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What is Montessori Sensitive Period?

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Sensitive period is a term used by Montessori to describe a period of intense interest and development from birth to age 6. The current term is "optimal learning time" and it describes this period very well.
What is Montessori Sensitive Period

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The sensitive period encourages children to do the unthinkable. During this time, adults may be in awe of what a child can do. It is also during these periods that children may become frustrated when adults try to help them or intervene.

“When a particular sensitiveness is aroused in a child, it is like a light that shines on some objects but not others, making of them his whole world” – Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori once said that children go through definite periods in which they uncover psychic aptitudes and conceivable outcomes which afterwards disappear. Children experience various phases of delicate periods all through their early years at specific times from birth and six years old (to age six).

Sensitive period is a term used by Montessori to describe a period of intense interest and development from birth to age 6. The current term is “optimal learning time” and it describes this period very well.

Sensitive Period For Movement

Age:Birth to 4 years

From birth to about age 4, children go through a period of motor sensitivity. This is when they learn to control and coordinate their bodies. It starts with basic movements, such as grasping, and reaches milestones such as sitting, standing, walking, and eventually running.
During this time, children are exploring their physical abilities and developing spatial awareness. It is important to provide them with a safe and stimulating environment where they can move freely and refine their motor skills.

Sensitive Period For Language

Age:Birth to 6 years

The Sensitive Period for Language extends from birth to about 6 years. This is a time when children’s brains are primed to absorb language. It begins with cooing and babbling and evolves into forming words, sentences, and complex language structures. During these formative years, children benefit from being exposed to a rich language environment. This includes engaging conversations, storytelling, and reading.

Sensitive Period For Sensorial Exploration/Experience

Age:Birth to 6 years

The Sensorial Exploration/Experience period spans from birth to 6 years. This is when children learn and develop by using their senses. They are particularly sensitive to differences in size, shape, color, sound, texture, and weight. Activities like sorting, matching, and categorizing help children make sense of the world.

Sensitive Period For Small Objects

Age:18 months to 3 years

Between 18 months and 3 years, children enter a Sensitive Period for Small Objects. This is a time when their focus shifts to smaller items, aiding in the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Activities like threading beads, puzzles, and using utensils are important during this stage. They not only help in refining motor skills but also in developing concentration and problem-solving abilities.

Sensitive Period For Order

Age:1 to 3 years

From 1 to 3 years, children experience the Sensitive Period for Order. This is when they begin to understand and crave consistency in their environment. They start to make sense of the world by recognizing patterns and sequences. A structured environment with a predictable routine helps children feel secure and aids in their cognitive development.

Sensitive Period For Social Interaction

Age:2.5 to 6 years

The Sensitive Period for Social Interaction, from about 2.5 to 6 years, is when children become particularly attuned to social cues and start to understand the importance of relationships. They learn to cooperate, share, and empathize with others. This period is crucial for developing social skills that will be used throughout their lives.

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