In the modern world, it’s understandable that parents often feel pressured to do everything for their baby as soon as possible. We live in a culture of 24/7 care. Parents are expected to be responsible for feeding, clothing, and supervising their children at all times but also prepared to instruct them in any given subject or skill at a moment’s notice.
What is a Montessori Baby gym? A Montessori baby gym is a piece of furniture that helps stimulate your child’s senses. It has hanging toys that can be moved by your child, nurturing their sense of touch. Different textures and materials may include wood or plastic. You’ll also find music playing and lights flashing or spinning around when your child touches them.
What Do Babies Learn from the Montessori Gym?
A Montessori gym is an excellent place for your baby to explore and learn, and it’s a fun place for them to play and interact with other children and adults.
The Montessori gym is a specially designed space that allows babies to explore in a safe, controlled environment. The gym contains lots of different types of toys, including:
Sensorial materials are items that can be touched, smelled, and tasted. Sensory materials include things like sandpaper, sponges, and blocks made from different materials such as wood or metal. This helps stimulate the baby’s senses and encourages them to explore their environment more deeply.
Manipulative materials, these objects can be moved around by hand or arm movements, such as beads on strings. Manipulative materials help develop fine motor skills in the hands and arms, which will be needed later on when writing or eating with a knife and fork.
Many babies love musical instruments, so allowing them to play with tools like drums or xylophones can be very rewarding for both parent and child.
How to Make Your Own Montessori Baby Gym
You can make your Montessori baby gym using items you probably have around the house. The idea is to create an area where your child can crawl, roll, and play while being close to you.
The best thing about making your baby a gym is that you can customize it to fit your child’s needs.
You can make your Montessori baby gym with a few simple steps:
One 8-foot piece of 2.5-inch pine and cut into four equal pieces. I cut the ends at 45-degree angles using a miter saw.
Dowel: 3/4″ by 48 inches long
Drill or preferably a drill press if you have it
Baby safe paint, paint brush, painters tape
Four stainless steel eye hooks
Two Philips head bolts and locking nut for the end of the dowel
Step 1: Drill Holes for the Dowel
After you cut your ends at 45 deg with the miter saw, you need to drill holes at the other end at least 3/4″ in diameter for your dowel to fit through. A drill press works best here if you have it.
Ensure all cut edges, including the cuts made with the miter saw and the holes you drilled at the top, are first sanded with 50 grit sandpaper. This will help ensure that when you stain your project, later on, there won’t be any rough spots or splinters of wood left exposed for people to see (which can happen when using other types of power tools such as a jigsaw).
Step 2: Paint Your Boards
Use painter’s tape to make a clean line for your wooden posts. If you’d like to paint the ends, you can use a small paint brush, or even a toothbrush, to get into the cracks and crevices of your posts.
If you’re concerned about using chemicals near your baby, I would suggest asking your doctor what kind of paint is safe for babies.
Step 3: Attach Rope
The rope is the easiest part of this project. All you need to do is tie knots at regular intervals (approximately every inch) and attach each end to a screw eye-ring.
Use four stainless steel screw eye rings to attach the rope. This prevents the baby gym from falling, so ensure your knots are secure and the eye rings are firmly embedded within the wood.
Step 4: Screw in a Stop
Use a screw and a nut at the end of the dowel so that the baby gym does not fall apart. You could also add one on the inside if you’d like more stability. However, the one on end is the most important.
Step 5: Attach Toys
You can attach some baby-safe rubber bath toys. You need to ensure that your baby’s bath toy is safe for them. If you’re worried about your baby’s bath toy size, buy a larger one and cut it down to size. If you don’t want to purchase a new toy, you can use an old sock or a washcloth.
Building a baby gym is not as complicated as you might think. You can buy one from a store, but building one is more affordable and creates more opportunities for you and your family. Here’s how to make your Montessori baby gym
The modern world can often feel like a pressure cooker, where we are expected to do everything perfectly and as quickly as possible. It may seem impossible to escape this thinking once you become a parent, but creating your Montessori baby gym is a great way to slow things down. By creating a space where your child can experiment, destroy, and explore freely, you’re helping them develop a sense of curiosity, creativity, and confidence that will follow them for the rest of their life.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is best to start with Montessori? You can introduce Montessori to your child when they are ready. Early childhood and Montessori programs should be chosen accordingly, and the age range varies from two to six years.
What are the best Montessori toys? Montessori toys are designed to encourage the child’s independence and creativity. They should be simple, open-ended, and appealing to children’s natural interests.