Play-based learning is a vital part of Montessori infant care. By handling discovery bottles, working with the Pink Tower, and other engaging activities, babies can develop fine motor skills, improve their ability to communicate, and begin the process of learning to think critically to overcome obstacles. Here are 4 of the most important benefits derived from play-based learning and how they promote the development of your infant.
1. Social Development
Taking part in group activities provides infant children with the sensory clues they need to develop important social skills. infants are typically unable to empathize, but maintaining regular social activity as they develop makes it easier to play acceptable social roles and encourages faster awareness of life beyond the child’s immediate desires. Social skills will be extremely important as children learn to move around and interact with their daycare peers, but first babies need to learn that interaction is a natural and necessary part of life.
2. Physical Development
Play-based activities encourage babies to grasp objects and encourage the development of fine motor skills necessary for manipulating objects. For infants, this type of activity is critical, because it leads to more focused things like drawing and writing. With objects such as discovery bottles, sometimes called sensory bottles, children can explore the possibilities of using their senses to connect sights and scents with tactile sensations such as rough and smooth, warm and cold, and sweet compared to sour.
3. Communication Skills
Enjoyable activities used in the Montessori environment impart important lessons disguised as play, including building stronger vocabularies, offering vital examples of using language to express themselves, and more. Through communication, young children will learn about the connection between words and actions, develop more accurate means of exchanging information, and discover the power of language as a tool to fulfill their needs and aspirations.
4. Problem Solving Skills
Engaging in self-directed activities promotes the development of critical thinking skills needed for problem-solving and decision-making. This helps children discover the connection between causal events and how the environment reacts to them. It will be a few more years until your infant learns about Newton’s apple, but discovering that their decisions affect the outcome of things is where that academic adventure begins.
Maria Montessori described the first years of life as the phase of The Absorbent Mind, indicating that children have almost no previous experiences to use in comparison to actions and events in their worldview. Play-based learning offers ample opportunities to feed that absorbent mind with concepts and accomplishments, instilling a love of learning and stimulating the natural curiosity that is common in all children.
The best way to learn more about the Montessori prepared environment is to see it in action. Schedule an appointment for a tour today to see Montessori in action.