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Montessori Toddlers and Concentration

The opportunity to concentrate is so important for young children. From birth, children have the ability to deeply concentrate on their chosen activities. This power, when protected, grows with each passing moment and even young toddlers can focus and concentrate on a task for long periods. Maria Montessori was clear that this power of concentration leads to perseverance, inward satisfaction, and joy.


But what does this concentration look like for toddlers? And how can we tell if our young toddlers are concentrating? Well, the good news is we don't have to look for just one special thing. Concentration can look and feel many different ways. 

Movement

Concentration can look like movement! As adults we tend to think concentration is only stillness, and quiet. But, really watch a young toddler move! It's a lot of work to learn to move gracefully and efficiently in a body you are just learning to control and understand. Focus can and should come from movement. It can be loud, it can be hauling stuff, it can be dumping stuff. Concentration can look like movement. 

Focused Repetition 

Concentration can look like focus! "In the zone." This is something we might more classically consider concentration. Repeating the same thing over and over again. Not moving to try something new, not exploring other ways to use the material. 

A "Tell"

Sometimes concentration looks specific ways for specific kids. We've probably all see a young child stick out their tongue when really focusing. But this doesn't always have to be so obvious. For Gus, it's holding out his arm a certain way. For Ted, it seems to be this way he holds his lip and chin. It might take close observation to really see it in your child. Then, you know, concentration is happening. 

Exploration

Concentration can also look like exploration. It doesn't only happen when the material is being used *just right* but when children are exploring all the possibilities that go along with it! It can be flipping things upside down. Concentration can be trying to climb something. Concentration can be mouthing. Concentration can be so many different things! 


These are just a few examples but not every possible scenario. Concentration is all around us with little toddlers, we just have to look for it! Then once we see it, we can protect it. We can step back and watch it unfold! 

How does your child concentrate? 
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