17.10.14

CREATING A PLAY SPACE FOR BABIES










Amongst the many changes we've made in our play room recently, one of my most favourite additions is a space specific to Alby and his ever increasing development. Although very simple in its design, we have mindfully incorporated a variety of patterns, textures, sounds and colours - elements set to enhance and heighten each of his senses and therefore, his understanding of the world.

The components of his space include:

  • a soft, neutral mat - used to define his space and provide him with a secure place to play. We haven't once needed to speak with Sage about intruding on Alby's space, as the mat has proved to be a visual guide for her, and whilst Alby is present, she leaves him to play, undisturbed.
  • a floor level mirror - the benefits of infants and toddlers {and even older children} seeing themselves whilst engaging in play are so numerous, an entire post could be dedicated to the topic! However, our two main intentions for placing a low level mirror in Alby's space, were to firstly provide him with an extended view of the room around him {aiding his abilty to build an 'internal map' of the space, useful as he begins to crawl} and secondly, to enable him to observe his own movements, fostering bodily awareness - particularly hand-eye coordination, and an understanding of cause and effect, through studying his reflection.
  • art work -  currently we have chosen simple, black and white images, placed at eye-level, as the clear contrast between the two colours, nurtures and stimulates visual development in young babies. Soon, we will exchange these for other prints or illustrations, or even images of family and familiar friends. 
  • an assortment of wooden items {including stackers, rattles, ball rollers, jigsaws and musical instruments} - time and time again I have professed my undying love for wooden play items, not only for their aesthetical beauty, but also as they actively engage young children rather than allow them to be passive observers. I recently read a lovely quote from the book "Montessori From the Start" by Paula Polk Lillard and Lynn Lillard Jessen which really resounded with our philosophy - "The selection of toys we make available to our children is as important as what we choose for any other area of their environment. To select wisely, we need to go back to our initial purpose in helping the child in his self-formation. All loving parents want to raise a child to whom the world makes sense, who can think about that world wisely and who loves and respects himself and others. By showing care in the toys you choose for your child, you are showing him that he is important to you. You are sharing what is beautiful and meaningful to you in life. You thereby help your child in turn to look for beauty and logic in the world around him." Rarely would we have all of these play items together on the mat at once. One or two would be more than adequate in providing a 'supportive challenge' to a young mind. 














Next week I will begin a new series featuring my favourite baby items - first up will be those newborn 'essentials' we found so handy in the early months, and then following will be some play pieces that may assist you in creating a space similiar to this, for your own little one. In the meantime, however, if there is a particular item in this post that you are wanting to know more about, just let me know  :-)

{If interested, you can read more about our play approach here}

12 comments:

  1. This is gorgeous. I can't help but look at this and think - your babies are so, so lucky to have chosen you to be their Mama!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Imogen - such beautiful words. Thank you for making this mama feel oh so chuffed! x

      Delete
  2. Loving your playroom! You have inspired me to be more considered in my toy choices and to cut down considerably the amount of "stuff" to facilitate more imaginative play. Thanks so much for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have had a mirror at floor level for Archer (now 10 months) since he was born and he has spent so much time in front of it. It was one of the best items we added to his room. I love the ball roller, may I ask where it is from?
    Lovely post x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mirrors are just the best, aren't they?! We only had a little one for Sage and I've noticed such a difference having the larger one for Alby. The ball track was a gift for Sage's first Christmas from her grandparents, so I'm not sure where they purchased it from, but there's a link to it here... http://www.classicbaby.com.au/Wooden_Ball_Track_by_Janod_p/J05378.htm?gclid=CL-06ZnfvsECFVgnvQodACAASw
      x

      Delete
    2. Thanks Anna. I found a few other things on their site for upcoming birthdays and Christmas. Oh dear!

      Delete
  4. Gosh, he's grown so fast! I can't get over that grin either! xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a beautifully considered selection Anna. Your wee ones are so lucky to have you as their mama x
    Ps thankyou for including my Alchemy play silks in your selection, I am honoured x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh a pleasure Allana - they are used DAILY! x

      Delete
  6. Different songs can be recognized by the time an infant is thirty four weeks along. That means that this happens more than a month before the baby is born!
    https://flylittleone.com

    ReplyDelete

Your comments brighten my day, thank you!