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Seedlings: Montessori Sensitive Period for Small Objects

“It is this sensibility [sensitive periods] which enables a child to come into contact with the external world in a particularly intense manner.

Every effort marks an increase in power. “

-Maria Montessori

Perhaps you have noticed that your child is fascinated with tiny objects. Montessori discovered that between the ages of one and four years a child enters what Montessori believed to be a sensitive period for small objects. This interest to touch and handle small items naturally fosters a child’s fine motor development and hand eye coordination.

In the Practical Life area, the shelves have small shells and tiny boxes for children to explore and practice arranging in trays. In the picture on the top left we see a child opening a small box with six objects to transfer them into a tray with six sections. In the Language area is a matching work that includes a tiny plastic ant (see picture on the right).

Recently during work time, a child discovered an ant on the floor and all work came to a screeching halt for all to stop and watch the ant. Sometimes a child will notice that there is a small piece missing from a work on the shelf and all will stop everything to look for it. In these moments, the interest of tiny objects can motivate children to take care of their classroom or stop to wonder at nature.

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