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The Silence Game – Introducing Children to the Benefits of Silence 

Today’s world is ensconced in the sounds of blaring TVs, traffic, phone conversations, and sirens…lots of NOISE. Rarely do we benefit from the sheer pleasure of birds chirping or the slight rustle of the leaves blowing in the wind. And when we do have the occasion to experience a bit of silence…. aaahhhh…what pleasure! Sadly, our children seldom have the opportunity to reap these benefits…one of the reasons a Montessori education strives to open their world to the adventure of silence.

Dr. Montessori asserts, “When the children have become acquainted with silence…(they) go on to perfect themselves; they walk lightly, take care not to knock against the furniture, move their chairs without noise, and place things upon the table with great care…. These children are serving their spirits.”
—Maria Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook

One of the methods used to help children relax, become aware of their environment, and even extend their attention spans is the Silence Game. Playing the Silence Game offers children a sense of achievement and social essence as they work with their peers to reach a common goal. In addition, the Silence Game enables children to develop self-awareness and self-control, skills they will need to be successful throughout their lives.

Playing the Silence Game

Preparing and facilitating the Silence Game is quite easy. On a white board or chalk board, write the word “silence.” On the other side, place a picture of a peaceful, tranquil place, such as the beach or a waterfall.
Begin the Silence Game by doing the following:

1.Invite the children to sit quietly.
2.Introduce the silence board and explain that when they see the word “silence,” we should all do our best to remain silent. When we see the picture on the other side, we can make noise.
3.Tell the children that you will whisper each of their names individually. Once they hear their name, they may come sit quietly beside you.
4.Turn the board to show the word “silence” and start the game.
5.Begin whispering their names. The children will be anxiously waiting to hear their names called, so they will certainly do their best to remain as quiet as possible, so as not to miss their turn.
6.Once all the children are sitting quietly next to you, turn the silence board over to the picture to end the game.

Upon successful completion of the game, allow the children to participate in an activity to celebrate their success, such as free play time, singing, or a walk outdoors. You will be amazed at how much harder they focus on being silent the next time you play the Silent Game with them.

February 20th, 2018

Posted In: Montessori Education

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