~For Kids at Home~
One of my favorite things to watch children do in a Montessori classroom is flowering arranging. Not only do these children tend to have mathematical and spacial intelligence, but I think of them as the peacemakers of the classroom. In the dead of winter, who couldn’t use a little burst of color…(and peace for that matter, as everyone seems to get a case of the grumps from the winter weather by now).
I’ve incorporated this Montessori concept into my home. Since Nishad was about 12 months old, he’s been flower arranging. I usually don’t purchase any flowers in the summer as I already have an abundance of fresh cut flowers from my own garden. (The boys love to go and hand pick them!) However, in the winter, I purchase flowers weekly. I come home, divided them in two bunches and give each of my boys a bunch. They look forward to this activity and often prompt me in the store to pick up flowers.
1. Flowers. I know this is an obvious supply. However, stay clear of stems with thorns or stems that are too hard for your child to cut.
2. Mini-Vases. I have multiple small vases that I’ve collected through the years, some at craft stores and some at big box stores. Each vase is usually between $1 to $3. I’ve never had one break, but know when you purchase it that as with anything glass, your child make break it. The idea of using real glass as opposed to plastic is that they learn that it is a “precious” material- and that you value them enough to give them the actual material to use. This is, “careful work.”
3. Small pitcher and funnel. The small glass pitcher is for the child to go to the sink and fill up water for the vases. The funnel is for the child to place on the mouth of the vase to filter the water into. However, depending on the age of your child you may want to fill up the water for him or her yourself.
4. Child size scissors. This is so that your child can measure the height of the flower against the vase and cut it to the height they would like it to be in the vase. Be sure to teach them to pinch off all of the leaves prior to inserting the stem into the vase.
5. Child size apron. This is really optional, but if you prefer your child not get their clothes wet (there is always a potential spill) it may be something you want to include, along with a little sponge for quick, self-clean-up.
Surely, your child will find the perfect spot for their arrangement adding a burst of color and a little note of peace in your household.