The Silence Game is an approach to education created by Dr. Maria Montessori, which involves allowing children to self-discover the world around them through exploration, sensory learning, and self-directed activity.
The silence activity in a Montessori school is not forced but encouraged as a natural stage of development for children.
The Montessori curriculum is based on the belief that the child will learn best when they are in control of their own progress, with no interference from adults or other children. It’s important for kids to take time every day for free play, where they are able to explore their environment without any distractions or interruptions, which will benefit their development in many different ways.
What is a silence activity?
The Silence activity is one of the key components of Montessori pedagogy. The idea is that, during children-directed discovery learning, children are more likely to discover things on their own if they are not distracted by outside sources. A silent activity is an environment, typically controlled and comfortable, where the impact of outside sensory stimuli can be reduced.
It helps a child to calm down or help them focus. The objective of the silence game is to think clearly, meet their inner selves, and should not get distracted by outside forces. It encourages children to use their creativity and imagination.
How is the silent game played in a Montessori classroom?
The silence game in a Montessori classroom usually begins with 15 to 20 seconds of stillness during group time. To avoid distractions, children may close their eyes. They may have to listen for sounds in the room, such as the pump from a fish tank, AC turning on or off, or their name whispered back to them. Over time, the duration of this activity increases as the children become more skilled in self-quieting. Self-awareness and self-calming are priceless gifts.
Is the Silence Game meant for the Montessori classroom only?
The Silence Game can be played both at home and at school. It has many benefits.
- It teaches children self-control,
- It helps to keep themselves calm.
- It controls the excitement,
- It teaches patience.
At home, it helps not only children but all the family members.
- It teaches family members self-control,
- It soothes the spirit,
- It helps them focus on the joy of being together and the holidays.
A Montessori silence activity played together has a profound effect on the whole family.
Maria Montessori mentioned in one of her books: “One day I had the idea of using silence to test the children’s keenness of hearing, so I thought of calling them by name, in a low whisper… This exercise of inpatient waiting demanded patience that I thought impossible”.
From where is the concept of the Silence activity game?
Silence activity is a meditation technique that has been inspired by a sutra from India, which says that silence is the best answer.
In this technique, people are encouraged to give themselves time every day to sit in silence. The idea behind it is to help people focus on their thoughts and feelings instead of being distracted by others.
It is also an adaptation of traditional Japanese meditation. It is a practice that involves sitting in silence, focusing on one’s breathing while sitting on the floor.
Silence activities are mainly inspired by Buddhist teachings and have traditionally been practiced in Japan for centuries.
3 quick ideas to set up a Montessori silence activity at home
- Before having a meal, take 5-10 seconds and close your eyes and try to stay calm
- Go for a walk in your garden or park. Close your eyes, listen to birds, wind, and swishing of trees, and connect with nature.
- Gather all the family members in a room and sit together while closing your eyes. Try to listen to the surrounding voices. It can be someone breathing, a moving fan, or anything else.
5 Tips to cultivate calm and peace from the Silence Activity
- Embrace yourself
- Recognize your feelings
- Connect with nature and not gadgets
- Don’t overthink
- Don’t judge anyone
In Montessori education, children are encouraged to learn through discovery. Let us (parents and teachers) also discover ourselves with the Montessori Silence Activity.