I really don’t know how I first stumbled upon Montessori, it just sort of happened.
Here I was a regular mom living in a small country town reading whatever I could get my hands on about implementing Montessori at Home with my baby. I scoured these books to see what I could make work in our small home.
It was at about 6 months old that I really started to incorporate Montessori into our home and daily life.
At 6 months old our little guy was quite mobile and ready to start exploring the world around him. So the firs thing I did was design a Montessori styled play area for him in our dining room (middle of our home) so that I could keep an eye on him and still tackle household tasks throughout the day.
Montessori Play Area for 6 Month Old
In this play area he had access to 5 main toys. All of varying texture, shapes, and colors.
To preserve my own sanity I made it simple and stored them all within this busy box we were gifted. It would only take me 1 minute to quick put them all in the box. This made keeping this space clear at other times in the day easy.
The 5 toys that I used when lil fella was 6 months old were
– Blue, Soft Toy Train
– Wooden Nature Cards
– Brown, Soft Teddy
– Heimess Wooden Rattle Wheel
– Busy Box
Now I will say that a busy box is often not considered “Montessori”. As a “real life mom” who was kindly gifted this by a family member I used it anyways. Everything on the box was wooden and I could take the lid portion off for him to access the moving beads on the wires.
Our little guy decided to pull himself up to standing while he was 6 months old using his weaning table and busy box. We never got the chance to make him a pull-up bar. So for us, having the busy box worked out.
Let this be a reminder that if you decide to use Montessori methods at home you don’t have to strive to be “perfect”.
These were not the only toys he was exposed to. I had been handed down some toys from family, so I had about 2 toys in the nappy/diaper bag (seen below) for our outings, and I had 1 toy attached in the stroller/car.
This meant I didn’t have to bag up the toys and take them with me everywhere we went, and it allowed him different experiences in different places.
Weaning Table at 6 Months Old
What is a Weaning table?
Before I go into our experience, I will first quickly explain what a weaning table is for anyone not familiar.
A weaning table is a small table and chair designed for babies/toddlers to begin their first experiences eating solid foods. It is designed for their height and size, as well as their imbalance so that they cannot fall out of the chair.
Montessori is all about creating an environment that is tailored to the child so they have the opportunity to begin learning to be an independent individual right from the start. This often means equipping your home with child-sized furniture such as a weaning table.
It allows for :
– Ability to Start Table Manners
– Workspace at Their Height
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of weaning tables check out The Kavanaugh Report .
✻ Related Post : Montessori Weaning table – What is it? Are there alternatives?
Our Experience with Weaning Table at 6 Months
I jumped in head first and went for it with the weaning table and weaning glass. I looked up weaning tables online and got a good idea of what would suit a 6 month old, then looked in my local area.
Soooo, Australia does not have near as many options with Montessori items as other places in the world. The prices available were just not in our budget, so we did some DIY and made a weaning table and chair ourselves one evening out of one piece of board from Bunnings ( I will write a post on how soon!).
The little fella loved it and had no troubles eating and drinking his first meal at his weaning table. I was so excited! Woot Woot! #ParentWin . It’s great when your kids actually use something you put a lot effort into, as this is not always the case as many of us know (I mean you Sophie the giraffe).
Weaning Cup at 6 Months Old
We could never get our little guy to take a bottle (despite trying a few when this mama would have liked to do some errands on her own). So going from exclusively breastfeeding to trying a weaning cup seemed a little daunting.
As often with kids, our little guy surprised us and took to it quite easily after demonstrating how to use it to him only twice. We demonstrated to use two hands to pick it up from table, drink, and set it back on the table. He still was breastfeeding on demand, but at meals I would offer him use of the weaning cup.
We choose to use a shot glass as his first weaning cup. They are commonly used for this purpose as they are the perfect size for their hands and pretty darn durable.
I did try a stainless steel one I found a little while later, but he did not find it as easy to use for some reason and spilled down his front a lot more often.
There are other material options, but honestly from my experience and reading many others, a glass cup seems to work the best. Ikea I have read often has some great options if you are interested. (Our closest Ikea is 3 hours away….so haven’t been yet).
Other Activities We Do
Our family loves being outdoors. We love hiking, camping, fishing, and anything in-between. I enjoy working in my veggie garden in the backyard and taking bike rides through our small town when the weather isn’t too hot.
A Scandinavian quote I have come to live by is,
” There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Having a baby did not stop us from doing what we enjoy, we just learned to modify how we did our activities so that we could include the little fella. Since he was 2 months old we have taken him to visit the snow, camping, fishing (with an infant life jacket), and hiking.
I still went on walks with the pram on rainy days, it’s what the rain cover accessory is for. Little guy seemed to be very interested by the rain drops running down the cover.
Don’t let the weather limit you, Montessori promotes outdoor play just as must as indoor time.
Montessori Outdoor Play with 6 Month Old
I have a little blanket that I use for outside and put our little guy on it whenever I am outside gardening. If he decides to scoot himself to the edge and be in the grass, then I allow him to do what he chooses. The blanket is there in case he does not want to be on the texture of grass if it bothers him.
While on the blanket I allow him to explore the grass, leaves, and look at the trees. I have not found it necessary to bring toys out when there is so much nature to explore, touch, hear, and smell.
Fresh air is good for everyone, and it is a good time to get a little natural vitamin D.
Once or twice a day we go on a walk in the stroller to look at all the neighbors plants, animals, and cars. I try to narrate what we see as we are walking along.
Sometimes though, I use this time to make international phone calls while he is occupied looking and around. I have a catch-up with family or friends from the US. As I have said before, I am a real mom and I need to fit in self-care moments too.
What We Don’t Do
Everyone is different and will implement Montessori into their lives in the way that will best suit them. So what have we not incorporated yet?
The Floor Bed is the main thing that we have not taken to using that is a common Montessori home item. Our little guy sleeps in a cot, and I plan to keep it that way because he sleeps so well.
I personally don’t find it necessary to mess with children’s sleep. He naps wonderfully with no fuss and at night he sleeps great only waking once for a night feed. If he is happy sleeping in a cot then I don’t feel like changing that routine right now.
Practical Life Activities are something I am preparing for in the near future. It is on my radar, and I have ideas, but at this stage I am letting him watch and explore. He is with me when I fold laundry and he can see me when I am cooking. I will say that’s what counts for now.
That’s What Our Life Looks Like
I am so incredibly excited to have begun the adventure of Montessori at home with our little fella. My eyes have been opened by how much he is able to do having given him the opportunity.
I feel like I’m doing something truly transformative for our child as he works toward developing into a capable, confident, and independent person. I can’t wait to see what new adventures the coming months will bring!
Do you implement the Montessori philosophy in your home?
Are you interested in Montessori?
Please share your experiences and queries in the comments below!