We owe the concept of the "absorbent mind" to Maria Montessori, and we take it for granted. But it is so amazing to witness the process! Case in point:
I was reading "My Carthaginian cousin" to my 6 year old, which is a historic fictional story covering the time of the Carthaginian domination in antiquity. The language and sentence structure is pretty complicated, so I assumed my 4 year old was not really following it.
All of a sudden, while working with clay, he told me that he had made a "Carthaginian ship"... It was pretty cool :)