The Power of Free Play: Nurturing Growth Through Movement in Early Childhood

Let’s take a closer look at a topic that is present in our daily lives: Movement!

This topic deserves more attention, as it goes beyond enabling children to be active; it involves laying the essential foundations for their overall development.

Maria Montessori, an expert in child development, believed that movement wasn’t just about physical activity but a vital force driving children’s growth and development. She even had a term for it: “horme.” This isn’t just some fancy word—it’s the driving force behind a child’s inner urge to explore, learn, and interact with their environment.

Think about it: when a baby reaches out to grab a toy, or a toddler takes those first wobbly steps, that’s horme in action. Montessori recognized that the innate drive to move, explore, and learn is the foundation of early childhood development.

But don’t just take my word for it—science backs up Montessori’s insights. A study published in the Journal of Motor Learning and Development found that movement-based learning activities in early childhood improve physical skills and enhance cognitive development, including problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

So, what’s the takeaway here? Movement isn’t just something kids do for fun (although it is fun!). But a fundamental development aspect that shapes their brains, bodies, and futures.

● Montessori, Maria. “The Absorbent Mind.” Kalakshetra Publications, 1949.
● Journal of Motor Learning and Development, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, pp. 215-230.

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