Young Toddler Object Permanence -- Montessori Young Toddler Week 4

Babies and young toddlers are discovering the entire world around them, one piece at a time. Little concepts that we take for granted are tested over and over and over again. One such concept is object permanence. Object permanence is the knowledge that an item doesn't just disappear just because we can't see it. This is actually something that babies start to figure out quite young. 

Object permanence challenges for young Montessori toddlers

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I have talked before about Gus and his love affair with his object permanence box. And, this love has not faded quickly for him. He used his object permanence box daily until 12 months. When I saw that he wasn't using his box, I finally removed it and rotated some new options. But, I didn't think he was quite done with exploring object permanence exactly. So, I choose to replace the box with some newer challenges that still have a focus on permanence. Here is a look at what we added:

Sliding Box 

This was one of Gus' birthday presents. With this box, Gus can slide the lid back and forth. But as he does so, he doesn't see the object on the closed side. But, bam, it's still there! This motion is much more difficult for him that placing a ball into a hole. It's a challenge that he really enjoys at the moment. We have been using it as a place to store some teethers, adding a new dimension to his treasure basket. 


I thought that maybe this would be too easy for him, but the sliding motion really nice challenge. Plus, he LOVES opening and closing anything he can, so this fills that need too! 

Coin Box

The second thing I added was a small coin box and some "coins." The box I made way back when Nora was a baby, and it was a favorite then too. Again, Gus is placing something - the coin - and it disappears. Then, he opens, and it's back! This really adds a great fine motor challenge as he learns to turn his wrist and be precise with his movements. 


I made this box simply by cutting a whole into a cheap craft box with a latching lid. But, you can find similar products for sale if a DIY isn't your thing. I do think Gus would love the drawer aspect of those boxes too. 


Just a reminder too, that every child is on his/her own development path. What Gus likes at 12 months, may be something another child would like earlier or later. Make sure you are taking the time to observe your child to fit your materials to the needs of your individual child.

Does your young toddler still enjoy object permanence work? 
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