Dr. Maria Montessori characterized the 3 to 6 year-old child as possessing an extraordinary ability to absorb information from his or her surroundings. She named this quality "the absorbent mind." Preschoolers use all of their senses when they explore their environment, readily picking up language and culture. Dr. Montessori had a motto for this age group: "help me to do it myself." Development during this period focuses on learning to be independent. Their environment should support this natural drive, enabling the child to become competent and confident. The Montessori approach embraces the full development of the youngster, addressing all aspects (physical, social, emotional, and cognitive) of the child.