Maria Montessori is famous for implementing practical life lessons in children. These are the first things toddlers and preschoolers learn in their early years. Such activities serve as a bridge between the home and school environment. Each step of the practical life lessons fulfills the child’s intrinsic desire to imitate adults and adapt their behavior.
Kids often learn with joy how to care for themselves and the environment, while developing the sense of judgment and motor skills.
Maria Montessori made an interesting statement: when you help a child understand its sensory and aesthetic sensibilities, you prepare their moral awareness!
Without further ado,
Why Montessori Does Flower Arranging?
Flower arranging is a typical Montessori lesson, most suitable for kindergarteners, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Montessori flower arranging helps children exercice motor skills such as:
- Pour water in the vase with a funnel;
- Use scissors for cutting the stems of the flowers;
- Insert the stems into the vase with care.
Also, when kids engage in activities like this, they develop their senses of smell, sight, and touch.
Montessori Life Skills of Flower Arranging
- Develop a sense of beauty;
- Learn the principles of causal connection;
- Improve coordination when doing manual activities like pouring water or using scissors.
- Preparation for botany studies;
- Developing voluntary movement;
- Building a sense of symmetry;
- Practicing decision-making.
Montessori Materials for Flower Arranging:
Prepare well and make sure the process is both fun and safe for your child with the materials in the list below:
- An apron;
- A small basket or a basin for gathering flowers;
- A variety of small vases;
- A sponge;
- A pitcher with water;
- A funnel;
- Newspaper or other scrap paper for leaf and stem trimmings;
- A drying cloth;
- Coasters to place under the finished bouquets.
Check out the many gorgeous printables at our blog:
Children learn best through imitation of others. Thus it is essential for you to be a good example and guide them through each step of the lesson. You need to be patient and understanding while you show your kid how to arrange flowers.
Start with a step-by-step demonstration and remember to slowly explain and showcase what, how, and why you do at each moment.
Children act like a sponge, so make sure you do everything right!
When you finish with the demonstration, invite your child to arrange the flowers. It is important to understand that your kid should want to be a part of the process and should feel secure. So, don’t push too hard if he/she is not up for the task.
Simply, wait and look for another opportunity.
Montessori recommends that all practical life activities proceed from left to right, and top to bottom. If you’re insecure and don’t know where to start, worry not.
At Montessori Nature, we gathered a few simple yet effective tips to help you and your toddler arrange flowers the Montessori way:
- Place the materials on the table and put on aprons.
- Spread out the placemat and
- Place a small basin on it.
- Arrange the materials left to right at the top of the mat: sponge, funnel, scissors, and cloth.
- Fill the pitcher about 3/4 full with water at the sink and get back to the table.
- Fill the basin with water about 1 inch deep and wipe the lip of the pitcher with the sponge.
- Pick a vase from a collection and place it on the table.
- Fill the Montessori vase with the appropriate amount of water.
- Wipe the lip of the pitcher with the sponge.
- Choose a flower and measure it against the vase. If you see it won’t fit, say, “I need to cut this flower to the right length for this vase.” If there are dead or redundant leaves, say, “I need to throw away these leaves so none are underwater.”
- Remove unnecessary leaves.
- Put the stem end of the flower in the basin.
- Cut to length with the scissors.
- Place it in the vase.
- Encourage children to choose the right spot to place it.
- Help your kid repeat the process 5–10 times on its own.
How to Clean up the Mess After Arranging Flowers With Children:
- Pick up the stem clippings and throw them away in the trash or compost bin.
- Pour the water from the basin and pitcher into a small bucket and empty it afterward.
- Dry the basin and bucket with the cloth.
- Put the damp cloth in the laundry basket and get a clean one.
- Tidy up and return all materials to storage.
- Hang up the apron or throw it in the hamper in case it got dirty.
When Arranging Flowers With Children, Pay Close Attention To:
- Does your kid cut the stem to the vase size?
- Does he/she manage manual activities like cutting, pouring, etc.?
- Does he/she judge the proper amount of water to pour in the different vases?
Don’t forget to have fun and use this quality time to bond with your little one, while he/she explores new territories.
Flower Arranging for Toddlers & Preschoolers
If you have a toddler or a preschooler, it’s good to start with artificial flowers and leave out the water until they are old enough or you decide they‘re ready.
Another way to simplify things is to provide pre-cut flowers and a wide–mouth vase. Allow your little one to help you fill-up the vase and then let him/her place the flowers inside.
Famous Montessori Quotes on Flower Arranging:
- “The exercises of Practical Life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of useful education.”
- “Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.”
- “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”
- “There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life. He does it in virtue of an unconscious power that exists in childhood…”
- “The children of three years of age in the “Children’s Houses” learn and carry out such work as sweeping, dusting, making things tidy, setting the table for meals, waiting at table, washing the dishes, etc ., and at the same time, they learn to attend to their own personal needs, to wash themselves, to take showers, to comb their hair, to take a bath, to dress and undress themselves, to hang up their clothes in the wardrobe, or to put them in drawers, to polish their shoes. These exercises are part of the method of education, and do not depend on the social position of the pupils; even in the “Children’s Houses” attended by rich children who are given every kind of assistance at home, and who are accustomed to being surrounded by a crowd of servants, take part in the exercises of practical life. This has a truly educational, not utilitarian purpose. The reaction of the children may be described as a “burst of independence” of all unnecessary assistance that suppresses their activity and prevents them from demonstrating their own capacities. It is just – these “independent” children of ours who learn to write at the age of four and a half years, who learn to read spontaneously, and who amaze everyone by their progress in arithmetic.”
Montessori & Flower Arranging – Final Words
The Montessori practice of arranging flowers teaches both toddlers and preschoolers of practical life lessons that help children develop their gross and fine motor skills, concentration, self-regulation, control of movement, coordination, and sense of aesthetics.
It’s important for children to understand the concept of self-care, environmental-care, empathy, and grace from a young age. Flower arranging provides the opportunity for kids to learn with purpose and attention to detail. When your bouquet is ready, place it in your Montessori bedroom and why not even match it with curtains.
Help the young one grow creative and healthy for there are numerous benefits of keeping flowers and plants indoors!
About the Author
Started as a jack of all trades back in early 2012, Dmitri Kara is currently a recognised expert in a wide range of domestic and commercial trades. Dmitri has appeared for quite a few reputable outlets such as Today.com, Metro.News, Telegraph.co.uk, ReadersDigest.com, Quote.com, Reviews.com, Plus.net, IkeaHackers.net, MyKukun.com and many more. You can reach him at https://twitter.com/@dmitrikara.