One of the most beautiful montessori material during the infant stage is the playmobile. These were the ones I handmade with V and they hold a special place in my heart. I have been asked many times about these, so I finally got down to writing about the visual mobiles.
What are visual mobiles?
The montessori mobiles are exceptionally beautiful to look at. But apart from that, they serve a purpose. They stimulate the child visually and support the child’s growing vision and concentration.
It hung about 12 inches from the baby’s face and above her chest, so that she can see it comfortably while lying down. Lying down under the play-gym while hanging it helped me understand how it would look for her. I usually keep the windows open when V2 is under her play-gym so that the mobile moves gently with natural ventilation. Our play-gym is from CuddlyCoo.… Click to read the rest
Once the baby starts reaching out and grasping, begins the most exciting time of exploration. She is on the path of discovery and interacting with her environment. The first tactile material I offered V2 were rattles.
A rattle is a simple toy that the child holds in her hands. It develops her grasping reflex, refine her co-ordination, and slowly helps her make the connection between sound and motion of her hand as well.
Readiness for rattles
When you are a Montessori household, you know exactly when to offer what to your child. It is important that the material is given when the child is ready. Never set up your child for failure. Early successes encourage the child to keep interacting with the environment. A material that is not challenging enough will again disinterest the child.
When parents ask me when to introduce a particular material or how best to teach a particular concept, or which toy or book to choose, I always say, “follow your child”. But what does that mean? Simply observe the child. But how?
What does observation mean?
There was this middle school Science class of mine that became quite famous. At the beginning of the Botany section, I handed each child a humble leaf. Before I had distributed all the leaves, my enthusiastic children had already identified the parent plant and were calling out the names of the plants. I shushed them and asked them to just observe and note their observations. We then read out each observation and discussed.
A simple observation like “My leaf has 10 veins. ” led to multiple points of discussion like Why doesn’t mine? What is a vein? Does the number of veins change with size.… Click to read the rest