Is it possible to imagine life without movement? Movement shows existence of life. Human being is superior animal only because he has the capacity to work with directed movements. There is movement in every area of human work- personal care, care of the environment, social behavior and intellectual work. Movement is actually the result of thought process. The senses feed the brain; the brain sends messages to the muscles to make movements.
Nature keeps the child immobile during infancy, so that the child can observe and collect information using his senses. As the child grows he starts making movement. The child has to master a wide possibility of movements. Once the brain, sense’s and the muscles start coordinating with each other nature endows child with the power to move. The child needs space and non-interfering environment to practice his movements. Dr. Montessori says “Child’s intelligence can develop to a certain level without the help of hands. But it raises the child to greater heights with handwork.
The strength of character becomes prominently stronger intelligence is developed through movement. Movement is mode of expression. As the movements become refined, the psychical capacities also become refined. The quality and variety in movements decides the quality of intelligence. When the child is able to walk independently, the child has achieved a great task towards independence. Hands can perform a variety of movements which needs to be practiced.
The first attempt is unintentional grasp and then grasping is done intentionally. Hand is actually the source of learning and the variety in these movements depends on what activities they perform. This depends on the child and the environment around the child. They learn by throwing objects around the house, touching the mud, touching the floor, touching the powder, touching water, playing with clay etc. History provides proof: Master pieces were created by hand work. These creations started in their mind. The hands just followed the intelligence, the spirit and the emotions. The development of movement in a child is the coordination of intelligence, senses and his will.
This development results in work with the help of the muscles. Restriction of movement is injurious to the development of the child. This will surely have unknown repercussions on the child’s psyche. The best help we can offer is encourage the child in his attempts. Remember that self motivated movements build self confidence and self reliance.