Importance of Movement in Montessori

an act of changing physical location or position, or of having this changed.

Movement in Montessori

I watched a video online a few weeks ago - Youtube, Vimeo, I can't remember which one, about a Montessori class in action. I love to watch the children in a classroom - it does  not look the same as a montessori homeschool. There is a different atmosphere, and although I don't covet it - I enjoy my homeschool - it is neat to watch. I came across a video that was of a young girl attempting to do a work (the stamp game) that she was not ready for. This particular video struck me immediately, because her reaction is one I've commonly seen with my Bug, though for different reasons sometimes - she burst in to tears. 

The mother in me wants to comfort her, the teacher in me wants to guide her - and the woman in me generally has no idea which one I should do first. Maybe that doesn't sound very *montessori* - but it's true. I watched the teacher guide her away, as the little girl wiped tears from her face, and give her some instructions - ones I couldn't hear very clear. I watched as the little girl took off, then showed back up on the camera laying out a rug and the pieces of the pink tower. After doing so, she reported back to the teacher, who told her to lay out another rug, this time next to her, on the opposite side of the room from the initial work. I'm sure you are probably figuring out where this is going - she trecked back and forth 10 times to bring the tower pieces to the original rug, then back and forth ten more times to build the tower on the rug next to the teacher. By the time she was finished, the tears were gone, and replacing them was an accomplished smile and confidence in her independence. 

There were many factors, I believe, that helped this little girl overcome her disappointment and move on. The work was something she could do, there was an element of something new possibly, if this was the first time to do that kind of extension, and there was a great deal of movement. I can't be certain, but I think the movement had a two-fold purpose. There is a need for movement in children, and if you don't believe that, have one sit for 45 minutes-1 hour in a church service - you'll be a firm believer afterwards! While meeting her need for movement, it is also played a role in taking her mind off what she couldn't do, while showing her what she could do. 



We were at the library, for something that was taking longer than I expected. Buddy Boy didn't have a nap that day - he usually doesn't - but we usually don't find ourselves out and about at 5:00. When we are at home, he can sit and relax and not get overtired. At the library, things were a little different, he was getting tired, and fighting it, which became a restlessness. I was trying to think of something to do, when I remembered the video. I grabbed a wooden puzzle, took the pieces out, and placed them on a table on one side of the kids area. Then, walked back to the other side and asked him if he wanted to play a game. We played the extension, with a puzzle instead of the pink tower. One puzzle turned in to two, then in to playing with another boy and his mind was distracted and no longer was he restless (and getting in to trouble)


Two days ago, Bug was having a hard time finding something to do. So I showed her the pink tower extension. She is still very dependent on me during school time, as well as in other areas. She loved the work, although she is officially out of her 'need for movement' phase. She finished the work, enjoying it very much, and went on to choose her own work afterwards. That may seem small, but if you've ever had a child dependent on you for every idea, every new thing to work on
- it's a big step.


Work to get the movement included in learning. It is not something that comes naturally to me - I tend to forget that part. However, my tendencies don't change what my children need! Below are some great posts on bringing movement in to learning - some are Montessori, some Montessori-inspired, and some are centered around Kinesthetic learners, who really, really NEED that movement!


Can Learning Be Enhanced By Movement? - Montessori Society

Why Is Analysis Of Movement Important In Montessori Education? - Living Montessori Now

The Sensitive Period For Movement - Daily Montessori
(this one has extra lengths for other sensitive periods as well!)


Montessori Inspired Movement Activities - Living Montessori Now

InfoMontessori - Check their Practical Life/Sensorial lessons for movement activities

Montessori Outdoor Environment
If you take them outside, they will get moving!

Montessori Sensorial Activities
The sensorial materials require a good deal of movement many times.

Happy Schooling! :) 


  1. This is so interesting to me. Thank you for sharing it with Mamas! I'm enjoying your blog, Amy :)

    1. Oh, thank you Jacqueline! :) I am always so excited to see you pop over! Thanks for reading, and I am glad you enjoyed it! :)


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