Ten months is such a lovable age. The child is getting into everything, exploring often with their hands and mouths and crawling around, climbing and pulling up on things. Their coordination and verbal skills are increasing. Here are five things I'm noticing at ten months.
- Object Permanence. Object permanence materials are well used at this age. Otto has the coordination and concentration to use his object permanence box with tray, his object permanence ball push and his ball tracker which has an object permanence box repeatedly, with intent and focus. Peek-a-boo with play silks and even hide and seek behind a curtain or door with his brothers brings so much joy. These are all about the infant discovering object permanence, understanding that things do exist even when they can't be seen.
- Mess. Have you noticed your child standing at their infant shelves and pulling everything off on to the floor? If so, please know this is completely normal. Don't freak out. Sit back and observe what happens next. Often Otto will pull down all the materials off his shelves and then he will sit down and work with each of them. Allow your child time and space to do this, don't stop them. Observe which materials the child is attracted to, which ones they pass over. See if there are any materials they are struggling with. It may be time to reduce the amount of materials out or time to rotate.
- Baskets. Baskets are everything at this age, we have so many of them out. Make the baskets interesting with different and natural textures, some with flip lids, practice in and out. We currently have a nature basket (pictured above) and also a basket for play silks, instruments/music, balls, blocks, wooden cars, different types of rings, the options are endless.
- Putting Away. Yes, now is the time to start! At around ten months is a good time to start (if you haven't already) engaging the child in putting away. When I am working or playing with Otto and I notice him being distracted, losing interest in his work, I suggest we put the materials away and start packing up. Baskets are SO useful for this. I just say it's pack up time and start putting the materials into the basket and Otto will often, but not always follow. If he crawls off I don't make a big deal of it, but I am consistent, we always pack up and put away, we don't leave the play rug/area until everything is back in the baskets and back on the shelves. I have found that putting away and consistent role modeling at this age really helps the child to automatically put their materials away when they are a little older, it becomes natural and a part of the process.
- Yes Spaces. Infants at every age need 'yes' spaces. Because we have been travelling a lot I've noticed how important these are. It could be the child's room, it could be an area of the home sectioned off with play pen panels. Children need spaces where nothing is off limits. They need a space where they are completely safe to climb, pull up on things, where they can't break things. It promotes concentration, as you don't need to intervene or stop them from what they are doing, it is empowering as the child owns the space and it's freeing for both of you. It really reduces frustration levels and assists in promoting calm and satisfaction within the child. In our home, this is Otto's bedroom. He has a baby gate at the door. He only has child-sized furniture and very carefully selected materials. We still supervise him in this space but it is definitely a 'yes' space. While we have made other areas of our home child-friendly this is the one space that he owns!
If you are interested in further reading I can also recommend this article by a Montessori guide - 5 Things... the tenth month.