After the rush of newborn madness that was Lefty Baby’s first month, I finally managed to spend some time organising his movement area, making it a space which works for his current developmental needs.
He has been more awake throughout the day and is at least somewhat happier to spend time in places that aren’t someone’s arms. Therefore, I thought it was high time we updated the space from the ‘put the baby’s things here because we’ve no idea what to do with all this stuff’ area to the calm and purposeful Montessori movement area I’d envisaged whilst pregnant.
What is the Purpose of a Movement Area?
A dedicated movement area provides…
- a safe place for baby to begin to learn how to use their body
- a purpose-built area matched to their specific developmental needs
- freedom for baby to explore
- space for baby to undertake their first ‘work’ of visually tracking a series of mobiles
Preparing the Movement Area
Nicole from The Kavanaugh Report has been a source of great inspiration as we’ve prepared for LB’s arrival and I’ve hugely enjoyed following along with her youngest child’s development over the past year. Gus’s birth coincided with us starting our family and I’ve read and re-read her Montessori Baby blog series in preparation. In addition, the books Montessori from the Start and How to Raise an Amazing Child the Montessori Way have been very helpful in getting started on our parenting journey.
Our Movement Area
Lefty Baby’s movement area is at the back of our living room, next to the French doors that lead out onto our garden. We have a lot of furniture and not a lot of space so LB shares the area with our dining table, which also serves as my desk and his changing area.
1 – Cot mattress from IKEA to provide a safe surface where LB can wriggle about.
2 – Mirror from IKEA – adds a layer of interest to mobiles and allows LB to see the movements he makes. The mirror is what he currently spends most time concentrating on, usually looking at his own reflection or a book I stand up for him to view.
3 – Play gym made for LB by his great grandad, currently holding some black and white felt images I made before he was born.
4 – LB’s topponcino, a Montessori material which acts as a point of reference for a newborn. It’s a small, thin mattress meant to mimic the shape of the womb and help baby’s transition from womb to world. You can read more here.
5 – The current book selection for LB, which will be regularly rotated as he develops more of an interest in books. His current favourites are ones with high-contrast black and white images.
6 – An IKEA trofast storage unit, home to his Grimm’s and Grapat toys. These are obviously not in use yet but I’ve displayed the Grimm’s 12 piece rainbow and pebbles in the hope he’ll begin to focus on them and their colour gradient as his eyesight develops.
7 – Some cut flowers, adding a part of the natural world and an element of beauty into the space.
8 – The octahedron mobile, which LB is yet to show much interest in. I’m planning a post about the various Montessori mobiles we’re introducing LB to in the near future.
9 – French doors that lead onto the decking outside. LB will most likely be crawling by summer time and having easy access to outdoors will be lovely.
Do you have an infant or toddler movement area in your home? How does your child use it?