Skip to main content

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? 



Popular Posts

The Ultimate Montessori Toy List -- Birth to Five -- UPDATED 2021

When you are interested in Montessori, it can be difficult to know exactly what types of products you should get for your home. Or which types of "Montessori" materials are really worth the price. There are no rules about types of products can use the name Montessori which can add to the confusion. Not to mention, every toy manufacturer slaps the word "educational" on the package for good measure! 2021 UPDATE: Please be patient with links this year, with supply chain issues things are selling out faster and restocking slower. I anticipate some of the specialty toys will not restock once they are gone. Puzzles, in particular, have been difficult to find in stock. So, with this post, I'm going to try to help with this confusion! Here's a list of Montessori-friendly toys and materials for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  First, let's clarify that there is no such thing as a "Montessori toy." Montessori never created toys, bu

Montessori Toddler: Favorite Toys and Activities 18 to 20 months

I've been putting off this post for a little while because I felt a little disappointed that I didn't have more to share. See, Teddy just isn't that into materials, especially those on the shelf. He tends to return to a couple of favorites over and over again and ignore all other attempts at shelf work. But, really that's my own adult feelings getting in the way of Teddy's own interests, and developmental path.  It's also me subconsciously valuing fine motor skills and stillness as more important than gross motor play and movement. I working hard not to do that, and want to normalize that all toddlers are different. All children have different interests and that concentration doesn't have to mean sitting still for long stretches of time.  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. With all that said, here are some of Teddy's favorites over the last couple of months. Favorite Montessori Toys 18 to 20 Months I'm listing the toys that have be

Our Family's Montessori Christmas Gift Lists 2021

It's hard to believe another holiday season is upon us again. Every year I enjoy putting together my kids' Christmas gift lists. It's really a good time to observe them, see what they are interested in and what they might be ready for during this coming year. It's one of the few times a year that I purchase new materials for our home so it's always really exciting. IF YOU NEED MORE IDEAS DON'T MISS MY ULTIMATE MONTESSORI TOY LIST OR MY 2021 DEALS PAGE ! When considering these lists, please remember that these were curated based on my own children. Use them for inspiration but they are heavily influenced by what my children are into and interested in. And for my older second plane children, what they have asked for!  Here's a look at our family's Montessori Christmas lists for 2021!  This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.  Theodore (Toddler) Teddy is just over 2-years-old. Being our fourth baby, he is really hard for me to think of unique