By the time your child is three he will have some level of functional independence, good control over his body’s movements and have complete oral language. That’s a lot to have achieved in just three years! Yet it happened without effort because of the unique quality of the young child’s mind. Your three year old is still very much sensorial explorer. He uses his senses to absorb every aspect of the environment, including his language and culture, in the process constructing his own intellect. In Montessori, we call this the phenomenon the ‘absorbent mind’.
Throughout this time of development your child will also experience periods during which he displays heightened sensitivity to, or interest in, particular aspects of the environment. These periods, named sensitive periods by Montessori educators, represent windows of opportunity during which children’s intense interest, enables him to learn the corresponding knowledge and skill with ease and enjoyment. These periods occur universally for all children at approximately the same age. If you observe child closely you might see signs of these sensitive periods.