Category Archives: Infant

Cutlery Options for Montessori Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Montessori Cutlery Options

Annabelle and Elliot’s silverware drawer

I’ve sort of put myself on maternity leave from the computer, but I have been reading and communicating on mobile quite a bit, as I’m putting in quite a bit of time pacing with or nursing a nearly asleep newborn. This has meant lots of conversing in various Montessori groups. Yesterday, someone raised a question about silverware in the group: Bringing up Montessori Infants and Toddlers and many of us chimed in to make suggestions.

I have said before that we Montessori guides often become curators of beautiful collections of small objects, delighting over bits and pieces discovered for use in the classroom. Some of us take this role more seriously than others. In honesty, though, I can frame this any way I like, but a couple of decades from now one of my children might be putting me on the modern-day equivalent of hoarders after they open a cabinet in my house and find themselves buried under a pile of miniature pitchers, tiny bowls of various kinds and, well, cutlery. Reading the comment thread about silverware yesterday, I realized I could put my collection to good use, as we own all of the various options that were suggested. I snapped a side-by-side comparison picture for those considering their options and a few moms found this helpful, so I thought I’d grab some better photos and drop them here in the blogosphere for easy reference. Continue reading

[Virtual Baby Shower!] Supporting a Family During the Postpartum Period

I know it has been quiet around here for awhile! The kids and I are on Spring Break now, so I’m hoping to get a few things scheduled, as much is bouncing around in my head following Annabelle’s birthday (a month ago now!), an amazing time at the American Montessori Society’s annual conference, my first night (four nights!) away from the kids, and the everyday awesomeness of the classroom. We’ll see how much I can get in writing before the final weeks of the school year and the arrival of our littlest family member. Speaking of new arrivals, the incredible Multicultural Kid Blogs bloggers are hosting a virtual baby shower and many bloggers are writing baby or baby shower related posts as part of the celebration, including me! Read on for more:
Multicultural Kid Blogs - Virtual Baby Shower Continue reading

Incorporating an Infant or Toddler into a Montessori Primary Classroom

Both children were very enthusiastic about our first day of school photo shoot.

We had a few weeks of “homeschool” before our license came in and we were able to have friends come join us. This helped us work out some of the kinks for Elliot.

I’ve been talking with a lot of Montessori families lately, and I’m finding that the question of how to provide for a Montessori work period for an older child, while also keeping an infant or toddler happy, is not an uncommon one. My youngest, one-and-a-half year old Elliot, has been in our Montessori preschool classroom since he was five months old, so I’ve had a bit of experience with this and thought I’d share what has worked for us.

First, some of the back story. If you’re not interested in all of that, you can scroll straight down to the big text for some tips for working with an infant or toddler in a Montessori Primary Classroom.

I set out to start our little, home-based Montessori school for two reasons: I wanted to continue to be my children’s primary caregiver, and I wanted my children to be able to attend Montessori at least from age 3-6. Financially, these two things just did not go together. If I wanted to pay for Montessori for my preschooler, I was going to have to go back to work outside the home, and this would mean regularly leaving my infant in someone else’s care. Being a trained Montessori teacher, I saw a simple solution: if there’s not a school that works for our family, why not make one myself? Continue reading

Notes from an Introduction to RIE

Notes from an Introduction to RIE's Educaring Approach: Vibrant WanderingsI first learned about the RIE (pronounced like “rye”) approach to infant care when Annabelle was a baby and I have since enjoyed reading and learning about it through the inspirational Janet Lansbury’s blog. The first thing I thought when I discovered and began reading about RIE was, “This sounds like Montessori!” Naturally, I was intrigued, and I have enjoyed learning bits and pieces here and there since. Shortly before Elliot’s birth, I finally picked up Your Self-Confident Baby and Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect, and everything I’ve read thus far has been enriching for me as mother to an infant.

It seems that I was not even nearly the first person to see how very in line RIE founder Magda Gerber‘s thinking was with Dr. Montessori’s and vice versa. Brilliant women, they were, with a shared belief in the importance of trusting and respecting even the youngest children. A lovely Montessori toddler guide in my neighborhood even informed me that the infant program at her school in DC marries RIE and Montessori principles, and that RIE materials were used as part of her toddler training. Naturally, I’m itching to pop by for an observation. On my list! Continue reading

Your Baby Can: Get Involved with Food Prep

Your Baby Can: Get Involved with Food Prep

Licking the bowl: a crucial step in any recipe

From a very early age, children love to participate with their parents or caregivers in the kitchen, and they can often handle an even more hands-on role than we realize. If we prepare the kitchen environment with the right tools for them, involving babies and toddlers can be enriching and fun. Here’s how I like to progress:

Practically from birth, I love to hold my babies or wear them in a wrap or sling while baking or preparing meals1 They quickly grow accustomed to the sounds and smells of the family kitchen. I love spending time baking and cooking, so talking through various processes as I go is always an enjoyable way for me to bond with my littlest ones, and of course it enriches their language as well. Continue reading

  1. Obviously this is not advised in some situations for safety reasons (when you’re frying in hot oil, for instance), so use your judgment. You know that, though.