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Object Permanence Box

Object Permanence Box by Jeanne Marie Paynel from voilamontessori.com

I recently received this question from a client: “My 8-month old freaks out every time I am out of her sight. I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself! What’s going on and how can I help her understand that I’m coming back?”

This is very normal behavior for babies around the second half of their first year of life. They are discovering “object permanence”, which is a fancy way of saying that people and things still exist when they’re out of view. With this new awareness comes a new anxiety in the baby’s mind: they know the person or object still exists, but they don’t know when they will return!

A beautiful Montessori material called the Object Permanence Box, which is presented in this week’s video, supports the child in this phase of development. The ball goes into the hole, disappears for a moment, and reappears in a different place. Through repeated use, the child discovers that the ball continues to exist even though he can’t see it, and (perhaps more importantly) becomes aware that it will eventually return to him.

This is one example of how Montessori materials are more than simple tools for teaching – they are powerful aids in the child’s self-development.

I can teach you how to apply Montessori principles at home to support your child in each phase of development. Join a select group of empowered families who are reaping the benefits of my Montessori Parenting Program. Contact me now to get started!


The Object Permanence box helps a child understand that an item that disappears from view still exists and will return. Babies from 7 months onward love this material for many reasons: it’s fun and challenging to put the ball through the hole, the ball makes a satisfying noise, and it appears after a brief disappearing act. This material inspires repetition, which is an important element in the development of a child’s concentration.

For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.

P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉

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