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What is a Sensitive Period? 15+ Articles on Montessori Sensitive Periods

One of the most foundational parts of Montessori are sensitive periods. Maria Montessori identified that children pass in and out of sensitive periods throughout their childhood. By understanding sensitive periods, we can get a better idea of what our children might be attracted to in our environments. We can get a deeper understanding of their behavior and what they need from us.

Sensitive periods were a time during a child’s development where the child was particularly attracted to a certain developmental skills. Dr. Montessori found that during sensitive period a child can learn these skills with ease. Her materials were then crafted to meet the children's needs during these special times

I like to think of it this way — imagine a brightly lit room. In the room you can see all the things clearly and understand them without much effort. Everything is illuminated and attractive. Now, imagine the same room with the lights turned off. You can still discover the things inside the room, it just takes more effort. The room is not as attractive and you may not want to stay in it for as long.



This room is just like a sensitive period. When your child is in a sensitive period, it is like being in the room with the lights on. Your child can clearly see, explore and discover The skills related to that sensitive period.  If your child is not in the sensitive period For that skill, your child can still discover and learn that information it just might not be as attractive or easy as it would be during the sensitive period.


There are many sensitive periods that have been identified for children, especially those in the first plane of development. It can be difficult to sum up all the properties of these periods and so I put together a list of some of my favorite articles that explain sensitive periods more in depth.

Here are some resources to learn more about Montessori sensitive periods! I hope these help you get a fuller understanding of how sensitive periods work and how to support and identify them. 

Sensitive Periods Generally

THE MONTESSORI SENSITIVE PERIODS - Baan Dek
The Ten Secrets of Montessori-#4 Sensitive Periods - Age of Montessori
What Are Sensitive Periods? - Montessori In Real Life
The Sensitive Periods - Montessori Daoshi
What Are Sensitive Periods? - Maren Schmidt
Sensitive Periods at 14 months? - How We Montessori
ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD’S SENSITIVE PERIODS - Living Montessori Now
Sensitive Periods - Montessori Parenting
Maria Montessori and her ‘Sensitive Periods' - I am Montessori
The Sensitive Period for Age 6-12 - Country Village Montessori School

Readings On Specific Sensitive Periods 

Understanding & Supporting a Child’s Sensitive Period for Order - This Merry Montessori
The Sensitive Periods: Movement - Montessori Daoshi
Sensitive Period For Language (Birth To 6 Years) - Daily Montessori
The Sensitive Period to Order, or Why Won't My Kid Just Use a Different Spoon? - Montessori Daoshi
MONTESSORI: SENSORY PERCEPTION - Swiss Lark
Playing with Dust: The Sensitive Period for Small Thing - More Than Just Montessori
The Mathematical Mind - Greenspring Montessori School

A look at the Montessori sensitive periods plus further reading for understanding how they influence a child's developmental needs


Do you have other articles that you would add to this list? 

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