Thursday, March 31, 2011

Overivew of Montessori Mobiles

Image courtesy of goosedesigns

From what I've learned through my research, mobiles are central to a Montessori infant environment for the first few months of an infant's life. They help children start to develop focus and concentration, which are critical components of the Montessori approach.

Black-and-White Mobiles (at birth)
  • The first mobiles are black and white. They are hung 8-10 inches above the infant's head. The mobiles are changed out as necessary to maintain the infant's interest. These early black and white mobiles help infants develop visual discrimination, tracking, and focus.
  • The first black-and-white Munari mobile can be ordered here
  • A black-and-white whale mobile can be ordered here
  • A mobile hanger can be ordered here

Gobbi Mobile
  • When the infant is ready for the next level of challenge, a Gobbi mobile (named after the creator) is hung within the range of the infant's random arm movements. Over time, the infant begins to realize that his/her hands affect the mobile. S/he then starts to attempt to impact the mobile intentionally, which helps to deepen concentration and arm control.
  • A Gobbi mobile can be ordered here
  • Directions for how to make your own Gobbi mobile can be found here

Wooden Ring on Elastic
  • When the baby is ready to work on grasping, a wooden ring (approximately three inches in diameter with a thickness of half an inch) is hung from elastic. It is hung at a height that allows the infant to practice grasping it and pulling it to his/her mouth. This work allows the infant to unify tactile and visual interaction with objects.
  • A wood ring on elastic can be ordered here

There's a great overview of the mobile series on the At Home with Montessori site. It's amazing to me how so many infant toys seem like too much stimulation when compared to the simplicity of these Montessori objects!

Henry seems to get more and more interested in mobiles every day. We bought a $12 wire mobile with clips from the Michael Olaf company, and I made some simple black and white cards to hang from it. I also bought the wooden arch from the same company and printed some black and white clip art cards (Editor's Note: pure Montessorians would've only used flying animals to go above the child's head, but at least I used real images).





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10 comments:

jes [a mountain bride] said...

oh sara - i am so glad to be following your journey these days (not that i have been able to catch up on blogs/email for the past few days!) our little newborn is just a doll - but it's been a fairly terrifying journey. i wish i had friends with new babies in our new town like you have - that kind of support would have been ideal!

we are looking to buy a new mobile this week!

thepeajay said...

The Gobbi, is for sight only and should not be touched. The first many mobiles are not for touching. The grasping mobiles are bell on ribbon, or ring on a ribbon, like the one pictured here above. Which in the picture actually seems to be too far away from the child, but that just might be the angle.

I am just at the end of my AMI Assistants to Infancy training, and would be happy to provide this blog with more information.

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

It is hung at a height that allows the infant to practice grasping it and pulling it to his/her mouth. This work allows the infant to unify tactile and visual interaction with objects. Moviles android

Okatava said...

Oh I love the black and white images, how did you make them? PC? Would appreciate the ideas!Thank you!

Sara E. Cotner said...

The black and white shapes were made from some thick board from the art store and an Exacto knife!

Sara E. Cotner said...

The black and white shapes were made from some thick board from the art store and an Exacto knife!

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Erin Fortin said...

I'm considering the Michael Olaf arch! Do you like it? Is it a light natural wood? Or stained? I was told that the legs and top arch are different kinds of wood, so I'm wondering how that looks in person. I would greatly appreciate your input! And I love your blog!

Sara E. Cotner said...

I loved the Michael Olaf arch, Erin! That last picture is a picture of it. It's so portable!

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