We have some wonderfully calm Montessori classroom ideas for you today.
The Montessori environment naturally incorporates movement in its activities. Certain movement activities can also help the child become centered and focused, as well as improving motor function.
Activities for a Calm Montessori Classroom
These can also be adapted for homeschool incorporating the Montessori approach.
Walking on a Line
Walking on a taped line on the floor benefits the child in a few ways—heel-toe walking in demonstrated and emphasized as the child places one foot in front of the other. The child works on her sense of balance as she tries to stay on the line. She also is able to center herself through the concentration it takes to follow the line.
The line can be the outline of the circle (or another shape) used during circle time. It can be a simple straight line drawn on the floor with chalk. It can be made out of tape on the floor. It can vary from a short, straight line, to a long, winding line throughout the whole room, to any fun shape.
A balance beam can be placed in the classroom. It requires more motor coordination than walking on a line on the floor but provides the same calming benefits.
The Cork Walk
Place a small dish of corks on a shelf or table on one side of the classroom. Place an empty dish on the other side. The child has to balance one cork at a time on the spoon as he makes his way across the room. Not only is he focusing on balancing the cork on the spoon, but also avoiding obstacles such as other children and work areas. After all of the corks have been carried across the room, they need to be carried back to the original dish so that the work is ready for the next person. Different objects and utensils can also be used.
Nothing is cozier than curling up with a good book. Set up a reading corner with some giant floor pillows. Put a rocking chair in the corner with a small table and lamp. Buy a child-sized recliner, sofa, or park bench. Salvage an old clawed foot bathtub and line it with pillows. Build a reading loft with steps. Allow special reading rugs that can be carried anywhere in the classroom. Provide a variety of literature as well as picture books of fine art and cultures around the world.
The Quiet Rug is a different color than the work rugs. It can be placed in the same rug basket, or it can have its own special place in the classroom. The child who needs to take a few minutes to be alone can take this rug anywhere in the classroom. When she is sitting on it, no one may talk to her. She may not talk to anyone else. It is a time and special place for her to observe others, reflect on her own being, or simply rest.
Yoga is commonly used as a meditation technique. It is good exercise and helps maintain a calm spirit. Set up a special area, complete with a yoga mat. Provide cards of poses, or books of poses, in a basket. Or, allow the yoga mat to be carried anywhere in the classroom. Choose poses that the child can independently perform and that will not be disruptive to the rest of the room. Demonstrate proper formation and supervise the children as they begin to do them.
Experimenting with a variety of these calming movement activities can lead to a more peaceful, centred classroom.
Do let me know if you have a go at any of these activities for a calm Montessori classroom