Who would believe a simple stacking toy could provide so many benefits? It’s her consistent ‘go-to’ toy and it fully engages her senses as she plays. As soon as this exploration begins, I know it’s time for me to sit back and watch:
“Praise, help, or even a look, may be enough to interrupt her, or destroy the activity. It seems a strange thing to say, but this can happen even if the child merely becomes aware of being watched. After all, we too sometimes feel unable to go on working if someone comes to see what we are doing. … as soon as concentration has begun, act as if the child does not exist. Naturally, one can see what she is doing with a quick glance, but without her being aware of it.” Maria Montessori
The child’s play is her work. This work is developmental in nature and meets her innate needs, especially during her sensitive periods of learning. It is during this period of time that she is able to learn easily and naturally. The child intuitively knows what she needs to do in order to acquire the skills to become an independent human being. By providing an environment that can meet these needs, we offer the best opportunity for her to develop to her fullest potential. Our role then becomes to guide and support her ONLY when necessary. Our greatest help to the child is to be present and observe her work. Observation makes it easy to see how the learning development stacks up:
Gross and fine motor skills
Visual and spatial perception
Reasoning and problem solving skills
Play really is the work of the child. Observe the child’s work and you will be amazed by ALL she is building!