Because Montessori education aims to provide for the unique developmental needs of each child as they emerge, Montessori teachers spend a great deal of their time observing children. In my training, my instructors would often demonstrate the link between observation and the provision of lessons. A child who stood by the coat rack touching the different fabrics might be given the fabric boxes or encouraged to work with the sandpaper letters. One little girl who was lining up the bells on their squares might have been interested in a game with the geometry cabinet.
As a Montessori parent, I have been trying to observe changes or developments in Alex's play. Now that we are a couple of weeks past his seven month birthday, quite a few have emerged. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble thinking of ways to better serve these interests. I wonder what teachers do in the Assistance to Infancy classrooms? What about experienced parents?
Lately, Alex is very interested in opening and closing books or turning over objects whose sides are different. I wonder if this relates to object permanence. Is he fascinated by the fact that the inside/other side still exists when he cannot see it?
Alex has also become interested in using pincer grip. We've started on finger foods and I'm working hard to keep carpet pills away from his eager fingers! However, other than food, it seems that there are very few opportunities for him to use this developing skill until he understands that he cannot eat everything small enough to put in his mouth. Puzzles with small knobs might serve this need. Is there anything else?
Alex is also now interested in putting objects into relationship with one another. He will often pick up two things at a time and touch them together. The other day, he worked to set one block on top of another that was sitting on the ground in front of him.
Movement is huge in our house right now. Alex spends much of the day going from sitting, to his stomach, to his back, and over again. He scoots fairly well; we often find ourselves saying, "How in the world did you get over there?" This work is sometimes frustrating for him though. How can we help without getting in the way?
These are the latest needs I'm working to serve. I welcome suggestions that may help me to do so effectively!