Grasp these four points to help children smoothly pass the “sensitive period of details”

Last weekend, the weather was nice and we took our daughter to the park.

As she walked, her daughter stopped. She crouched down slowly, her eyes staring straight at the ground. My dad and I have gone a long way, and she doesn’t move.

In desperation, we folded back again. But after looking at it for a long time, I didn’t see anything attractive on the ground.

After a few seconds, the daughter said faintly: “Mom, little ant.”

I bent over, searched hard, and finally found a hidden hole under a small dead grass. There are two ants swirling near the small hole. They first crawled in the opposite direction, and then they all crawled back after a while, gathering together as if discussing something. Then they separated and met again. This was repeated several times, until they all climbed into the hole, and did not come out for a long time, and the daughter left angrily.

In order to comfort her daughter, her husband said encouragingly: “Our little observer is really worthy of his name.” “

In addition to being interested in small ants and holes, her daughter often picks up leaves, stones, and sometimes a long hair from the ground, and even the two identical shoes in the picture book, she can tell which shoe has an extra stripe. in a word

Her eyes were sharp, and she seemed to be full of curiosity and sensitivity to everything small, that adults could not easily observe.

I think she should have reached a sensitive period of details.

What is the details sensitive period in children?

The sensitive period, which can also be called the critical period, is a series of reactions that occur in children as they grow. At certain times, they will suddenly become interested in something and thus have a strong desire to explore.

Dutch scientist De Vries first identified sensitive periods in some animals.

He once gave the example of a common butterfly larvae.

He found that during the first few days of larvae, they could only survive by eating the shoots of the branches.

When a female butterfly lays eggs, she instinctively lays the eggs in the corner where the trunk meets the branches, because it is safe and hidden.

So, when the larva is born, how does it know that the shoots it needs are on the branches? It turned out to be light.

The larvae are particularly sensitive to light. It is attracted by the light and crawls towards the branches, eventually satisfying its appetite.

But as the larvae grow and they can already eat some rough food, its sensitivity to light disappears.

Educator Montessori was greatly inspired by this, and through repeated observation and research, she found that children also have sensitive periods.

She believes that children before the age of 6 have the five most important sensitive periods, namely the language sensitive period (0-6 years old), the order sensitive period (1-4 years old), the detail sensitive period (1-4 years old), the motor sensitive period (0-3 years old), and the touch sensitive period (0-3 years old).

The detail sensitive period is one of many sensitive periods. It usually appears when the child is 1-4 years old, and is most prominent around 2 years old.

Children in the sensitive period of details, their observation is amazing, as if they are wearing a “microscope” in their eyes, they can find super small things. The dust floating in the air, the small confetti on the ground, the small bugs hidden in the grass, the differences on different pages of the same character in the picture book, and so on, as if there is a microscopic world in their heads.

During the sensitive period, based on instinctive reactions, children will become interested in different things around them, and then gain a preliminary understanding of the world.

“It is this sensitivity that exposes children to the outside world with a characteristic intensity. During this period, they can easily learn everything and are full of energy and passion for everything. “

What can the sensitive period of detail bring to children?

Some parents do not understand these characteristics of their children’s growth, and they feel unhygienic when they see their children picking leaves, and they feel unsafe when they see their children picking holes, so they take simple and brutal measures to strictly stop them.

This “one-size-fits-all” will destroy the child’s instinct to explore the outside world, which means that the child becomes weak and inactive, and even permanently loses the opportunity to acquire a certain ability.

Education expert Sun Ruixue once said: “Looking at small things requires concentration, patience, concentration, time, and these are even more important than the object of observation.”

Helps develop your child’s ability to focus

If we look closely, we will find that children who are in the sensitive period of details, they are easily immersed in something. Even if the outside environment is noisy and there are noisy people around, it is difficult for them to be disturbed. A person ponders quietly and can remain selfless for a long time. Invisibly, children’s concentration is highly developed.

My daughter was in this state when she observed the little ants, when my dad and I called her several times, and she never came to her senses. Of course, we are wrong to do this, it is an interruption of the child’s concentration.

Zhihu answered the subject @ Ye Zhuang said a sentence:

“Concentration is a universal skill”

If the child can’t concentrate when doing this, then he probably won’t do another thing for long. Today it disturbs the child’s observation of the little ants, and tomorrow he may have to worry about the child’s inability to read.

Helps to develop children’s imagination and creativity

Many things that seem useless in the eyes of our adults will become “treasures” in the eyes of children. For example, a leaf, in the eyes of adults, is an ordinary leaf. In the eyes of children, it can be used to pack things, can be used to rescue small ants that fall into the water, can be posed in various ways, and can also be made into bookmarks.

Most of their cognition, imagination, and creativity are obtained from games.

Psychology professor Alison Gopnik believes that the way children play spontaneously is very similar to the thinking of scientists doing research, that is, they are all observed, hypothesized, reasoned, experimented, and verified. Explore how the world works.

When children can play ordinary things out of tricks, it is the best embodiment of children’s imagination and creativity.

Helps children develop fine motors

Montessori once said: “If the child’s fine motor movements are not fully developed and practiced in the sensitive period of details, it will be difficult for the child to become an excellent pianist, violinist, surgeon, etc. in the future.” “

When children observe and collect those subtle things, they will take actions such as “grasping, holding, pinching, patting, twisting, and picking”, thereby exercising the child’s hand muscles and limb coordination. This laid the foundation for the future development of fine motors.

Studies have shown that the development of children’s fine motor movements is closely related to brain development. That is, the better the fine motor development, the smarter the child will be.

Therefore, the sensitive period of details does not exist in isolation at a certain stage of the child’s growth, but echoes before and after. Only by laying a good foundation in the early stage can we develop steadily in the later stage.

Facilitates interpersonal communication in children

Psychologist Gardner pointed out that interpersonal communication is a basic intelligence, which is the ability to sense and distinguish the emotions, intentions, motives and feelings of others, and use language, movements, gestures, expressions, eyes and other ways to communicate information and emotions with others.

Children have the ability to be sensitive to details and facilitate interpersonal communication. Such children are more able to understand each other’s needs from the changes in each other’s body language and expressions, and are also more able to empathize with others.

Therefore, children’s seemingly strange hobbies are actually good things.

The premise of our good education is to fully understand the child’s sensitive period, decode the child’s behavior, and then guide it appropriately to help the child pass this period smoothly.

Capture the child’s details sensitive period, parents can do this

“Montessori’s Complete Book of Early Education” mentions: When a child is in a sensitive period, there will be a motivation in his heart to drive him to try or learn everything in the outside world, until his inner needs are satisfied or his sensitivity is weakened, this motivation will slowly disappear.

Therefore, as parents, we must not obstruct them, but follow the trend, give them the freedom to explore under the premise of ensuring the safety of their children, and let them act according to their sensitive instructions.

Do not interrupt the child

In the past, every time I took my child out, I always wanted to let her see something meaningful and worth seeing. Later, I finally changed my thinking, and what we call “meaningful” is likely to be worthless in the eyes of children.

She is just interested in an ant, a small hole, why should we rudely interrupt? This is the performance of her sensitive period, she is alone on the side slowly pondering, which in itself is the exercise and strengthening of concentration, which is a very valuable quality.

Value what children value

When a child is interested in something, he consciously collects it.

My daughter has a “treasure chest”, with leaves from various trees, pebbles stained with soil, buttons of various colors. Every time she moves out of the box to “show”, she will carefully and contentedly fiddle with her baby.

I think this is probably meaningless happiness.

We can prepare a small box for the child to store her belongings. Giving these “useless” things a sense of ritual means protecting the child’s behavior and psychology.

A photographer abroad, mom Melissa Kaseman, used her camera to record what her 4-year-old son brought back from school. There are beads, leaves, threads, dried flowers, toy scorpions, small sticks, and so on. These things are a record of the child’s daily growth.

Someday in the future, when we take it out and savor it with our children, what a pleasant time it will be.

Explore and create with your child

A netizen once said something. As a child, he went to the park with his father. He picked up a particularly round pebble, thought it was very novel, and held it in his hand. When Dad saw it, he said in surprise: “Wow, it’s amazing, this doll has a future.” “

In order to satisfy his curiosity about stones, Dad often took him to the flower and bird market and the play market, from Yuhua stone to lingbi stone, from turquoise to obsidian, from agate to jadeite, from handle to wrench. As long as it is accessible, try to provide opportunities for children to observe. Every time he came back, he felt a sense of abundance in his heart.

In the face of the “new land” discovered by children, do not make a fuss and do not make a mistake. When the child retrieves the leaves, then make specimens with him; When the child retrieves the stone, observe the pattern with him. Explore with your child and give affirmation,

Only when children feel encouraged and recognized by the outside world will they have the possibility to continue exploring.

Don’t impose adult values on children

A netizen on Zhihu said such a thing.

As a child, he excitedly picked up a large bag of leaves and went home. When my mother saw it, she said that it was useless. If you like to pick up leaves, go pick up some poplar leaves and feed the sheep.

He went out with his bag, but suddenly felt that it was not interesting. I haven’t picked up leaves since.

Children pick up leaves, they are curious about the world, and they treat leaves as interesting little things. Children’s thinking is different from that of adults, and their value judgment of things is not based on whether they have practical value.

If we assign interest to children as a task, it will no longer be interesting to children.

Similarly, when we understand the child’s sensitive period of details, we deliberately take a lot of delicate things to cultivate, and the child does not experience any fun from it, and the result is too much.

Therefore, we must follow the laws of children’s development, so as not to force and not suppress.


“The essence of education in the sensitive period is actually environmental education.” Therefore, we need to create a rich learning environment for children.

Children need to shape themselves according to their own observations, and then turn these things into important parts of personality development. This special sensitivity can help children perceive the world. Through the improvement of observation and absorption ability, they gradually adapt to their surroundings.

However, the child’s sensitive period of detail is a short-lived tendency, which does not reappear after it disappears. In other words, even if a child misses a sensitive period, although he can still grow up, he also loses the best opportunity to realize his potential.

Montessori once made an interesting analogy: “The old mother is beating woolen socks by the fire.” Due to her advanced age, her eyes are not good, and she often loses the thread, but she does not notice it. After knitting, I found that there were many stitches on the socks, so the socks were not durable. “

Therefore, we must observe and understand children more. During the same sensitive period, different children perform differently.

Therefore, the key for parents to educate their children is to read the child’s behavior, grasp the law of the child’s sensitive period development, and ensure the harmonious development of the child’s body and mind.

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