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Developing focus with the montessori egg & cup

Concentration and focus look very different for babies. Crawling towards an interesting toy or picking something up to eat requires your baby’s undivided attention and focus. Later, it might look like independent play, but for now, it will be smaller activities to reach a goal.

To support your baby in developing focus and concentration, it’s essential to isolate ideas. The toys you offer him should focus only on one ability, such as hand-eye coordination. That is why you don’t see many plastic toys in a typical Montessori playroom or classroom. These toys usually do a multitude of things (flashing lights and repetitive music) which can be distracting for a learning baby. No, here you’d rather find such uncomplicated toys like the egg and cup.

This seemingly simple toy is incredibly attractive to babies who can sit up unassisted. Watch your baby spend some time exploring the shapes and trying different variations to reach the goal of fitting the egg in the cup. As your baby takes the egg out of the cup and puts it back, he is exercising arm muscles and movement coordination. The egg in a cup also encourages the development of an intentional grasp, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

Here are four ways to make your playtime more purposeful and support the development of focus.

  1. Turn off unnecessary distractions, such as the television or music.
  2. Reading stories to young children that encourage them to listen and focus
  3. Observe your baby. If he loses interest, it doesn’t mean he can’t concentrate. Help him come back to his first task when he seems ready to play again
  4. Talking to your baby about what she's doing is a great way to keep them interested in the task, but once you see them focus, it’s best to stay quiet.

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