How Black and White Contrast Images Help Your Baby Grow [DIY DOWNLOAD]

baby looking at art
Image by The Kavanaugh Report
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Visual stimulation is an important part of a baby's learning and development. The more that they engage their senses, the more that they can learn about their environment and concepts beyond their nursery.

Many parents are aware of the importance of using Montessori sensory toys for touch and oral stimulation to promote infant learning. But, visual engagement is often overlooked or misunderstood. That is where black and white contrast cards can help.

Using Wall Art and Other Items with Visual Appeal in a Montessori Nursery

montessori nursery

Montessori learning encourages independent exploration of senses and concepts early on. So, it helps if kids can engage with visual stimuli close to their eye level.

A framed picture at a standard height isn't going to help much. Instead, a nice bold print close to the floor is in just the right place for your baby to crawl over and enjoy the image.

The best part is, these work in perfect unison with the use of a Montessori mirror.

Why Should We Use Black and White Images for Baby Development?

black and white contrast frame

Image by The Kavanaugh Report

We are used to bringing pale tones and pastels into our baby’s room because these colors evoke that sense of softness and calmness we want from a gentle nursery. However, these colors do little for newborns as their eyesight is still developing and soft colors are difficult for them to see.

Color vision builds slowly and babies probably won't appreciate the full spectrum until they are at least five months old. For your infant’s developing eyesight, the best thing you can do is to use a high-contrast monochrome approach to highlight sharp lines and shapes.

Great video with more info by Play with Purpose:

Black and White Contrast Cards Are a Great Tool for Brain and Eye Development

baby with contrast cards

Image by PICDESIGNcz (Etsy)

While high contrast wall art is brilliant for adding interest to the room, we have to remember that a baby's eye can't focus very well for the first few months. So, either you need to take your child to the art and engage with the pieces up-close, or use a more portable solution at a more suitable range.

For the first few months, this range is no more than 8-11 inches. Therefore, setting up black and white contrast cards in a play area is ideal.

There is no limit to the images that you can use on these cards as long as they are in high contrast. You could have cards that have interesting shapes and patterns on them, which could aid your newborn in shape recognition.

Or, you might prefer the idea of images of animals, vehicles, or other objects that link in with other toys in their play area.

etsy black and white contrast cards

Image by PICDESIGNcz (Etsy)

Seeing the shapes in high contrast at this range makes it easy for your infant to focus on that precise shape, strengthen their eye muscles, and make connections to similar shapes around them.

It also helps if the cards alternate between a black background with a white image and white background with a black image. This will help babies differentiate between the images in a row.

Finding the Best Black and White Images for Your Baby

black and white contrast cards
Image by Lovevery

There are companies and designers online that sell packs of cards with some really interesting alternating images.

You can get thick cards that fold out like a concertina book and stand up on their own. These are brilliant for independent learning - another essential part of a Montessori upbringing - because you can stand them up beside your child's topponcino in their play area and leave them to "study" the images in their own time.

Check out these sellers online:

Download and print your own:

Alternatively, you could always look into ways of creating your own flashcards at home. If you are handy with a paintbrush or have some specific images in mind to print off at home, you could take this DIY approach. 

Easy to follow youtube video by eewoo studio:

Add Some Black and White Contrast Cards to Your Nursery for a Fresh Approach to Visual Stimulation

These black and white cards may not look that interesting to us compared to something more colorful. However, we need to try and see the world through the developing eyes of a newborn.

These cards could prove to be highly engaging for your infant and make a big difference to their learning and physiological development. 

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