Montessori for Babies: The Weaning Table

If you’ve been following along then you’d know that I enrolled J in Montessori starting this coming summer, and that I’m making an effort to try and do daily Montessori-inspired activities with him.

Choosing activities for a 10 {almost 11} month old is a little bit of a challenge.  He doesn’t exactly read, write, or have very precise motor control.

One of the things suggested in the Montessori from the Start book is a weaning table.  Essentially this is a mini wooden table and chairs.  The idea is to get the kids used to sitting at a little table and doing little activities in the process.

For this to work you need to have a baby/toddler who is able to sit up well, without support, who can stay focused and have reasonably good use of their motor skills, and preferably who can also easily be taught to get on and off the chairs safely.

There are special Montessori tables and chairs for this, but I just purchased a KidKraft set…on sale! from Babies r’Us.  I would have gone to Ikea but this price was too good to pass up.

Once the table and chair set was installed I spent a little bit of time getting baby J used to sitting in the chair.  Then I taught him how to get down safely.  To do this, I waited until it seemed like he wanted to get down, I let him grip the side of the table, and then slowly I moved him towards the edge of the chair until his foot touched the ground.  Once the first foot touched solid ground he instantly knew what to do and placed the second one right behind him.  We practiced this about 10 times, and he thought it was a pretty funny game.

Although he is able to get down from the chair on his own, he is not able to get onto it without help.  But baby J is one smarty pants.  He’s figured out that if he slams his hands against the wood we will understand and help him up.  So this is what we do now.

I now spend a few 5-15minute intervals with him at his table doing various activities, from moving a bead through a bead roller coaster, to fitting together puzzle pieces, to flipping through a book.

This weaning table is definitely a success.  He loves sitting at his table and doing a little activity.  Some times he’s more focused than other times…but that’s just the way babies are.  I don’t force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do, I simply present him the opportunity to sit and quietly enjoy an activity.  Some times he will only stay put for a few minutes, but other times he will become so engaged that he actually can spend up to 20minutes just entertaining himself by flipping back and forth through a book.  {his favorite book…Noah’s Arc with raised animal heads…he flips through this multiple times a day and the poor book is completely destroyed now}

I also use this table during snack times now, so he can get used to eating at a regular table instead of the high chair.  Frankly this is pretty easy because he really does not like his highchair these days.

I love the weaning table, I think it works great for us and baby J’s personality.  At first I was a little nervous that perhaps he might be too young for it, but that does not seem to be the case.

If you’d like to read more from me on Montessori for Babies, please use the links below:

Montessori for Babies:  A Baby Friendly Space {Part 1}

Montessori for Babies:  A baby Friendly Space {Part 2}

And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY to win a $100 gift certificate to the store of your choice!

Comments

  1. Katrina says

    We bought one of these a few months back but I haven’t brought it out yet. Since the twins are only a few weeks behind j I think we’ll give it a shot!

  2. ARH says

    Kids looooove their sized furniture! It looks like you picked a really stable set, which is really important. The one we got (from a friend) has never been stable and having chairs that easily fall over is a recipe for disaster. Do you have a little rocking chair? A loves hers too. :)

    • says

      yea this one is really sturdy…he actually uses the chairs to push around the house. He was using our big dining chairs, but now he uses his instead when he’s not sitting on them. The table and chairs aren’t very heavy but they are sturdy. We don’t have a little rocking chair per se. We have the rocking lounger we had for him when he was an infant and he still sits in it for a few minutes in the morning times. But I did get him a little comfy arm chair for reading…although the cat seems to use it more than he does right now lol

  3. andrea says

    Oh! He looks so big! I can’t get over it. I mean, I remember the first time I met you guys… he was a BABY!! Time flies!! I’m so proud of him getting his montessori groove on :) <3 xxxo

  4. says

    Hi Lisa, thank you so much for stopping by and for pinning my post :) that’s so humbling for me. Great idea about using a stool, I wish I would have done something like this even before starting with the table and chairs, I feel like he would have been really receptive to it much earlier. Its me that was the limitation I think. I was so nervous that he might not be ready.

    I’m off to check your blog right now, I love new ideas and activities for the babies. One of my goals is to always offer my son an environment where he can grow and develop.

  5. says

    Your post brings back such wonderful memories! My kids LOVED their Montessori weaning table. (I was lucky to have an actual Montessori weaning table that each of my kids used for a few years.) They loved to sit at it to eat and do activities from six months on.

    Adorable photos! I’m so glad you linked up with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow.

    • says

      Thank you so much Deb! I’m so glad that I found your website, its so resourceful and full of wonderful activities for children. I wish I’d started with the weaning table earlier, I think my son would have been ready but it was me who wasn’t sure. He loves it so much now, for activities, and eating…its a favorite for sure :)

  6. Lili says

    Hi the Kidkraft link no longer points to the actual product. Mind sharing the name of the table set? Is it the farmhouse or Aspen set? My son is 11 months old and I’d like to get him a table that can last for a while :)

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