As the nervous system continues developing, voluntary movement replaces involuntary movement. Myelination plays a major part. Myelin is a fatty tissue substance that develops around the nerve fibers to help those nerves maintain a firm and consistent movement—like it is storing information and the more fatty tissue there is the more safe that information will be and the more repetition of this information, the more fatty tissue will form to secure it.
Children are free to move and explore as they are developmentally ready. The Montessori Toddler environment is specially prepared to accommodate our toddlers who have a fully developed sense of mobility. There is plenty of open floor space with low shelves to encourage independence and exploration. There are plenty of opportunities to rely on themselves rather than relying on the adult.
On the playground, there are climbing stairs and slides to increase mobility in their legs and arms independently. Children at this age learn these tasks easily and take pride in their ability to do so independently.
The consistency of their daily routine develops these gross motor skills as well as their independence such as:
how to choose a work from the shelf
how to carry the work to a table
how to set up the material on the table
how to manipulate the work with her hands
how to complete the work
how to return the work to the shelf
They perform them over and over with a sense of accomplishment and develop high self-esteem. As demonstrated above, the Montessori child needs to have space in order to move and work. Some children enjoy working on the floor on a mat that clearly defines their space while others prefer to work at a table. Some work lends itself better to tables. Still other work should be done while standing, such as washing dishes or painting. It is through this continual movement that motor skills, both large and small, and their minds develop.
In order for the child to develop involuntary movement, he needs an interesting environment for motives for an activity. If you allow child for movement but is not given anything to do he will not move. Limits in the environment are dictated by safety and common sense.
The ultimate goal for the child is to acquire graceful voluntary movements. He or she can become the owner of their body. The process of ownership will develop through voluntary movement.