How to use the Object Permanence Box

Thursday, June 8, 2017
Why does my infant cry every time I am our of their sight?
How can you help your infant learn you will come back for them?

"My infant freaks out every time I am out of their sight." I can't even go to the bathroom by myself! All mothers at some point have been there. What is going on? How can you help your infant feel safe and know that you will come back for them?

The answer relies on this, at 6 months of age your infant is now transitioning into a new phase of development. They are dramatically changing, from sitting unassisted and seeing the world from a different view. 
They will start to have what is called separation anxiety. In other words in a mind of an infant once you leave the room you can gone forever. Same goes for an object when it leaves their sight it is gone forever.
You can probably tell they are going through this phase when they want to be on your hip all day and night or enjoy playing their first game of peek-a-boo.

To help your little one learn and understand that just because you can't see the object doesn't mean its forever disappeared. This is a beautiful wooden material called the Object permanence box with tray.

Present this material when the child can sit unassisted on the floor. Sit down next to them and use exaggerated movements and work slowing by lifting the ball and placing it into the hole. Pick up the ball in the tray again and concentrate on slow movements so the infant can watch ever so carefully. This should be done in complete silence and repeated several times. Once your child doesn't seem interested in the material anymore, place it back on their work shelf.

After showing them how to use the new material let them explore it. They most likely will not do the work correctly but after many attempts and loads of  opportunity of practicing they will succeed and build confidence. The child will learn that it takes much effort to master a new skill. 

Video of my son using the material
The infant will use their senses, hearing the wooden ball drop, grasping the ball in their palm, seeing it come out of the hole into the tray. The ball is placed into the hole it disappears for a moment then reappears in a different place. 

Another reason why infants love this work is that it is a challenge to put the ball through the small hole. This work builds muscles, hand and eye coordination, memory development and intense concentration. 

Object Permanence Box with Drawer

When the infant is few months older, about 9 months old you can introduce a new version of the object permanence box with a drawer. It is has a new challenging twist to the original box. Helping to develop the pincher grasp with their fingers.

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