THE FIRST STEP
The two pillars: prepared environment and freedom of movement the perfect combination
The prepared environment is one of the foundations of Montessori pedagogy, the second is freedom of movement, because only if the environment is safe and suitable for them can we let babies move freely and develop their full potential.
What does a Montessori Nest look like?
When the babies arrive at the School if they are not yet walking, this is their first environment, here they will find their Guide and his assistant so instead of one educator alone, there are two, and they will hear all the time they spend with us Spanish and English.
Freedom of movementbeingdoingchoice
In a Montessori Nido environment you will not find hammocks, high chairs, cots or swings…the child has total freedom of movement because only in this way can he learn to develop his psychomotor skills correctly, as Maria Montessori said “…the child must be left to be…”.
100% Natural Materials
No plastic toys, no loud colours, no artificial music. Everything is calm and relaxed, the child can touch everything, appreciate the different textures and shapes. They are preparing for the next stage, in Montessori the senses are fundamental because learning is totally experiential.
Observations of the children in the environment are made on a daily basis. This allows us to closely follow their progress and each of their steps. In this way we can offer them the appropriate materials for each specific moment of their development and be aware of their needs at all times, respecting their rhythms and progress.
The nest environment we found
6 areasdevelopment opportunities
BAR AND MIRROR
The bar and the mirror serve several purposes, the first is visual development, as this is where the mat and the Montessori developmental mobiles are placed. The next purpose is self-recognition, which is fundamental in the child’s development. Lastly, the bar is an essential aid for the child’s upright position and first steps.
Together with the development of gross psychomotor skills, the development of fine motor skills is fundamental for the child’s independence and to continue progressing towards the development of all their abilities. Maria Montessori said that “the hand is the tool of intelligence”, so the control of our movements is fundamental. This is why the materials in this area are fundamental.
There are two fundamental baskets, natural materials such as sticks, shells, pine cones… to develop the sense of touch and the second one is wooden shapes, commercial baby toys are usually ergonomic and made of plastic so that the ability to grip is reduced to a few movements and the development of touch is focused on a few textures. This prepares the child for the next level.
“Opening the books, opening the wings”, so that babies get used to having books within their reach from the very beginning is of utmost importance. They fulfil a double function: on the one hand, they are one of the links between the guide and the children in the environment, with them we not only tell stories but also increase their vocabulary (in Spanish and English); on the other hand, children learn what a book is, the pages, the stories…
Music is fundamental in a Montessori environment. Not only do we have daily auditions, but at Nido they also have the first percussion instruments at their fingertips, which we also use to sing with the children (in Spanish and English). The development of rhythm and hearing is fundamental at this stage. The percussion basket is one of the babies’ favourites: rattles, triangle, claves, tambourine, castanets…
In a Montessori environment there are no cots, but little beds at ground level. This has a double function. In the middle of their visual development, putting barriers in front of the child hinders their development and does not contribute to their independence: they depend on an adult to get in and out. Knowing that sleep is fundamental for the development of neuronal connections, it is of the utmost importance that children can go to bed and sleep when they need to.