As I observe my almost 6 months old baby playing happily with the back of my wooden chair, I am looking at her hands, those beautiful cute little chubby fingers working hard to get what they want so she can touch, observe and learn.
These tiny hands, I found them fascinating, full of life, they are everything to my daughter right now in her development. As she grows, I know her hands will still remain an amazing tool.
As I am re-reading the chapter of the Absorbent Mind about the hand, I realise how, as adults, we take for granted the movement of our hands. Although, we usually realise how much they are useful when we hurt them by getting a simple paper cut and it hurts so much, we feel handicapped for a day or two.
As a parent and a teacher, I observe a lot of those little hands at work, they are often the first tool to feed yourself, hands feel texture, temperature and give us a first impression of a new object or new food. Children love to pet animals and it gives them information about the animal and let’s be realistic we all love petting a soft cat, rabbit or dog when we see one. It feels good.
Importance of movement
Nature moves, everybody needs to move, immobilization almost does not exist unless for an instant and controlled by the mind. Even so, as Life is movement, indeed, our body still moves from the inside if not from the outside. Hands are a manifestation of this movement.
Movement with a purpose is connected to intelligence. Movement through the hands is also connected to the development of the senses which leads to the development of the Mind. Manual skills are also a sign of the development of intelligence.
Look at a young child like my daughter, touching every little bit of her interlocking disks, learning from it and about it through her hands (before putting it in her mouth of course!).
I like this quote form Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind:
“The child’s intelligence can develop to a certain level without the help of his hand. But if it develops with his hand, then the level it reaches is higher, and the child’s character is stronger.”
So, I encourage you to look at your child’s hands and how much they accomplish in a day, how much your child learns through them and how a wonderful tool they are… We do not need to interfere, we do not need to restrain them… just watch them and learn, it’s fascinating!