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September 08, 2017

A Treasure Basket of Balls -- Montessori Baby Week 40

There are few toys that are as versatile and long lasting as a good set of balls. Children can come up with so many amazing ways to use them. It helps them build those big muscles they need, and move in the way they need to work on their own development. It is through movement and play that children grow and develop. And, balls provide the most perfect opportunity to move, move, move! 

A treasure basket of balls is the perfect way to encourage and support movement in Montessori babies.

And, at the end of the day, that's what most babies and toddlers want (and need) to do! As Maria Montessori says:
"This is the new education of movement, and in a child's home life the same principles should apply...the child at home who is allowed to...carry on the hundred and one activities that interest him and harm nobody, is in reality busily at work on his development - and the method of his learning is through movement." 
Over the last 12 days Gus has gone through a major leaps in his ability to move. 12 days ago he couldn't sit up. Today, he is pulling to sit on his own, pulling to stand on his own, getting up and down from his knees like a pro, and so much more. He's getting everywhere he needs to be and more! It has seriously been incredible. His army crawl is giving away to a proper 4-point crawl. He's climbing up and over his ottoman. He's pulling up (or attempting to) on every surface to see if it will hold him. And, it's all been on his own. 

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We have given him the freedom to move how he needs, on the time schedule he needs. And, while his torticollis and resulting low muscle tone have effected his movement, they have not stopped him. Our role has been to give him success and motivation to discover in the environment. 

And, as basket of balls has been just the ticket! A small basket of balls has been like his first treasure basket. He gets to explore texture, size, weight, taste, and move! He can toss, roll, scoot after them, stack them, whatever he wants! As they roll away he chases, he can dump them, he can put them up high and reach for them! Endless! 

Our basket has been on his shelves for awhile, but it has only been recently that he has been super interested in them. Before he would watch them roll out of reach, but now he gets them back. With teething, several of our balls (the yellow spikey one that was introduced very early to him and the rubber one in particular) provide some relief. 

A treasure basket of balls is the perfect way to encourage and support movement in Montessori babies.

Our treasure basket of balls includes: sensory balls, rainbow ball from IKEA, natural rubber ball, and small O-ball. I would love to add some natural textured balls like these wool balls, these cotton balls, or these knotted balls to our collection too. I will add larger balls as he moves into toddlerhood (these are still available to the older kids in our basement play space) because this need to learn, explore, and play through movement isn't going any where any time soon! 

A treasure basket of balls is the perfect way to encourage and support movement in Montessori babies.

Does your baby enjoy playing with balls? Have you ever experienced a quick and powerful leap in development? 

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Unknown said…
Where did you get that little climbing piece in the background?! It is wonderful and would be perfect for my little 10 month old!