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The Importance Of Movement In The Montessori Classroom

The Importance Of Movement In The Montessori Classroom

In a traditional classroom, movement is often very structured and controlled. Children are expected to sit and concentrate for periods of time and movement often requires permission; “May I go to the washroom?” or “Can I get a new book from the library?”. The social interactions that are the result of movement may be discouraged; “Please turn around and no talking.” In a Montessori classroom, movement is considered essential to effective learning and social engagement and is encouraged and incorporated into many of the classroom activities. Movement is integral to the child-led learning method characteristic of a Montessori classroom environment.

The Connection Between Movement And Learning

Learning Is Linked To Movement 
Maria Montessori believed that the ability to absorb and retain information is optimized when a child’s body is in motion. Studies also show that combining language with movement increases learning by 90%. Physical activity can activate the brain, improve cognitive function, and perhaps contrary to common beliefs, increase focus and concentration.

Exploring With Mind And Body
Activities that encourage children to think and consider become more meaningful when incorporated with movement. Exploring subjects, concepts, and ideas using the mind and the body provides an opportunity to understand something more deeply. For example: Let a child look at a bucket of snow and they will be able to tell you that it is white and fluffy. Take a child out into a snowfall and they will be able to understand that snow is cold, that snowflakes are light and they melt as soon as they touch your skin, that the snowflakes will dance around if there is wind, that falling snow smells like water and ozone, that when they pack it in their hands it can become harder and heavier.

Respecting A Child’s Need To Move
One of the fundamental philosophies of a Montessori classroom is to let the child lead. Children are encouraged to explore ideas that interest them. Being still is not a natural state for many preschool aged children. The natural inclination is to move. In fact, the typical amount of time a 3-5 year old can stay still is just 10-15 minutes. Movement in preschool children is a measure of curiosity, excitement, and a desire to connect with others. These are all behaviours and emotions that are encouraged in a Montessori classroom.

Moving Is A Building Block Of Healthy Growth And Development
A preschooler’s control of their own body, hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, and mastery of balance and deliberate movement are essential for healthy growth and development. Beginning with competence in whole body coordination, preschoolers will continue to refine their movements and gain proficiency with finer and more delicate actions as time goes by. The more control a preschooler gains over the way they are able to move, the more intention and purpose, and even confidence, they are able to apply to their exploration of the world around them.

“Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements” Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

The Movement And Montessori Connection at Grey Matter Montessori

The Montessori classroom is an environment designed to encourage and facilitate movement as an essential component of learning. When we allow children to roam, move, and explore the world around them we create opportunities for deeper understanding, spontaneous social interactions, and a space where children can pursue their own areas of interest. Allowing free movement also respects the natural inclination and development of young students to foster a supportive and child-led learning environment.

If you are interested in exploring the benefits of a Grey Matter Montessori education for your preschool or pre-kindergarten aged child and you believe in the value of movement to support healthy learning, contact us to book a time for a school tour at our NW Calgary location. We are accessible just off of Symons Valley Parkway in the NW community of Evanston. Call us for more info on our early child education programming at 1-587-707-4739.


Q: How is movement incorporated into the Grey Matter Montessori classroom?
A: Our Montessori program encourages children to move and learn throughout the school day by moving from task to task, using their five senses to understand new concepts, to interact with their peers, and to explore the classroom environment. We also engage with several of our community partners to incorporate enhanced opportunities for learning through movement and to explore our community outside of the classroom. Learn more about our community partnerships here.

Q: Is there a checklist of things my child must know before attending preschool?
A: At Grey Matter Montessori in Calgary, we value the differences that make each child unique. If your child is aged 3-6 they may be ready to begin to explore learning and we are ready to facilitate it. Learn more about exploring your child’s readiness for preschool here

Q: Where are you located?
A: Grey Matter Montessori is located in NW Calgary, Alberta in the community of Evanston. Close to many amenities, we are easily accessed via Symons Valley Parkway NW.

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