There is no doubt that babies are curious and want to explore the environment around them. From eleven to twelve months old, I observed a lot of refinement of their movements and exploration of their environment. In this post, I will share my observations from our 11-month-old twins this month.
Keep in mind that each child develops at their own pace. I even need to remind myself of this because my boys still are not independently getting in and out of a sitting position. I expected it to happen months ago but it won’t happen until just after turning one. Montessori helps to remind me to follow the child. Whatever they are exploring or experimenting with is what they need to progress in their development, as long as safety is always considered. As long as the environment is supporting their development and not putting restrictions or creating obstacles to it, we need to trust them and their journey of development.
It started with the exploration of their wrist rotation. This was a new movement that they were able to do. They quickly caught on when they would do this waving motion and we would do it back to them. They discovered that they had the power to create change in their environment. The discovery of waving their hand is a great example of cause and effect which is very interesting to babies and toddlers.
Many meals were filled with waving and greetings from our 11-month-old twins. One thing I am sensitive to as a Montessori parent is putting my child in the spotlight or asking them to perform for me. When they gain new skills like waving, crawling, walking, or saying a new word it can be easy to want to show that to other people. However, we can honor and respect the child by not asking them to perform for us. Likely, if we let them do their own thing and observe them in their environment they may do it independently.
I have noticed that now that our boys have been pulling up to stand for a few months, they have been taking some steps forward while supported by a walker. They received the Radio Flyer Walker Wagon as a first birthday gift, but a few days before their birthday so I am including it in this month’s recap. They love this wagon and use it to move around the house and love to climb in and out of it.
Drinking from an Open Cup
Up until this point, we had been helping hold the cup of water at mealtimes while they took a drink. An observation I had this month was when I put the small cup of water in front of them they would grab it and bring it to their mouth on their own. Sometimes they spilled a little and other times they did do it without spilling. Once they were done drinking I would help them to set the cup back down on the table.
I haven’t been leaving the cup near them at all times but offering it multiple times during a meal. I model how to pour water from a small pitcher. They are continuing to practice this skill of drinking from an open cup. Another part of our open-cup drinking journey is using baby sign language to sign the word for water. I hope in months to come this will be a way that they can communicate their needs before they have the words to say what they want.
Playful Interactions with One Another
11-month-old twins exploring their world together has been so fun. It can be challenging at moments, yet there are many sweet moments between them. There are two times in which they have very playful interactions with one another. One is after breakfast while I am cleaning up. They move about the kitchen emptying the contents of my cabinets. The other time is before they fall asleep. We use a Montessori floor bed which allows them freedom of movement in their safely prepared Montessori nursery. Sometimes they will be up in their bedroom playing for almost an hour before they fall asleep. If you are interested in how we use a Montessori floor bed with twins check out this blog post!
Crawling While Holding Objects in Their Mouth
This has been such a funny observation this month. My sons have discovered that their mouth is almost like a third hand. They will pause to play with something, put it in their mouth, and then crawl a bit. Then they stop, take the object out of their mouth to play with it, and then return it to their mouth to continue on their journey. Just to note that these objects are all safe for them to have in their mouth. For example, in the kitchen, I have a drawer of lids and tops for containers. There were some bottle nipples in the drawer. They would crawl around with a bottle nipple in their mouth.
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Having snacks at their weaning table
We got our Montessori weaning table this month. I had been looking for one on Facebook Marketplace becuase we didn’t have the budget to buy a new one. It is perfect! Their legs and chairs are adjustable which is wonderful. This will meet their needs for many years to come. This same table is available from Sprout.
We have used the weaning table for snacks and activities. I still like using our Tripp Trapp high chairs for meals because eating at the same table is nice. The weaning table is wonderful to have as something just their size. It will also be something that they can get in and out of independently before they can get into their high chair on their own.
I have observed that they love to poke things. Food, textured books, and one of their favorites are the Poke-A-Dot books! These books encourage fine motor movements. I will set them both up at their Montessori weaning table with their Poke-A-Dot books and they will be engaged and focused on them for quite some time usually.
Chunky Wooden Knobbed Puzzles
They have been enjoying taking our puzzle pieces that have chunky wooden knobs. The knobs are perfect for them to grab with their hands and are easy to pull out. I find this activity will last longer if I am around to restore the puzzle pieces to their spot. Then they will repeatedly take the puzzle pieces out. They are not yet returning the pieces to their spot, which is to be expected. Once they are ready to work on putting puzzle pieces back in their place then I will set the puzzle up differently. I will keep the puzzle pieces in a small basket for them to put into the spot.