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3 Simple Games to Teach Your Child About Object Permanence

Understanding the concept of object permanence is a major developmental milestone for your little one because it will help him/her understand the world better. Here are some tips from our Calgary Montessori school on how to teach your child about object permanence whilst at home.

Object permanence is one of the many important developmental milestones that you will get to enjoy with your little one. In a nutshell, object permanence refers to your child’s ability to understand that objects still exist, even if they are no longer visible.

The development of object permanence is important because it helps your baby reach even bigger milestones, such as: 

  • Memory development 
  • Exploration 
  • Pretend play 
  • Language acquisition  

Our Virtual Montessori Program is Designed to Promote Continued Learning During COVID-19 

At Grey Matter Montessori, a leading daycare and preschool in Calgary, we are committed to continue your child’s learning and development during COVID-19. That is why we have introduced a virtual Montessori learning program, which will ensure your child continues to receive tailored educational plans that align best with their specific learning style.

Want to know more? 


3 Fun Games to Teach Your Child About Object Permanence 

Object permanence is the ability to understand that people or objects exist, even when they are out of sight. The development of this understanding typically begins at around 4 months age and is completed at around 12 months of age. 

As a parent, there are certain activities and games you can play with your child to encourage the development of this milestone, including: 

  1. Hiding Toys 

Hiding toys around the house, where your child can easily find them, is a great way to start teaching them about object permanence. This simple activity demonstrates to your child that just because something can’t be seen immediately, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. 

What age can I start playing this game? You can begin playing this activity from the time your child is around 7 months old. 

  1. Peekaboo

Peekaboo is one of the easiest and most popular games to teach babies the concept of hidden objects. You can play by hiding your face behind your hands and shouting ‘Peekaboo!’ or you can hide behind a door and wait a second before revealing yourself to your little one. 

At what age can I start playing this game? This game is ideal for babies between the ages of 4-5 months. 

  1. Hide-and-Seek

For older toddlers who can walk, you can play a variation of hide-and-seek, where you hide a toy and ask your child to find it. To make it a little easier, you can call out ‘warm’ when he/she is near the toy, or ‘cold’ when he/she is far from the toy. 

When your little one finds the toy, make sure to praise him and name the place where it was hiding. In addition to helping your child develop object permanence, hide-and-seek will also give your child some valuable physical benefits since the exercise will help: 

  • Build stamina
  • Promote muscle development 
  • Improve agility, coordination, and balance

At what age can I start playing this game? This game should be played when your child begins to walk, typically at 12 months of age. 

The Link Between Object Permanence and Separation Anxiety 

At around 4 months of age, young children start to develop a sense of separation anxiety, which can peak at 8-10 months. When you child experiences separation anxiety, he/she believes that when you leave, you won’t return, and this can lead to feelings of distress. 

So although your child might begin to understand that you still exist when you aren’t in the room (object permanence), he/she might still feel anxious or upset when you leave. 

When Will Separation Anxiety Ease? 

At around 3 years of age, your child might feel a little more confident about being separated from you, and you may notice a little less anxiety when you, for example, leave him/her at playschool in the morning. 

Tip From Our Calgary Montessori School: If your child continues to experience separation anxiety, have some practice sessions at home. Begin with a short time away (20 minutes), and build this up each time. This way, your child will grow in confidence at being apart from you and will start to understand that you will always come back for him/her. 

Register For Our Virtual Montessori Learning Program in Calgary

At Grey Matter Montessori Preschool, we are dedicated to supporting your child’s academic, social, and physical development, during this difficult time, and have introduced a virtual Montessori program to make learning during COVID-19 easier and more effective. 

The virtual program is designed to be a continuation of the current school year to ensure all our students remain on track with their development. 

Have questions? Contact us at 587-707-4739 or register for our virtual Montessori program.

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