The Montessori learning design starts at birth. While teaching a newborn may seem impossible, the Montessori mobiles are an excellent way to jumpstart their learning.
There are four Montessori mobiles strictly designed for child development. Parents expose their children to these mobiles at certain development stages. The four mobiles help develop primary eye functions and visual focus by gradually appealing to their sense of sight.
Children going into a Montessori education should start early with Montessori mobiles. Learn how to use the Montessori mobiles with your newborn and what benefits it offers.
The Four Montessori Mobiles
The four Montessori mobiles refine the eye functions of your newborn. Each mobile is introduced at different stages of development and progressively challenges the child’s ability to understand what they are seeing.
Introduce your child to the Montessori mobiles in the following order: Munari, Octahedron, Gobbi, and Dancer.
You can purchase the Montessori mobiles online, or you can build them yourself by following online tutorials. Either way, the mobiles should follow the strict design outlined by the Montessori method.
When placing your Montessori mobiles, they should only sit about a foot above your child. Newborn babies can only see a distance of 12 inches. If the mobile sits any higher, it will not benefit your child.
Because newborn babies cannot control their head movements, you may consider placing a mirror next to their bassinet or crib. This mirror will allow them to see the mobile without turning their head. However, over time the baby will develop the muscles to hold their head straight and look at the mobile directly. You can remove the mirror at this time.
Now that we know the general purpose and usage of the Montessori mobiles, we can discuss each of the mobiles in detail below!
The Munari mobile is the first mobile to which you will introduce your child. This mobile is constructed solely of black and white geometric shapes. There is also a single glass ball hanging among the figures.
Exposure to this mobile starts as soon as the child is born. However, some choose to wait until three weeks of age to introduce this mobile. The Munari mobile should remain up until they are five weeks old.
The purpose of this mobile is to stimulate your child’s current seeing abilities. Newborn babies do not see color. They seek out high contrasting hues such as black and white. The high contrast of the geometric shapes helps your child develop an understanding of shapes and boundaries. This mobile also trains them to track visual movements and to focus on objects.
The glass ball is included in this mobile to reflect light and catch the newborn’s attention.
The Munari mobile is about more than developing the eyes’ motor functions. This mobile is one of the first times your child realizes there is more to the world than just you. Up until this point, they have only seen your face. The Munari mobile introduces them to the world.
After a few weeks of exposure to the Munari mobile, introduce your child to the Octahedron mobile. This introduction should be done around five weeks of age and continue until the child is eight weeks old.
The octahedron mobile features three octahedrons constructed from highly reflective material. Each octahedron should represent one of the three primary colors (red, blue, yellow). At this point, your child is starting to see colors. The three primary colored octahedrons introduce them to the world of color. From here, they will begin to recognize all colors.
The reflective material of the octahedrons will also introduce your child to three-dimensional shapes. Up until this point, they have seen two-dimensionally. Using the octahedron mobile challenges your baby’s current understanding of the world and encourages them to use their eyes to learn.
The third mobile in the Montessori learning set is the Gobbi mobile. Introduce the Gobbi mobile to your child at about seven weeks. While this overlaps with the Octahedron mobile, it is up to you to determine if your child seems ready for this new step in development.
The Gobbi mobile consists of several colored orbs (usually about 5). Each of the spheres is a different shade of the same color. The colors gradually change from right to left.
As mentioned earlier, your child is just beginning to see brighter colors. The Gobbi mobile introduces them to the many variances of color. As they study the different shades, it refines their sight and understanding of color.
Be careful when placing this mobile. At this point, your child may be practicing their hand-eye coordination and motor skills. In other words, they may attempt to grab the mobile that is spinning only a few inches above their face. If they manage to grab ahold of the mobile, they could tear it down. If the mobile falls, it may startle them. And we do not want them afraid of their mobiles!
The Gobbi mobile can remain up until the child reaches ten weeks of age.
The final mobile in the Montessori visual set is that of the Dancers. This mobile is introduced around eight weeks of age and remains until the child is 12 weeks old. Once again, there is a significant overlap with the previous mobile. Watch your baby’s eye movements with the Gobbi mobile. Once they seem to understand the concept, move on to the dancer’s mobile.
The dancer’s mobile features several cutouts of people on reflective paper. This mobile spins more than the previous mobiles, and the reflection of light will catch your baby’s attention.
The purpose of the dancer mobile is to teach your child about graceful movements (a skill that will come in handy as they develop their motor skills) and encourages depth perception for visual focus.
Sets of Mobiles
Other Montessori Materials for Newborns
After the four visual mobiles, your infant may be ready for other Montessori learning materials. However, there are still several other mobiles to which you can introduce your child. Remember, these mobiles are not part of the Montessori Mobile set.
The animal mobiles are more intricate and show your child how animals move through the air and the water. It is mostly about developing an interest than a visual skill.
Once the child reaches three months of age, they will be more interested in developing their motor functions. Provide your child with a tactile mobile at this time. This mobile is designed for the baby to grab, pull, and hit. It may even encourage your child to sit up.
Remember, your child is never too young to start learning from the Montessori method. From the moment they leave the womb, newborns learn a plethora of information about the world around them. Using the Montessori mobiles can help them better understand the information presented to them.