Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Montessori Infant & Toddler Video

Have I recommended this video before? It's a ten-minute explanation of the infant and toddler Montessori environments. It gave me several good ideas about how to parent in those early years, especially about how to prepare the environment.

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Anonymous said...

Montessori always seems a rather "precious" way to sell expensive and unnecessary baby equipment. It's normal parenting with buzzwords.

A movement mat?! Try blanket on the floor. Toys? How about the stuff in your tupperware drawer? Toys are a waste of money. Kids would rather play with the boxes. Special and expensive mobiles? Nah. Most of this stuff is just to sell things and make money for someone else.

In addition, the "precious" buzzwords that go along with it are just annoying, especially once you are past your first infant. It leads the proponents of this to sound extremely sanctimonious.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Anonymous: Montessorians do use blankets on the floor rather than "movement mats." I use a movement mat because I find it easier to move from room to room without refolding, straightening, etc. The mobiles are expensive, but they are specifically designed to meet the infant's developmental need to concentrate, focus, and develop the ability to track objects. They move very slowly (via air current), and they evolve as the child's skills evolve. For example, they start with black-and-white images and then change to color. Henry does look at everyday things around him in our home, but he has learned so much from spending a lot of time watching his mobiles. They are positioned at the optimum distance from his eyes. They are designed to be very appealing and attractive to an infant.

I do give Henry "toys" out of our kitchen drawers. But I'm also fine buying toys that have attractive colors and textures, and are designed to fit Henry's small grasp. In Montessori, we don't buy children baskets and baskets of toys. Each toy gets a separate spot on the shelf, and we rotate them out as the child's interest wanes.

As a Montessori parent, I feel like I have bought less than the average parent. No swing. No infant seats. No crib. No exercausers. No Bumbo. No jumping seats that hang in the doorway. Etc.

I don't mean to sound sanctimonious. The Montessori approach really resonates with my personal philosophy and instincts, and I just want to share my passion, in case it's interesting to others.

Abbey said...

I'm curious about what was said about napping... that mats are available for children to sleep as they feel tired. Does this mean that teachers don't put children down for naps? I'm not trying to be critical, but I just can't imagine how that would work. (I currently work in a High/Scope child care center). Do you know anything else about how napping is handled in the Montessori center?

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Abbey! That part of Montessori never really resonated with me. I personally find that children are not great at recognizing when they need to sleep. Henry would prefer to stay up and play, even though he's clearly tired and sleeps really well and long when I help him over the initial hurdle of falling asleep.

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