Saturday, 12 July 2014

Beau's Montessori Room 8 Months

Welcome to baby Beau's Montessori Bedroom! 
Where did we start when creating Beau's (Tiny) room... Well the main idea behind the Montessori infant room is to foster independence.  So with this in mind my daughter and I went to work creating Beau's beautiful space. 

There is a low floor bed for Beau so that he can move freely and safely on and off. In a conventional cot the child relies on the adult to leave his sleeping space whereas a floor bed gives him a choice to leave when he wants without feeling like he's locked in.  I've tried to used natural materials wherever possible and his floor bed is made from organic coconut husk.

There's a large mirror hung low which we purchased from ikea. By viewing his own reflection Beau is not only improving his concentration skills (he will out stare anyone, even himself), he is also improving his ability to move around and manipulate objects by observing his own actions. 

There's a soft floor space. Beau's room was initially my study nook so unfortunately it is a small space, but you make do with what you have and create a space that works for you and your baby. The floor is covered in a ribbed mat and soft sheepskin rug.  When Beau was first learning to leave his bed and venture further across his room the sheepskin rug was an ideal landing space. And the ribbed mat is helping him to grip the floor as he tries to move across it. 

There's a low shelf with educational materials that Beau can see and with some support grab. The materials are ordered, age appropriate and have a purpose. The golden rule with the shelf is less is always best! Beau has a small selection of books, musical instruments and toys that we rotate on a regular basis. I try to also keep the toys in the same place so he is familiar with where to find them and where to return them. Of course, he is not at the stage of returning the materials, but its great to start role modelling this process early on. 

My favourite area in Beau's room is his weaning table and chair where he sits, eats, and plays with his toys. The chair is low to the ground so Beau can sit by himself and will be able to move freely in and out once he starts climbing and crawling. This weaning set we made our selves. Beau loves sitting at his table playing with different materials. He is definitely learning the law of gravity at the table dropping and picking up his toys.
Beau's clothes are stored in a small cupboard which will also be an ideal height for when he is older. At the moment he loves pulling all the clothes out of the drawers.

Things that we are changing in his room....
The shelf is a temporary one we purchased from ikea. I am currently designing a larger shelf to match his chair and table with separate cubicles (6). When Beau starts walking the cubicles will help him access the materials more easily and keep the materials in the right space. I will post the shelf on the blog once its finished. 
I'm looking for a good sturdy pull up bar to go in front of Beaus mirror so that he can practice pulling him self up. I would also like to get some artwork that we can hang low on the walls for him. Another thing that i will do for him when he is a bit bigger will be to get some spice racks from ikea to hang low and display/store his books a bit like here.

I hope you enjoyed and gained some inspiration for your own montessori rooms...

Nikki xx

Friday, 11 July 2014

On Our Shelves at 8 Months

1- Ring Stacker from Beginning Montessori. Beau hasn't mastered this material yet, which should be expected at around 10 months, however he still enjoys pulling off the rings and banging them together, as well as observing the differences in size and colour. 

2- A couple of our favourite books with two ikea 'B' bookends. I've choosen books that are based in reality rather than fantasy. I also limit the number of books on the shelf to make easier to keep it ordered and not too overwhelming of a chose for Beau. The books are rotated weekly.

3- Object Permanence Box from Nienhuis Montessori. This is Beau's favourite at the moment. He has mastered the skill of moving the ball to the hole and letting it fall. This material is designed to help the child's sense of object permanence; the idea that once something can't be seen it has not disappeared forever. In doing so he develops focus and concentration, eye-hand co-ordination and fine motor skills through grasping and releasing.

4- Toy Hammering Block from Ikea. On the website it recommends this toy for children over 18 months however it is safe for him at 8 months as long as he's supervised. After observing an adult use the hammer to bang the pegs he too makes the same motion. 

5- Ball and Bell cylinder from Beginning Montessori.  Beau has enjoyed manipulating the bell cylinder since around 5 months old. The bars are easily grasped by his small fingers and he enjoys banging the cylinder into his opposite hand to make the bells rattle.   Ball Cylinder has been a great toy for developing his muscle strength in his arms as its quite heavy but easy to hold due to the size and distance between the bars. 

6- Handmade Puzzle Ball which was made using this great tutorial from Little Red Farm Montessori. We also added some bells to the centre so that it makes a noise when shaken. The way it is formed makes it easy for the child to hold grasp and pick up.

Nikki xx