What do infants do in a Montessori daycare? Of course, eating, napping, and diapering take up a lot of the child’s day. During these times, a lot of slowly paced, clear language is being used to explain to the child what is going on. I also make eye contact with the child, and smile often. It may seem silly to some that I would talk to an infant that can’t respond, but the child, who is absorbing everything in his environment, is learning language every day by listening to your speech and watching the way your mouth forms the words.
The infant is also given plenty of time to concentrate on visual discrimination through black and white pictures and various mobiles to help with visual and physical development at this stage of life. Babies can recognize the sharp contrasts of black and white in the first three months. Soon they will begin to recognize different colors and a range of shades. The Gobbi mobile helps the child begin to recognize order as the shades are ordered from dark to light, and the length is ordered from long to short. Physical development is aided as the child begins to reach for the mobile with arms or legs, at first by accident, and eventually with purpose.
And of course, order should be demonstrated in every aspect of the daycare environment because the infant is absorbing every visual, audible, tactile, gastric and olfactory stimulus. Even though the child is not yet working with the materials on the shelf, the child is taking in the order visible on the shelves such as the pink tower and the brown stair, and even an orderly bookshelf.
The infant may appear to be simply laying around and not doing anything, but in a well-prepared environment, the infant is actually doing very important work!