Welcome into our Nido!
Every day in our Nido children as young as two months are busy at work. Infants work harder than most adults! At this sensitive age, their primary purpose is to absorb the world around them. They watch, listen, taste, smell and touch everything within their reach (and once they start crawling, almost everything is within reach!). Dr. Maria Montessori described the absorbent mind of children; they are unconsciously taking in everything in their environment. It is a critical age for children, where we want to keep them safe but also give them the right amount and kinds of opportunities to help them develop. We began our Nido to provide just this kind of care.
Infant Pink Tower
We are the first in Singapore to provide true Montessori for infants. We believe that children should be in stimulating, educational, fun, nurturing and warm environments in their earliest months. They need more than just caretaking; they need exposure to language, activities that engage their senses, and the opportunity to move about (practicing those fine and gross motor skills!). Take a look around our Nido to see what we are doing, beyond the routine care, to make sure our little ones are happy and engaged.
It seems like each day your baby is learning and demonstrating something new! Development at this age can be rapid, and also a bit confusing! There are many milestones that parents worry their child may not be hitting on time, or they might not know what to expect at all! That is where our expert teachers come in. They bring with them years of experience working with infants and together with our curriculum they help guide both baby and parents.
Much of their work involves observation. We’ve written previously about how crucial observation is the Montessori classroom, and it is no different in the Nido! Teachers are always observing sensory, motor, social, emotional, language, and cognitive development. It is all about the details. Teachers observe a child’s response to different sounds, if they display a preference for soft or rough texture, if they roll a ball to their friend, if they transfer something from one hand to another, if they kick their legs, and if they sort objects by category. All of these observations occur over the long term, with no rush or pressure for a child to do something on a particular day. We understand that children develop as individuals, with individual schedules! Our work is to understand each child and their progress and provide them with the materials and experiences that will help them along.
An essential part of a baby’s day is their unique routine: when they sleep, when they eat! We are careful to observe each child’s schedules and needs, but throughout the day we also provide intentional activities that excite their interests and encourage sensory exploration. Every few weeks we introduce a new theme topic for our Nido children, for example “Feelings”, “My Face”, or “All About Me!”
In those weeks children participate in music and movement associated with the theme. You may walk in to find an energetic rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes or a somber verse of If You’re Sad and You Know It. The benefits of music in young children’s lives cannot be underestimated! Musical activities build connections between the children and their teachers, promote language development, support their spatial awareness and gross motor development (who can listen to music without dancing?), help them understand emotions, and let them experience beats, patterns and counting, just to name a few!
There are also always sensorial activities to experience. In our Nido we like to get our hands messy when we make dough or play with cornstarch. We head outdoors to blow bubbles and to feel the textures of leaves and grass. We make funny faces as we smell new scents for the first time! Each of these activities is engaging and fun for our babies, but they also have developmental intentions. Dough play is good for strengthening grips and developing fine motor skills, and blowing and watching bubbles helps us track objects as they move around a space.