These are points to consider when presenting activities to infants. I found these points online and thought I should share. It is so easy to forget (especially when you are watching three under a year a half!) that infants are people. People that you can speak to as ...well, people. It is so important to guide the child, be present in their learning, but not intrusive, provide the right environment, and then let them take off. Your actions will give them wings to self-development, self-learning, and confidence.
-To help accustom infants to the idea of work space. Present activities on a work mat placed on the floor. As much as possible, especially when several materials are involved, use a tray, basket, or other container to carry the materials to the work mat. Remove the materials from the container, move the container aside, and work with the materials on the work mat.
-Choose materials that you know will interest the child and appeal to the childs senses
-Present materials that are unfamiliar to the child as often as you present familiar materials
-Present an activity when the infant is alert, comfortable, and rested. Do not use an activity to distract an infant who is tired or hungry
-Make sure you have the infants attention before you start to present the activity. For example, wait until the infant focuses on your face or smiles at you.
-While presenting, move very slowly and make sure that the infant can see what you are doing
-Place the activity where the infant can reach it easily, even if he/she cannot sit unaided.
-Until the infants vision develops, hold objects at the infants eye level.
-If the infant tries to grab an object you are presenting, allow the infant to do so for as long as he/she wants. When the infant returns the object, continue with the activity or present it at another time.
-If the infant becomes frustrated or irritable, calmly finish the activity and take the infant with you to return the materials.
-Once the infant starts focusing on the activity, remain nearly where the infant can see you. Young infants especially may need your presence as an emotional anchor to develop confidence in this new situation.
-Stay attentive to the infants safety. Remember that infants explore with their mouths as well as their hands.
-As long as the infant is not in danger, allow the infant to explore freely. The Montessori approach gives the infant freedom to choose, explore and learn. The caregiver does not correct how the infant holds an object, does not intervene or interrupt unless absolutely necessary, and does not let other children interfere. The goal is to let the infant explore for as long as his/her focus lasts.
-Stay aware of the normal infant growth and development. Many Montessori centers post a growth and development chart where staff can refer to it quickly and easily.