The Montessori Connection
Who or what is Montessori?
Maria Montessori was born and raised in Italy with a great curiosity for the world. She was interested in many things unsuitable for little girls at the time such as maths and science. When she grew up, she first became one of the first women physicians in the Italy, though her true passion was her work with children. She was invited to work with disadvantaged children in the area of San Lorenzo in Rome.
Montessori did what many of us have a difficult time doing in today’s modern world- observe. She sat back and watched the children. She didn’t simply watch for their safety, but she studied them, like the scientist she was. Through this observation Montessori identified the children’s needs and interests. A beautiful environment slowly evolved, the first Casa dei Bambini or Children’s House. People traveled from around the world to see children previously deemed “unteachable” working and learning together so beautifully.
This was the start of something huge. Montessori had developed a philosophy of education that took the world by storm. It was the first popular pedagogical method to view children as individuals full of potential rather than vessels to be filled. Children were seen as independent and capable.
Montessori and DOVA
Montessori observed every human possessing the same human tendencies. These are innate, universal behaviours that guide the creation of our individual selves. Human tendencies help us feel secure and make sense of the world around us. They teach us how to be independent within our surroundings- how important for children!
The DOVA gives children the opportunity to engage with many of these human tendencies:
- Association with others: What’s more fun than creating, building, and imagining together? Children collaborate, plan, organise, and problem solve during play with the DOVA.
- Movement: The DOVA is there for whatever kind of movement you child may need. Carrying, lifting, jumping, running, rolling- you name it! Movement isn’t just essential for physical development, but for psychological development as well.
- Orientation: Before we explore we need to get our bearings. The DOVA becomes a familiar object in your home that children feel safe going back to time and time again.
- Exploration: Children must be able to explore in order to meet their needs. Grown ups, take a step back and observe what your child decides to do with the DOVA. You might be surprised what they come up with!
- Imagination: Cognition develops through imagination. The possibilities for imagination are endless with the DOVA.
- Repetition/self perfection: Create a gymnastics arena and do 5 somersaults. Build an obstacle course and run it 10 times. Make a crash pad and jump on it 20 times. Children will naturally master a task if given the freedom to repeat.
- Exactness/control of error: DOVAs pieces are sturdy enough to stand and support, but they take some balance. Building with the DOVA give children the opportunity to engage in trial and error.
- Communication: “Pass me the triangle piece!” “Come hide under here!” “Watch out!” Building and playing together create space for communicating with one another.
Children will benefit from the infinite possibilities of the DOVA play sofa. As your child grows and changes, the DOVA changes with them. As Montessori said, “follow the child.” So, sit back, relax, and observe how they learn and play.
Corrine & Rhona x