At birth, the average baby's brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. In the first year of life, the baby’s brain doubles in size. By age 3, it has reached 80% of an adult size brain.
All of this brain growth fuels the colossal amount of development babies achieve during their first three years of life. From a squirming newborn to a rambunctious preschooler, children learn enormous amounts in their early years. They learn to move and control their bodies, they learn to engage and respond to interactions with other humans, and they develop the capacity to communicate through spoken language.
Supporting this massive amount of growth with a Montessori perspective means incorporating the methods Maria Montessori devised through scientific observation of children as they grew.
“The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will, and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit.” -Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
The activities we offer our children should spark their interest and encourage focus and concentration. Each successive activity offered should reaffirm what they have already learned, or skills they have already succeeded at, sometimes also offering something that is just a little bit more difficult.
THE CHILD’S NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
The activities we offer our youngest children can both introduce new skills and reinforce skills they may have already attained. It is normal and healthy for babies and toddlers repeat activities over and over. This repetition strengthens their fine and gross motor skills and helps their understanding of their place in the environment.
Offering an activity that is too challenging often results in frustration and discourages the baby to continue trying. But when they can engage in activities we know they can complete successfully, they build confidence and joy in their success.
Children will return the things that are familiar and that they have confidence in to be successful. It is not always necessary to be challenging the child or expecting them to do more difficult things. Activities they have successfully mastered continue to bring hours of enjoyment as they repeat the successful completion of the task.
”The little child’s first movements were instinctive. Now, he acts consciously and voluntarily, and with this comes an awakening of his spirit…. Conscious will is a power which develops with use and activity. We must aim at cultivating the will…. Its development is a slow process that evolves through a continuous activity in relationship with the environment.” -Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
The activities we provide to our young children should include a balance between those that help build skills they are still mastering and those they have already learned and will enjoy repeating successfully.
Because this balance is so important, the materials in our subscription boxes are carefully curated to provide exactly the amount of challenge and success for your baby at each stage of development.