4 to 12 MONTHS old
Education must begin at birth […] In the first days of life, it is clear that something of the utmost importance is taking place….he has ‘potentialities’ able to bring about his development, and these do so my making use of the outer world.
— Dr Maria Montessori
A good start lasts…a lifetime!
Babies observe and absorb the world around them. They have an enormous potential ready to be developed.
In our culture, this potential is not fully recognized. Information given to new parents tends to revolve around food, sleep and growth. However, during the first year of life, the most intense development takes place in terms of neuro-networking. Adults can assist the development tremendously by providing an environment that is in tune with the abilities of the baby.
The Nido Academy is a Parent-Infant Community that offers a platform where parents and their baby meet with a specialist in the development of infants in a specifically prepared environment containing equipment, furniture, ideas and information geared toward stimulating the baby’s optimal development. Parents and babies come once a week for a 1 1/2 hour session and can experience the Montessori difference firsthand.
For the Parents
We should not look at newborn infants as small, helpless human beings, but as persons who are small in size, but with an immense mental capacity, and many physical abilities that cannot be witnessed unless the environment assists in the expression of life.
– Dr. Silvana Montanaro
MBA offers a peaceful, serene environment where parents can meet one another with their infants. There is time for sharing experiences and to learn more, on a practical and theoretical level, on how to help infants during their first year of life.
Each Parent-Infant course runs for a period of 10 weeks. During these sessions parents and babies spend time together in the prepared environment under the guidance of our Assistant to Infancy. On alternative weeks information sessions on various topics are held.
Examples of topics covered:
- Advantages of moving freely
- Creating an optimal infant-development-friendly home
- Criteria on toys
- What is happening in the child’s brain and how to help connect those millions of neurons
- Independent movement and its effect on self esteem
- Power of the absorbent mind
- Emotional development – oneness and separateness
- Language acquisition and second language learning (for non native English speakers)
- Assisting weaning, eating and sleeping
- Next stages of development
Various workshops are offered in collaboration with our different partners. Topics will range from Pregnancy and Child Birth in Portugal to Conscious Parenting an more.
Topics can vary according to the needs of the parents involved.
For the Infants
The tiny child’s absorbent mind finds all its nutriment in its surroundings. Here it has to locate itself, and build itself up from what it takes in. Especially at the beginning of life must we, therefore, make the environment as interesting and attractive as we can..”
– Dr. Maria Montessori
The Nido Community is a specifically prepared environment, which acknowledges the importance of the first year of life; a full year of intense growth and development assisted only by the best! The approach and activities offered are designed to give ideas on assisting the development of the child’s intellect, self-esteem, personality and happiness.
The prepared activities are suitable for babies who are 4 months old to walking age. The materials stimulate the development and awareness of gross and fine motor movements and eye-hand coordination. The environment invites freedom of movement with opportunities for rolling, crawling, pulling up and walking. It also stimulates the start of positive social and emotional development.
Developmental toys for babies often need consideration before being introduced to the child. They are often too big, too loud, made of plastic and too complex. We suggest using healthy materials made of natural products such as wood, rubber and bamboo. The selected toys and furniture are designed in such a way that it gives the infants the possibility to achieve what they are developmentally ready for.
In the first year of life, the brain develops at a speed that will never occur again. It is extremely busy with the formation of neuropathways. Depending on the concrete activities and experiences that the child encounters, the brain wires itself accordingly and networks are established.