This video lesson is designed for parents to guide them about the Silence Game Montessori, its benefits, and its purpose.
Montessori classrooms are known for their quietness and decorum and encourage children to be quiet and patient. The silence game is a practical life activity in the Montessori early childhood curriculum. It helps children develop self-discipline and find a way to calm their minds by observing the surrounding sounds.
What is the Montessori Silence Game?
Silence games give children a sense of joy, achievement, and social spirit as they work together to achieve a common goal. It also helps children learn self-control, which contributes to classroom effectiveness.
Let us understand how the silence game came into existence from an instance mentioned in Dr. Maria Montessori’s book: The secret of childhood.
After bringing a sleeping baby into the classroom one day, Dr. Montessori realized the power of silence. While holding the baby in her arms, she noticed the eager faces around her that the baby was asleep and still so beautiful. She wondered aloud if the children could ever be so! The children adored the sleeping baby and wanted to be as still as the baby. She observed that being still and silent is an art. She used the term silence to describe the inhibition of all movements. To do this, children must establish a degree of comfort not to fight the desire to move.
“Soon they were aware of drops of water falling outside in the courtyard, and of the song of a bird in a distant tree”……“The children each silenced their own movements and produced a collective quiet that was for them a profound experience.”- Dr. Montessori wrote.
Dr. Montessori observed, this meditative quiet liberated children and brought them to a higher level of awareness. With this instance, Dr Maria Montessori observed how spiritually rewarded the children felt while experiencing silence. Thus, allowing children to break the cycle of obsessive behavior and achieve a state of peace and connection with reality. She coined this activity as “The Silence Game”.
Why is Silence So Important in Early Childhood?
Many studies show the benefits of practicing silence and meditation for emotional regulation, anxiety, and depression.
Children are born with an innate ability to develop habits and ingrain concepts. The Montessori silence game is a perfect example of incorporating meditation into their lives. Children learn to control their movements by quietly walking around a work rug, pulling and pushing chairs, pouring or transferring dry beans, etc.
Children develop concentration, precision, and social awareness while waiting for their turn without disturbing other children who are engaged in the activities.
Silence Activity Presentation
The silence game in Montessori is presented using a Silence Board (a sign with the “silence” word on one side and a picture of a peaceful place or thing on the other side).
What silence Game Teaches the Child?
How to be quiet, still and calm
Age in Which the Silence Game is Introduced?
Early childhood (3 to 6 years)
Materials Required for Silence Activity
The Silence board
Optional Materials to Introduce Silence Activity
Silence card, wind chime, silence mantra, flowers, or candles.
Purpose of Silence Game Montessori
- Building children’s awareness and sensitivity of sounds around them.
- Build children’s physical awareness (mind, body, and soul) and create a balance in life.
- Building OCCI (Order, coordination, concentration, and independence)
- Teaching self-regulation and patience.
- Respecting the classroom environment and making it stronger as a community.
Points of Interests
To see if they are able to “create silence” on their own and in class
Control of Error
Noise of Movement
Points of Interest
- Background noise
- The anticipation of waiting for your name
- Self Control
How to Prepare Children for the Silence Game?
Here are some activities that help children perfect their ability to listen, concentrate and calm their bodies:
- Let the children stand in a circle. Ask the children to pass the bell without ringing it.
- Invite children near the window and ask them to tell if they hear birds or rain. What sound does it make?
- Introduce children to various musical instruments, such as rhythm sticks, cymbals, drums, guitars, etc.) Now, have them close their eyes and ask them which instrument was played.
How to Introduce Silence Game to the Children?
- Invite children to come forward and participate in the “Exercise of Silence”.
- Tell them, we will create silence together for 10 minutes to start with. To do so, you must not make a noise.
- Also, introduce them to the silence board by explaining that one side has the word “silence” and the other side has a peaceful and tranquil picture.
- Tell the rules of the Silence Activity, i.e. you need to be calm and silent when they see the word “silence” and hear the sound around them.
- Display the silence board in the environment for the children to see and remind them to be quiet, and quiet when they see the word “silence”.
- Afterward, whisper their names one by one and invite them to sit by you as quietly as possible.
- Ask the children whether they are comfortable sitting.
- Now, turn over the board to show the word “silence” and begin the game.
- Start whispering their names before you feel the children can no longer hold their silence. When they are all sitting quietly next to you, turn over the silence board.
- This way the silence game finishes.
Silence Game Variations:
- Introduce a bell with a chime and instead of the silence board, use a bell with a chime to start the silence activity.
- Keep a corner (quiet corner) in the classroom, which is quiet and comfortable for children to sit and relax. Utilize that corner to maintain a serene atmosphere during the Silence Activity.
- Use a candle or flowers to create an environment that boosts the positivity of the environment while playing the Silence Game.
- Silent reading circles, breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga are all options to practice silence with elementary students.
Invite the child to perform a silence activity at home to establish inner peace and joy as shown in the video. This activity also helps in instilling a sense of confidence and independence in children.
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Video created by Aishwarya | I teach I learn
This video has been added and used with the author’s permission. It is also available on the author’s YouTube, here.
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