Maximum Effort - Quotes to Consider

Maximum effort has been on my mind a lot lately as Gus has been SUPER into all the heavy work. The need to reach maximum effort is a phenomenon that Maria Montessori observed in toddlers - typically between the ages of  18-months and 2.5 years old. Suddenly, after learning to walk toddlers have a a strong need to do heavy and hard work. They are building on their new found freed by building strength. 

Quotes and ideas about maximum effort for toddlers from Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori wrote a lot about this specific developmental phase. And, I wanted to share some of her wisdom and ideas for how children might reach maximum effort. 

Quotes from Maria Montessori, Education for a New World

"An important and visible factor at the age of one-and-a-half years is strength in both hands and feet, and, in consequence, the child's urge in doing anything is to use the maximum effort." "

"First the child prepares his instruments, hands and feet, then he gets strength by exercise, and next looks at what other people are doing, and sets to wok in imitation, fitting himself for life and freedom." 

"The hand that has learned to grasp must exercise itself by carrying weight. So the child of that age may be seen with a large jug of water, adjusting his equilibrium and walking slowly."

"It is a recognized fact that this is an age of maximum effort, which should be supported." 

Quotes from Maria Montessori, The 1946 London Lectures 

"The must be able to do things which require a great effort. They need big, heavy, things."

"The greater the effort, the greater the child's pleasure and the worse any interruption" 

"Children make a great effort to conquer the environment, They do as much as they can as soon as they can. They apply a maximum effort." 

"The child does work which may not be important for the world, but which is important to him. It is not that they wish to be useful, but that they must do these things for their own development. Nature urges them to do exercises through which their development can be accomplished." 

Maria Montessori uses several examples of maximum effort that she personally saw in children including:
  • emptying a wastepaper basket of paper and picking up all the little bits
  • carrying a large loaf of bread around and placing on an adult table 
  • carrying a footstool around the house 
  • climbing on chairs or other objects
  • going up stairs 
  • carrying a jug of water 
  • going on long walks 

Quotes and ideas about maximum effort for toddlers from Maria Montessori

Have you recognized your toddler's need to reach maximum effort? How have you supported it? 

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