Here's how to develop this type of learning environment for infants and toddlers in the home:
- Place developmentally appropriate furniture in their play space and around the house.
- Don’t overwhelm your child by having too many toys.
- Avoid any toys that have batteries, flashing lights, or that play loud music.
- Have an open play space with a few toys out on a shelf that a child can choose to play with. Examples would be puzzles, blocks, musical instrumentals, and age appropriate art supplies. We like using yogurt as "finger paint" for babies just starting solids!
- When your child is finished, direct your child with clean up and help if needed.
For sleep time and in baby's nursery, the Montessori method opts not to use a crib and simply use a mat so that the child can explore their environment as they wish. To many parents in the US this sounds unsafe and a little strange, but it's vital to understand that a child being in their own securely child proofed room for sleep would occur after 1 year -if and when a baby is ready to be on their own. Since the AAP recommends babies stay in the same room (but not the same bed) as their parents for 1 year, baby would sleep in a bassinet or Moses basket next to parents' bed for that first year.
Encourage your child's natural curiosity and independence and visit Let Mommy Sleep's list of items to help implement a Montessori style home.