1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 If you have a child at or around the same age as mine (7 months) you might be tempted to use a baby walker. In some families, baby walkers and bouncers are essential baby items. So what is the issue? The child must be placed in the walker and cannot get in or out of it independently. This takes away the child's right to free movement and independence. Not developmentally appropriate, most often these are used before the child is ready to walk, forcing the child into an unnatural... Read more →

Here are four activity ideas that we love in our Montessori home. All of these are for Otto who is seven months old. However, all could be enjoyed by a much older baby and even toddlers. Make music! Above is our music basket. We have a couple of large baskets like this which are perfect for largish or grouped materials. You could easily present only one or two instruments in a basket on your shelves, but as a family and also when friends come over we love this big basket. We have lots of rattles and generally things that will... Read more →

"Maria Montessori taught us that the child's cry means "Help me to do it myself!" and a low bed can help him do important things by himself very soon. Such a simple means to such important ends. Once again we have to recognize our profound lack of comprehension for the capacities of the infant. From this stems our lack of faith in them, which impedes their development. We justify our erroneous behavior as being necessary to care for and protect them." - Silvana Quattrocchi Montanaro M.D in Understanding the Human Being. The Importance of the First Three Years of Life.... Read more →

This morning Otto found a brown paper bag and played with it for 20-25 minutes. It was the type of bag that makes a really crunchy sound. It was interesting to observe the different ways he played with it and explored it. Later in the day, he sought out the bag again, and again it held his attention and focus. It's such a good reminder about the value of non-toy toys! At seven months Otto is exploring with his hands but also with his mouth and feet. It's important to consider safety especially with non-toy toys, so I don't leave... Read more →

Once the infant is crawling and sitting, everything changes including the toys and materials we present to them. With materials like the pincer and palmer blocks, the egg and cup, the fact that the child is sitting independently to work, is more important to me than their age. Here are a few materials that Otto is using now that he is sitting. Above is the Wooden Mini Sorting Box. It's not specifically Montessori but it's great for the child's need to post items, to open and close and for coordination. I've only seen this in the UK but it's a... Read more →