Mixed age classrooms are a main tenant in Montessori education. Infant and Toddler classrooms have an 18-month range rather than a 3-year range seen in Early Childhood and Elementary classrooms because of the dramatic developments that happen in the first 3 years of life. However, the same benefits seen in the older classrooms still apply in the Infant class. Older infants are given the chance to be leaders and role models in the environment. They know routines and help the younger infants adapt to those routines. The youngest are given the chance to see their peers succeed in the environment, along with the modeling done by the adult guides. Our infants are constantly curious about each other: reading social cues, watching each other work, and developing relationships. It is truly beautiful to see.
The younger infant watches as the older infant swings the grasping mobile.