Welcome Readers :)

Welcome readers !
Thank you for visiting 'Inside the child' and hope that your time spend reading my blog is educational. It includes my thoughts and approach to a child, based on the Montessori educational philosophy that emphasize on independence, freedom within limits and learning concepts of working with materials hands-on, rather than by direct instructions.

My favorite quote by Dr. Maria Montessori “There is in every child a painstaking teacher, so skillful that he obtains identical results in all children in all parts of the world. The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything!”
As a Children's House Montessori teacher, it is my pleasure to share my experience with children of ages 2 1/2 - 7 yrs old, and how small little things makes a big difference. Enjoy reading. Thank you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

hm, fingers !

From the beginning, I have seen children move their fingers as if they are trying to catch a star :) As they grow, the grip of their fingers gets stronger. We believe that the movement of fingers helps the brain to work faster. I have seen this on myself a lot. If I am continuously typing, my thoughts are loaded, while when I am not then my mind is so relaxed. Even when we cook, our mind is always rushing at full speed.

It's the same with children. The brain is more active and extra charged if the fingers are always wiggling. Hm, I know, you are thinking of the benefits !! Well, there are lots of benefits. But before I go there, I always wonder why people are so result oriented ! Like, lots of times people would skip the process just to see the result. Most of the time they want to know the outcome/benefits/result, nobody really give a thought to the process.

On this note, just to give you a slight hint that Montessori education is all process oriented rather than result oriented. We all observe the child's actions from the beginning, like each step he takes, follow him and guide him through that process. The development of the brain and other internal organs only become stronger when they are continuously in action or say repeatedly practicing. Oh ! let me not divert from my title. So, fingers gives the brain the motive to grow and to be more curious. Wiggly fingers help the child to develop a pincer grip. It is when you a carry an object using your fore finger and thumb.
image taken from www.dicesetter.com

A Pincer grip eventually helps the child to hold a pencil, colors, and carry other objects like a tray, a bowl, a spoon, and everything else. A child begins to develop control over his body. Gradually, learns to balance his movements.

Below are a few beginner activities that can help develop a pincer grip via squeezing.

Activity 1- Squeezing koosh balls

Koosh balls in a basket

Koosh balls are harmless, soft, rubber balls that are easy to grasp and you can clean them with water or just wipes. This is a good activity for a child between 1 year - 3 years. Children simply squeeze these balls, it is a good hand muscle exercise :) Of course, develops their grasping capability, pincer gripping, and control over the fingers. They simply have to squeeze them.

Activity 2 - Tower of cubes

The Pink tower/Tower of cubes/Stacking cubes

Children love this activity. This activity keeps children busy for hours. It is a great exercise because they get to walk to the tower to get each cube one by one, to the rug, but you can do the same thing at home, either on a carpet or in their play room or anywhere they are comfortable to work. The motive is, they should get each cube one by one and spread them randomly, choose the biggest to smallest cube, again, one by one and stack them from big to small. This activity helps to observe, compare, contrast, discriminate, gives reason, helps them decide, solve problems, make judgements, create order, that goes from biggest to smallest and appreciate sequential quantities. That's why I love Montessori education and every time I talk about it, I always feel so lucky to have it in me and that I can share it with others and pass it on to children.

I understand for some people it is very hard to send their children to a Montessori school because either they are too far to reach or there are none in their town. A good variation to the Pink Tower is the famous stacking cubes that you find in every toy store.
image taken from toys r us - http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3472513

Wonder, if you have any ideas to make something on your own. If you do, then it would be my pleasure to get some idea from you. Until then, ENJOY learning :) !

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