The learning process of children starts right from the time of their birth. The Montessori method of education provides the appropriate environment for children from the beginning, even when they are a few weeks old. Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder of Montessori education, studied the behavior of children and defined different planes of their development. She believed that the brain develops more rapidly in children from birth to age three years than at any other time, and their ability to learn is more in this stage of development.
Montessori philosophy utilizes this theory of Dr. Maria Montessori to provide the best possible environment and learning process for children. The learning environment for young children is slightly different from that of toddlers and is called Nido programs in Montessori.
Do you want to know more about the Montessori Nido classroom?
Let us learn what they are and how they are beneficial for your babies.
What is a Montessori Nido Classroom?
Montessori schools offer many programs. Montessori Nido program is one such program that is the earliest form of Montessori and is specifically for infants. Nido means “nest” in Italian, which resonates with the idea of warmth and security. Nido classrooms provide a calm, nurturing, responsive, and home-like environment for the youngest students while their parents are away at work. They are suitable for infants aged around 6-12 weeks up to 16 months old. The classrooms take care of all developmental needs of infants with their warmth and care from expert staff so that the children can fulfill their potential harmoniously.
Nido recognizes the importance of nurturing the abilities of children in the initial stages of development and works towards it. They understand that children develop mentally, physically, and emotionally, absorbing everything from their environment when they are free to explore the world around them. Nido makes all this possible for the infants by setting up a prepared and inviting environment, in which the children are free to explore their surroundings without adult intervention.
When are children eligible for Nido classrooms?
Nido has classrooms for children right from birth. The Nido classroom caters to infants from 3 months to 24 months. Infants graduate to the next level when they are around fifteen months.
Features of Montessori Nido classroom
As you enter a Nido classroom, you will witness the calmness and serenity of its environment. The sole purpose behind Nido is to create a warm, home-like environment for babies. The setting is very calm and inviting for babies. The carefully designed space will have softly lit rooms, soft rugs, child-sized furniture, books, and materials on low shelves, and mattress and cribs for infants neatly arranged.
The decorations may be muted with subtle colors to impart peaceful vibes to the environment.
Home away from home with professional caregivers
The professional caregivers of Nido classrooms make the environment homely for the infants. They are calm, polite, and very patient with the children. The staff treats children with respect and tries to develop a strong bond with each child in their care. They take great care of your babies from feeding meals to making them sleep at the scheduled nap time. The children will enjoy new friendships and have the opportunity to explore together. They will experience security, trust, and affection in Montessori Nido classrooms.
Scientifically designed learning materials
Nido classrooms offer freedom within limits. The classrooms provide adequate child-sized materials with a clear and specific purpose for children. These materials are chosen carefully for tiny hands and fingers that aid in their hand-eye coordination. You can see simple objects made of natural materials like wooden bars helpful for babies learning to stand and walk.
Too many toys in the classroom become overwhelming for children, and since these children are too young extra care needs to be taken.
A minimalistic approach is a characteristic of Montessori. The teacher ensures that the child learns to use the array of materials on the shelves. Infants learn to respect the materials and the people around them. The toys in Nido classrooms are ideal for infants as they build concentration, develop problem-solving skills, and gross and fine motor skills.
Flexible schedule for working parents
Flexible scheduling options for families are available in Nido classrooms. Working parents can opt for half, core, and full-day programs, three-consecutive day, and five-day options as per their needs. Some Nido programs offer Monday through Friday full-day child care, and others may provide an education-focused curriculum. Whether you choose a full- or part-time program for your infant, you can be assured that all high-quality Montessori classrooms offer caring and supportive environments.
Spacious, safe, and secure environment
Children are naturally curious and have the intrinsic desire to move and communicate. Carefully designed space in Nido helps the child build a strong foundation of trust in the environment and self, which grooms them as secure children with high self-esteem. The arrangements in the classroom environment make the infants feel safe to explore, build strength, and express themselves. You can have confidence that your child is being educated, cared and loved in a secure environment when you are at work.
What do infants learn in a Montessori Nido classroom?
All Montessori classrooms focus on building confidence, fostering independence, and shaping your child’s character. The Nido program usually creates a curriculum for teachers to follow with different age groups. These programs differ from Montessori schools in many ways, but their approach to overall themes, materials, and guiding principles follow the Montessori philosophy.
Montessori programs help infants and young children to build skills across domains — social, emotional, cognitive, and fine and gross motor skills. The Montessori Nido classroom includes a variety of curricular content that can help the youngest learners explore literacy, the arts, science, and more.
A typical day in the Nido classroom focuses on developing different skills so that the infants achieve their developmental milestones.
Infants learn to interact with their peers as they spend time in mixed-age classrooms doing group activities in Nido. They develop manners, grace and courtesy, and empathy for others. At an early age, these experiences help children to adapt to the larger society and play a crucial role in shaping their character as they grow up.
Gross and fine motor skills
A lot of your baby’s energy is invested in building gross motor ability as he learns to walk, roll over, run, stand, climb and jump. Nido classrooms, with their free space, give the freedom for activities that are both indoor and outdoor such as walking, climbing, running, jumping, and climbing stairs, which develop the gross motor skills of your baby. Nido programs also help develop fine motor skills through activities that involve hands, fingers, and wrists movements.
Infants enjoy indulging in activities to contribute to their environment and themselves. The school encourages activities that help immensely in hand-eye coordination.
Small actions like grasping, dropping, or throwing an object, turning the wrist, and holding an object with small tongs develop a child’s pincer grip, which helps to write using a pencil in later stages. These actions help in the development of the brain too.
Practical life skills and care for the environment
Infants continuously develop skills such as language, concentration, problem-solving, visual and tactile senses, physical coordination, and motor development by doing daily life activities.
Montessori Nido classrooms help infants develop self-care objectives like maintaining personal hygiene. Infants learn to wash their hands, eat independently, communicate for toileting, and learn to dress themselves in Nido classrooms. They also learn to care for the environment by watering plants and cleaning up after play. Such activities make them independent and build their confidence and self-esteem.
Learning to communicate using language is one of the developmental milestones for infants. Research reveals babies learn language skills as they interact and communicate with their teachers. Nido classrooms have educated and highly-spirited teachers who make energetic and meaningful interactions with your baby.
These classrooms encourage language development by exposing babies to vocabulary by clearly identifying objects and actions, naming objects, describing actions, discussing pictures, having conversations, and singing songs. The teachers help the babies understand language by reading books to them.
Are you working and looking for a reliable school for your baby?
Montessori Nido classrooms are of great help for working parents, as they provide a nurturing environment for the infants to develop their imagination and practical life skills.
Their specialized materials allow your babies for exploratory and sensorial learning as they feel the textures of the materials, touching, grasping, listening, and smelling them.
The activities foster independence and instill learning habits in them early on. As the infants learn in a Nido environment, gradually they will be able to sit independently at the table, eat their snacks, make coordinated movements, crawl and walk with confidence, and talk and communicate with others. They gain self-confidence to attempt new challenges. Parents can experience the beauty of Montessori with their little ones through Nido environments.