Baby Massage Tutorial

Massaggio neonato

Baby massage can be used from the very first days to help the baby relax and to strengthen the bond with the parents. There are different techniques and philosophies, but they all aim to the baby’s wellbeing and to communicate with the mother and fatherContinue Reading

Sensorial Montessori Activities

In the last few weeks our house has undergone the umpteenth change, to keep up with the evolution of its inhabitants.

The children’s drawing table had become a much  sought after space by our little one, who, now able to reach its surface, was eating wax crayons to her heart’s content. Therefore, we moved it to the playroom. At its place, in the living room, a waldorf-inspired piece of furniture that has been following us through many removals and that can be used in a million different ways.

Here you can see it as a set of shelves.

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In the lower shelves, baby and puppy-proof things: wooden building blocks, some “Undestructibooks” (undestructible books), our family album and two homemade Montessori-inspired books.

In the upper shelves the box where Gloria keeps all she needs to prettify herself: combs, brushes, hairpins and lip-balm. Then there’s our family heart, always at the ready, and an alphabet-jigsaw the kids love these days.

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Further away, in the other half of the piece of furniture, some materials that have been “evicted” from the table. The children can reach them if they want to do some art at the living room table.

In the lower shelves, again, we’ve put materials that can be accessible to Chiara: the keyboard/xylophone and the box with our yoga game. A bit early for her? Well, she finds the cards inetresting to touch and to… eat! She also likes to join us during our yoga practice. In her own way, of course…

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This second half contains Leonardo’s and Gloria’s latest masterpieces, crayons, pens, pencils and various art materials, home-made stamps and ink.

In the lower part, like I said, the keyboard and the yoga games. In the Ikea baskets some of our favourite wooden blocks.

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Which takes me to the Montessori games I was telling you about – I know, Maria Montessori would have called them “materials”, but we prefer calling them games. They are, anyway, simple ways to stimulate the senses.

The first is simply a little tray containing four glass* jars. Each one contains something different. We used what we had in the house: corn grains, sunflower seeds, dry beans and millet.

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To Chiara they’re just interesting objects to play with.

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Leonardo and  Gloria’s way to play with it is to guess by the sound they make what’s inside the jars.

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The second one is a simple matching game. Its principle is the same as the jars, but its purpose is to stimulate the sense of touch.

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The box contains fabric scraps, two per kind of fabric. (linen, cotton, silk, wool, etc).

Once again for Chiara the game (or, more high sounding, the sensorial exercise) consists of scrunching, working and… sampling the various kinds of fabric.

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For the oldest children instead, the challenge is to identify and match the different samples just by touching them.

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A very interesting game, ideal of long afternoons at home. It costs nothing, as you can make it with fabric samples and any box you have. You can also involve the children in making it. They’ll be happy to cut out the samples!

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*Attention:  Maria Montessori suggests to give kids breakable objects so thay can learn how to handle them. Glass should be handled with care. If you prefer you can use plastic jars.

 

The Tresaures Basket

 

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The market is full of baby toys. Shops are full of objects marked 0+ which bombard newborns with sounds, lights and every kind of stimulation, promising to turn your child into a little genius.Continue Reading

Rolling Around

Since Chiara has learnt to roll around, our house adapts to allow her to use her new skill freely. We put an Ikea mattress on the floor – it’s actually a double mattress protector. Big, soft, and more hygienic than a rug (machine washable). On top of the mattress, brightly coloured bed covers and a few wooden rattles. But most of all, a lot of room to roll around safely.Continue Reading