The Hands are the Instruments of Man’s Intelligence- Dr. Maria Montessori

“He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

In the Montessori Children’s House, the child experiences hands-on learning opportunities through practical life activities from folding cloths and pouring water to polishing silver and tying bows. The sensorial materials also offer endless opportunities for concrete exploration and internalization of all visual and dimensional aspects needed to set a solid foundation for a mathematical mind.  Think pink tower and geometric cabinet.  Additionally, activities such as touch boards, sound cylinders, and baric tablets allow for refinement of the senses through the work of the hand. Language and Mathematics are both introduced with multi-sensory materials such as sandpaper letters and decimal golden beads. The self-guided learning and freedom for repetition with the materials separates Montessori from traditional learning centers and creates the optimal experience for natural development in young children.

The importance of the hand is at the heart of Montessori education.  The use of hands helps the child construct himself. Dr. Maria Montessori felt strongly that the hand and brain must develop in harmony. The hand reports to the brain; the brain guides the hand; the cycle continues, resulting in the development of the intellect.

More than a century later, neuroscience is filled with evidence of the strong connection between the hand and the brain. 

“If you made a human being based on what your brain thinks your body looks like, you’d get this.  This is you from the perspective of your brain.” – Dr. Stephen Hughes