Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome to Kitchen School, Bakey!

Now that he's crossed the two week mark and is awake a little more, I decided it was time to carve out a spot for him in our playroom/learning room! Between two bookshelves I propped a mirror (wish I had a supercool non-breakable one from Lakeshore, but for now this regular ole mirror will have to do the trick!). I put a pallet on the floor to make it nice and comfy, and then I hung a mobile over his head.

I made my own version of the Munari Mobile from the Montessori curriculum's Visual Mobile Series. I had determined I am really trying not to buy anything new for our kitchen school, but to get really creative on how to repurpose items we already own. So I just used black and white cardstock, a dowel we already had, and I did break down and buy a clear Christmas ornament at Hobby Lobby for $1 because I couldn't find anything to substitute.

I am not a certified Montessori teacher--my experience is in a traditional classroom, but I did spend a great deal of time in an Infant Montessori Environment at the lab school where I worked because I took any overtime hours offered while I was there, so that gave me lots of hours in the IM classroom. I was able to see the infants exposed to the different visual mobiles and knew I would want to incorporate them with my own kiddos. The most important feature of these mobiles is the crisp black and white contrast, which appeals to their sight at this age. The mobile is also hung fairly close to them so that it's in their sight range. For older infants who can grasp, the mobiles are moved much higher (unless meant to be grasped).

Bakey was very interested in looking at himself in the mirror and even stared at the mobile for a few minutes. After about 10 minutes he fussed and let me know he was done being stimulated and ready for a nap. Newborns aren't ready for too much organized stimulation, but it is important to offer them a little bit each day and respond to their signals--kicking feet and staring=I'm liking this, while fussing, hiccupping, spitting up often indicates overstimulation.

We are so excited to start including our newest little love in our daily rhythm in our kitchen school!!

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