Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flower Arranging

When I first started taking J to a Montessori preschool for playtime, I saw the director patiently helping the children - eight 18 month to 3 year olds - cut flower stems and place single flowers in teeny tiny vases for their table for snack. I thought - how nice to have the time to do something like that. Somewhere I also thought - why spend time on something like that when there are snacks to make, stuff to clean up, laundry to do, etc.. and somewhere also in my mind I think I questioned doing something so fussy and so fraught with opportunity for messes with such little little kids. Shouldn't you wait until they were a bit more coordinated, and would really appreciate cut flowers on tables?

Then I read a whole lot more about Montessori methods and theory (and J started in the toddler program full time, not just for playtime) and I started to "get" the concept - all Montessori activities are building skills, and especially at the toddler age, when they are so clumsy (but so so eager to get it right) practicing balance, grace, and appreciation for beauty are really important. If not more important than later, since you are building their perception of their world - and if you want them to see beauty, the things around them should be beautiful. Seems simple now.

So yesterday on an unexpected day home due to car-puke (yuck!) I chased everyone out for a brief walk in the rain - rain that I felt confining us - it was a day when nothing was going as planned and everyone was getting cranky. J spotted our cosmos falling over by the fence and asked very nicely could we please do flower arranging? And you know, it was really fun. Mommy was the stem holder, J the cutter and Sweet P the arranger/putter in the vase person. J also assisted with the photos for this post. Eating our lunch we had something lovely to look at and the soft rain to listen to, and even though no one took naps the afternoon was a lot more .. gentle than I had foreseen, with quiet coloring and cutting out shapes with scissors.


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  1. Such a lovely story Carolyn! That is something I find so valuble about Montessori education - the importance of beauty around the living space and organization. Something I really need to do more of!

  2. Well, organization we are always working on. When I see the classroom at J's school I get inspired but by the time I get home I usually only resolve to get things picked up.. Thanks for your comment! It was one of those moments where I was lucky I just listened to what J was saying instead of carrying on with everything else that we had to do that day.


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