This article is how you can help your baby begin their Montessori journey at home at 4 months old and a bit about our experiences doing Montessori at home with a 4 month old baby.
What started out “overwhelming” from being new to Montessori became an easy flow to each day following Montessori at home.
Montessori at home with a 4 month old ends up not feeling overwhelming at all for baby’s are so curious and happy to explore nearly anything in your home that you offer them.
At 4 months old the smiles, giggles, and curiosity really begin to show and it becomes so obvious they are so keen to learn and explore their world.
Below we will share what Montessori toys we used with our 4 month old baby, how we involved a 4 month old in practical life, and what were able to DIY while doing Montessori at home.
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Montessori Shelf at 4 Months Old
A shelf at this age isn’t really necessary, a designated zone with materials on the floor in baskets is just as good.
I know a lot of folks get held up on the shelf, you don’t NEED the shelf to do Montessori at home. It is just a useful tool for displaying materials, but at this stage don’t stress if you don’t have a “instagram worthy” shelf.
Introducing a safe floor mirror is a great idea at this stage, their eyes are starting to be able to see further away.
REMEMBER – All baby play should be supervised. Please don’t leave your baby unsupervised with play materials.
Having one next to their play area is a great opportunity for them to watch themselves too, or other things in the room.
Above is my eldest, we were slow to our Montessori journey with him and had MANY gifts from loving family and friends. So some things you see are not your “typical” Montessori toy.
That’s OK, your home DOES NOT need to look like a replica Montessori classroom.
It is your home and gets influenced by all the wonderful people in your family’s life.
As caregivers, we do our best to live a Montessori inspired life. How you do your day-to-day activities matter more than having all the “perfect” Montessori materials for your baby.
- Uncluttered Space – environment that’s calm/plain to allow for minimal distractions
- Limit Screens during work/play time
- Freedom of Movement Often
Things To Do with Montessori Baby at 4 Months Old
Easy things to do with a Montessori Baby at 4 Months Old:
- Floor Mirror
- Puzzle Ball
- Sensory Basket
- Floor time with Sibling
- Observe Chores
- Narrate Walk
- Water Play with Cloths
- Rattle with Bell
If you’re just looking for a simple list of ideas for inspiration these are some great places to start.
If you would like to see what we ended up using I’ll explain below!
What’s on our 4 Month old Montessori Shelf?
Here are some Montessori toys/materials we made available to our babies at 4 months old.
Below is a photo of a work space we used for awhile when our boys were beginning to share bedroom. I wrote a whole article on our shared bedroom with toddler and baby if you are heading down that path soon.
Again, a “shelf” isn’t required as you can designate a floor space with baskets as well.
Some things we did a DIY version, and others we got some of the suggested Montessori materials for this age.
Sensory Toy Basket
We had a basket with a few sensory balls and items still at this stage.
This was one version we put together. Sometimes we switched them out with other wooden teething toys we were gifted.
You can totally use what you have around the house that is safe at this age. One of those above is a cat toy, he he. It was the right size fabric ball for his small hands.
Get creative if you want, or if you are someone who likes straightforward guidance for materials then Lovevery is a great option to explore, as they have all these items in one kit (including a baby safe mirror).
Baby’s love exploring items that make sound, so a rattle is a great Montessori material to have available for your 4 month old.
We had a wooden maraca and a wooden cylinder toy from PlanToys like above.
This was a BIG favorite at this age, the sound was very intriguing to them.
At this age our boys both still loved having a play under the mobile that we made.
We made ours with card-stock paper, a leather pacifier cord, wooden grasping ring, and a kmart mobile set-up. Many items we had around or were handed down, but needed the set-up to hang from. In total it cost us around $30.
Having trouble with floor time?
If you are having trouble with floor time with your 4 month old it might be because they don’t feel safe and secure enough to explore.
They might be worried you will leave or the space makes them feel uneasy.
Ways you can make sure you baby feels safe and ready for floor time:
~ See familiar face/person
~ Calm sounds and space
~ Able to reach materials independently
~ See your smile
~ Able to concentrate without interruption
~ Know what to expect – keeping a common routine and narrating to your baby can help them feel relaxed about doing independent exploration
I found that sitting together when beginning floor time and singing the same nursery rhyme before setting my 4 month old down was a cue to him what we were doing, and then laying him down and saying “What would you like to explore today?” was a great routine for floor time.
I stayed next to him when we began this routine and would observe.
Over time as they get used to it you should be able to sit in a chair to the side and observe or read a book (The Montessori Baby and The Montessori Toddler were books I often read during this time once he was content).
By being close you give your 4 month old the feeling of being safe and thus gaining security & confidence to explore.
This should help increase the length of time of their concentration during floor time with Montessori materials as time goes on.
Practical Life with 4 Month Old
Practical life with a 4 month old is a lot more observation and less the idea of “doing” a task.
Babies will naturally take in and absorb what is in their environment around them.
I often used a baby carrier when doing some household chores and would talk to my 4 month old about what I was doing while I was doing it.
This would easily be considered a “practical life” activity for a baby this young. They are always watching and eager to learn about the world around them.
At 4 Months Old Baby Can Observe You:
- Put Away Dishes
- Fold Laundry
- Gardening Outside
- Baby wear while Vacuuming
- Cooking while on blanket on the floor
How to keep 4 month old entertained
- Sing Nursery Rhymes
- Floor Time
- Watching Siblings
When doing some of the practical life activities while baby wearing it can be a great time to sing some nursery rhymes.
Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce rhythm to children and are quite an educational and entertaining activity while your hands can be doing something else.
Finding time to sing nursery rhymes has been documented to have quite a positive impact on a child’s future vocabulary and linguistic skills.
Allow your baby to be on the floor as much as possible.
The more floor time they have, whether outside on a blanket or inside, is great for baby’s to work on awareness of their own body.
Often rolling over is starting to occur around this age, the more time they have to wiggle around the more independence they will build using their own limbs and body to get around.
Every baby has a different temperament and if you have a fussy baby who doesn’t love floor time try sitting next to them at first, this can can often help them feel safe enough to begin exploring.
Montessori is often about multi-age ranges teaching each other skills.
Allowing your baby to just observed their siblings during play can be a beautiful moment to observe, and all those involved are learning something.
Our eldest enjoyed bringing materials over to show his younger brother how they worked. This goes smoothly at this age when the baby can’t “grab” things their sibling is using. It gets a bit trickier when they are older.
Meals with 4 Month Old
We did not introduce solids til 6 months but still incorporated bub in meal times, especially for our 2nd born.
High chairs are not very “Montessori” , but we happened to have been given one and used it on occasion. With our eldest on a Tripp Trapp chair we had our 4 month old in a high chair up at the table with us all so that he could see what was going on and we would talk and interact with him.
I feel this was a “practical life” opportunity as well, because he could see what was going on during these times and eventually he shifted into dinner time routine quite easily with his own chair similar to Tripp Trapp.
Outdoor Play with 4 Month old
Outdoor play is SO good for children and so we always tie it in to our Montessori at home parenting.
From birth we have taken our boys outside for part of the day nearly every day.
Time outdoors gives babies different sights, sounds, smells, and textures to explore and focus their attention.
At 4 months old here are some of our most common Montessori outdoor play activities:
Things we do
- Lay on a Blanket in the Grass
- Narrate a Walk Outside
- Water Play Outside
Laying on a Blanket
Laying on a blanket in the grass and watching the trees above, grabbing and holding leaves, and watching me in the garden were some of our most common outdoor play activities.
Exploring the texture of the grass, leaves, and other outdoor nature materials that were in the yard at the time always brought a big smile.
Narrate a Walk
We went on LOTS of walks when my boys were babies. It was the easiest way to get out of the house and hit the refresh button sometimes.
To make this a “Montessori” activity I would narrate and stop often to show them different tree, dogs, cats, cows, trucks, and anything else we saw that day.
Talking to your baby and explaining things is great for their cognitive skills and expand their knowledge of the world. They will surprise you will how much they remember, let me tell you that!
Water Play Outside
In the warmer months we let our 4 month old play with water to cool off.
Some ways we played with water was sitting in a kiddie pool with him in our lap and letting him splash or explore balls and watch them float or on a blanket outside with wet washcloth he could play with and suck on.
Both were big winners on warm afternoons. Exploring textures like dry and wet are an easy Montessori activity at this age that will delight their senses.
Montessori Baby Routine for 4 Month Old [example]
Follow the child, find a rhythm that suits your baby and family.
Observe when your baby is most active and interested in focused “work” playtime, and when they are sleepy or want more time with parent.
Create a rhythm/routine around that. When your baby wants to sleep let them sleep, fit that in whenever your baby likes to nap/sleep.
7am – 9am : Feed, Burp, Cuddle & Sing | Activity Floor Time
9am – 11am : Take a Walk | Practical Life with Carer
11am – 12pm : Prep Lunch & Eat Lunch
12pm – 2pm : Grasping Activities | Tummy Time with Mirror
2pm – 4pm : Errands | Practical Life with Carer
4pm – 6pm : Cuddle & Chat/Read | Prep Dinner
6pm – 8pm : Have Dinner | Bath | Calm Activities
Want to learn more?
Still new to doing Montessori at home?
Want to discover more about how to bring some of the principles into your home and parenting style?
Here is how you can bring Montessori into your diaper change routine!