Montessori - Toddler Grace & Courtesy

As parents we’ve all had those moments when our kids are playing quietly, then all of a sudden they start screaming or singing at the top of their lungs. Naturally, our first reaction is to raise our voices to get them to stop or be a little quieter. However, this response can send mixed signals to a child about what is acceptable and what isn’t. Children are exploring the different volumes of their voices and discovering the reactions that these evoke. If they are being loud, and we shout at them to be quiet, we are telling them that raising our voices is ok. However, when we respond to them in a quiet, controlled voice they will want to hear what we are saying and will have to quiet down in order to do so. There are plenty of times when being loud is acceptable such as singing, exploring animal sounds or playing outside. Make sure that you, the adult, are modeling the desired volume at the desired times and you’re children will get the message.

The Silence Game:
Today we live a noisy world, TV’s, radios, cars and sirens are what we generally hear. Rarely do we ever have the chance to experience silence or savior the sounds of nature around us. The silence game was designed by Maria Montessori herself for children over the age of 4. Maria had the idea to test children’s keenness of hearing. She came up with the idea of calling them name by name, in a low whisper voice from a far corner of the room, this mimics modern day hearing test done in most schools. When a child’s name is called they can walk over to the teacher and sit next to them. If successful, children can be taken for a celebratory walk or have a special treat. This exercise, while simple demands that the students exercise patience, self-control and social spirit as they work together for a common goal.