"We may put it like this: the child's intelligence can develop to a certain level without the help of the hand. But if it develops with his hand, then the level it reaches is higher, and the child's character is stronger. So even here, in what we tend to think of a purely psychological matters, the facts are that a child's character remains rudimentary unless he finds opportunities for applying his powers of movement to his surroundings." Maria Montessori - The Absorbent Mind
At thirteen months Otis is walking around with support and crawling at great pace. It's easy to forget the significance of the hand. Here are some examples of the materials and activities we provide for Otis to work his hands.
Otis loves using all of his stackers.
Playing with animal figurines.
When reading by himself he always chooses lift-the-flap books.
This hammering set must be good for building strength.
This is a new toy, the base has internal springs so you can press the peg men and they spring out.
Then you can put them back in again.
A whole hand transfer activity is easy to set up using materials already in your home.
With wooden eggs.
I spend time every morning with Otis in his room and we do some of these activities together. Otis is still using and has almost mastered his two puzzles shown here. We also know that playdough is important for developing strength in those little hands. Don't dismiss practical life activities at this age, helping to prepare their own snack or pouring are good examples of using the hands in a practical way. Otis also likes to draw as pictured in this post at Mini Piccolini.
Do you have a child at a similar developmental stage? I'd love your ideas for working the hands.
Have you noticed that we are using a different work mat for Otis. This one is small and doesn't require rolling. It gives him the opportunity to get it out and use it by himself (and it was free from our local carpet store).