lovely information! My youngest daughter is having her second child and I wanted to study more about Montessori and Infants. I am AMS certified for pre-primary (2 1/2 to 6 ) and I teach on-line Montessori Courses. I will be sure to direct my over 200 students to you for information on infants!"--Karen Tyler, http://amontessorimarketplace.com, World Wide Montessori On-Line Center, Montessori Teacher Training Groups - Yahoo
My TOP FIVE Recommendations for Infant-Related Books
The First Twelve Months of Life: Your Baby's Growth Month by Month
by Frank Caplan ($)
"For over twenty years this has helped parents understand their new babies: enjoy an updated classic which has been newly revised with the latest research for new parents, documenting a baby's first 12 months of changes and including monthly growth charts, answers to common concerns, and overviews of what to anticipate in a baby's life." -- Midwest Book Review
The Mommy Manual: Planting Roots That Give Your Children Wings
by Barbara Curtis, a Montessori teacher and homeschool mom! ($)
"I can't recommend this book enough to all new moms (and older ones too). It is truly one of the best books, if not THE best, out there to help moms ENJOY those early years of mothering. "My advice? Buy at least 5 copies. One for yourself and four more to give out at Baby Showers." (Amazon.com customer review.)
"I loved this book! If I had the money I would buy one for every mom I know! The author had so many great ideas about being a parent and how to raise your children in a way that will encourage them to be all that God has for them. I felt very inspired after reading this to try to be more patient and enjoy every minute with my daughter, even when she insists on doing things her way :). I have started modifying things around the house so she can do things more independently and she really does beam when she accomplishes a new task. I encourage you to get a copy of this book and start trying some of the suggestions! I'm already looking forward to rereading this again." (Amazon.com customer review.)
The Second Twelve Months of Life: Your Baby's Growth Month By Month ($)
by Frank Caplan
"This book, along with the authors' book The First Twelve Months of Life, are my two favorite books on infant development. It explains how babies perceive the world and how they progress in their development, month by month. These books helped me when my own kids were babies and they're the books that I give as gifts to new parents."--Amazon.com reviewer
Active Learning for Infants ($$$)
"Provides a winning combination of information and activities that help children develop their minds and bodies in a safe and healthy environment. Incorporate "active" learning into the curriculum with ease using the complete planning guide with a clean format describing activities and appropriate materials, and a resource and skills checklist. Plus icons identifying developmental stages and suggestions for language development and interaction help teachers direct student progress. Use the series to update programs, train new staff, or develop teaching units." --Amazon.com
"Brilliant book. We had a physio check up just to be sure all was OK and she loved the book too so we will be buying the next in the series. Great ideas and easy to understand and use without buying anything." --Amazon.com reviewer
Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn--and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less (Reprint Edition) ($)
"In Einstein Never Used Flashcards highly credentialed child psychologists, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., with Diane Eyer, Ph.D., offer a compelling indictment of the growing trend toward accelerated learning. It's a message that stressed-out parents are craving to hear: Letting tots learn through play is not only okay-it's better than drilling academics!
"Drawing on overwhelming scientific evidence from their own studies and the collective research results of child development experts, and addressing the key areas of development-math, reading, verbal communication, science, self-awareness, and social skills-the authors explain the process of learning from a child's point of view. They then offer parents 40 age-appropriate games for creative play. These simple, fun--yet powerful exercises work as well or better than expensive high-tech gadgets to teach a child what his ever-active, playful mind is craving to learn." --Amazon.com
"I love this book. It takes a lot of the pressure off parents to "create" an intelligent child -- love your baby and play with him or her. Learning should be fun, not rote memorization.I like that the authors explain in plain English the science behind their theories and provide real-life examples. They also provide practical exercises to put their approach to work. Definitely worth a read. I plan to wear my copy out as I'll refer back to it while my little girl grows up." --Amazon Reviewer