Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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SENSORY INTEGRATION
What a big word for a very simple childhood concept. Children have always played and eaten and rested when they need to. Maria Montessori told us to “follow the child” because it is inherent in the child to do what she needs to do when she needs to do it. Then we adults meddle and fix and label. Simple childhood play has had analysis and labeling to the point that we can hardly allow the child any freedom to be at all.

The fact is that everything the child learns comes through the senses. That input is processed by the brain until gradually neurons and dendrites and synaptic connections are made and the child begins to make sense of his world. What our new world does that has not been present in the past is limit the child. We put our children in sterile environments with man-made, non-complex materials and make our children “be good”. Historically, children were in natural environments running, playing, observing adults in their work, and basically interacting with lots of people and animals. Today, children are severely restricted, and the sensory integration necessary for developing intelligence is incredibly limited.

So what? So, it’s best for all of us to move, especially our children who are developing the vast majority of their intelligence before the age of six. At the school, our children spend a lot of time on the playground, moving, running, yelling, interacting with people, observing weather, and not being passive. They develop games, move equipment, climb up, slide down, and get upside down. They’re encouraged to solve their own problems in their own, very creative ways. What can you do at home?

• Seek a playground that has suspended equipment like a swing or bridge. Merry-go-rounds are a treasure of vestibular stimulation as the child sits up, lies down, goes backwards, is in the middle, or out on the edge.

• Hiking anywhere is an adventure. It not only enhances fitness and motor planning, but it provides an endless array of sensory experiences from things to see, to touch, to smell.

• Roller skating and bike or tricycle riding are excellent ways to develop motor planning and bilateral coordination.

• Swimming is an excellent opportunity to enhance motor planning, bilateral coordination, and sense of “body in space”.

All these experiences develop children who are willing to try, to experience, and to accomplish. What a joy!

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