Who would believe a simple stacking toy could provide so many benefits? It’s his consistent ‘go-to’ toy and it fully engages his senses as he 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 him, 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 he is doing with a quick glance, but without his being aware of it.” Maria Montessori
The child’s play is his work. This work is developmental in nature and meets his innate needs, especially during his sensitive periods of learning. It is during this period of time that he is able to learn easily and naturally. The child intuitively knows what he 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 him to develop to his fullest potential. Our role then becomes to guide and support him ONLY when necessary. Our greatest help to the child is to be present and observe his 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 he is building!