Montessori for Infants and Tots

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 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 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 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...

Cost/payment and syllabus/lesson samples here

Photo credit: jusgre / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA