I have mentioned the purpose of the wall mirror previously here but never before have I been so aware of the importance of children observing movement.
Montessori believed (as do many) that children need to observe a movement (absorb it visually) before they can execute the movement themselves. Then the child can repeat the movement to master it.
This is as important for a three year old as it is for a 2 month old.
For Caspar (3yrs) this means him observing me as I grip the pencil, as I hold a fork or a spoon. It is not enough to tell or instruct him what to do or how to do it. It is not enough to try and manipulate his little fingers around the pencil. He needs to see it and be around it. Not necessarily for me to give him a lesson but to ensure he has lots of opportunity during everyday life to see me write, to see me eat.
The same for Otis (2months), while he is at a very unique stage developmentally he needs to observe visually his own movements to gain an awareness of them before he can then reproduce or master them. For him this is looking at his hands as he moves them opens and closes them or watching his own movements in the mirror with his aim being to master coordinated movement.
This is in part what Montessori meant when she wrote about children absorbing their environment. It is important that as parents we provide an environment that is enriched with lots of opportunity. By this I mean ensure your child has the opportunity to observe you in your every day life, and for the youngest of children give them the opportunity to observe themselves.