Have you ever read a wonderful book called Nurturing the Spirit? One of my all-time favorite go-to resources when I need to recenter and refresh my home and classroom.
I thought I’d share a few ideas on how to integrate peace education into your home using this book as my inspiration. You will find peace education materials, ideas for activities, and ways to set up your environment to reflect this intention.
Silence predisposes the soul to certain inner experiences. You are not the same after silence as you were before it…It is one of the tragedies of our mechanical age that so many people grow up without discovering the beauty of silence. – E.M. Standing
How to Teach Kids Peace
How do we teach kids about peace? Peace education is something Dr. Montessori took seriously in her writing and in her lessons. Peace is found on three levels in the Montessori early childhood classroom: Global, Classroom, and Inner.
Integrate Montessori Peace Education Simply & Easily
A space that allows for natural light is an easy way to incorporate Montessori peace. Beyond that idea, you can celebrate light by creating a rainbow with contact paper on your window.
This suncatcher from No Time for Flashcards is sweet and gets to the point. You can also create “color windows” with sheets of cellophane to look at the world in a different light.
Include Real Plants in Your Environment
Incorporating plants into your Montessori peace environment allows a child to experience nature and to care for an object. The child’s spirit will be nourished simply by watching a seed sprout, then caring for the plant will happen naturally.
Gratitude is a big piece of Montessori peace education. One way that we incorporate gratitude into our home is at dinner. We take a moment to go around the table and talk about what we were most grateful for that day.
Sometimes I phrase it simply as “What was your favorite part of the day?” Parents and teachers included!
Related Read: What is Montessori Parenting?
Clear receptacle – One of my instructors has her students place their trash in a clear bag or receptacle to connect the children to the impact trash makes on our earth. Nothing speaks more clearly than a visual representation of the amount of trash collected by each of us every day and the impact we can make if we each reduce the habit.
Reusable Napkins – are an easy way for all of us to reduce waste.
Another interesting and powerful way to ground children in environmental responsibility is by using a similar clear receptacle but allowing time for decomposition to take place.
Each card exhibits an image of a child in a position that illustrates care and reverence. So, for example, the book describes love, caring, giving, and receiving positions. The image could be of a child cradling a baby to indicate caring or cupping his hands to indicate receiving, for example.
The idea is for the child to choose a card and to remain still by imitating the position for a minute before moving on to another card. I like the idea of asking the child how he felt while in the position after the work is complete.
One of my favorites and very simple to integrate into your home and classroom, this reading corner is different than a reading nook. This space is meant for observation in silence. So you can include a plant for caressing, a fish tank for watching, or simply a window for staring. I recently purchased a Cretan’s Labyrinth to place in our work-in-progress quiet area.
Outdoor Quiet Space
I adore the idea of creating space outdoors for a child. Fresh air works wonders for calming. In a space that allows you to see him, place a small chair, maybe include a blanket in the chillier seasons.
A wind chime may also provide a wonderful calming effect. If you can create a shelter or an arch, that would create more of a cozy, safe feeling, and be very inviting to the child. This space is meant for the child to be alone.
Other Ideas on Bringing Peace into your Home & Classroom
- Magic Box
- I Spy Someone Being Kind
- Birthday Celebration
- Books that Teach Peace
- Peace Rose
- Peace Pole
Do you have any ideas?