Gross Motor Development
Maria Montessori said that intellectual development is intertwined with movement. Thought and action are connected and give support to the developing personality of the child. For the child, the development of coordinated movement from birth to three years is integral to the total development of the child. In her writings, Montessori outlines the importance of movement in relation to equilibrium, independence and concentration. Montessori describes stages in the development of equilibrium.
The first occurs around six months when the child acquires the ability to sit with support. This sense of balance then further develops around the age of nine months, when the child begins to crawl and stand upright with support. By the age of one year, the child has achieved enough balance to walk with help and finally around fifteen months to walk independently. If equilibrium has been fostered and allowed to develop, the child of two years should have well established movements. There is also a secret key to the perfecting of the most varied types of movement. And this key is balance. The children at the Shannah Montessori School are exposed to a variety of activities on the playground and in the classroom, including: balancing beams, exercise mats, yoga and free expression of movement to aid in their physical development as well as thier mental development.