Montessori Peace Tray-Mini Zen Garden
What is Peace Education?
In an authentic Montessori classroom, Peace Education is an important component of the Montessori Grace and Courtesy curriculum. Peace education plays an important role in every classroom where conflict and resolution introduce to the child as early as two years old. Young kids have big emotions and that is of course perfectly normal for such age. We, as an adult, can help them freely express this emotion by providing them an effective tool to understand and manage their emotion. To give young children the opportunity to express their feelings, guides, teachers, parents will communicate the issue by using tools that represent peace.
“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” Education and Peace
What Are The Tools That Represents Peace?
Peace in a Montessori environment represents symbol or tools such as:
- Flower or Peace Rose
- Soft heart pillow
- Photos of a dove
- Images of puppy, kitten or any baby animals
- Books about peace
- A framed photo of peace advocates like; Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai
How To Set-Up Montessori Peace Tray Or Peace Table
In this post, I prepared a mini zen meditation garden tray for our peace corner. She got this as a holiday present from her grandma last Christmas. She actually doesn’t have any idea about zen meditation tray since I haven’t presented any calming or meditation peace tools before. What’s interesting about this peace activity is, after my presentation, she immediately got engaged with this activity. Sitting calmly, focus, quiet, concentrated are what describes her the most.
- Child size table
- White or light table cover
- Choice of peace tool or object (mini zen garden)
- A book about peace
- Pebbles or river rocks
- White sand
- Mini garden tools
- Accessories like miniature Buddha, bowl or pot, pagoda
- A choice of real succulent plant
- Gather all the materials to set up a mini zen garden
- Place the sand on a mini tray
- Arrange the pebbles/rocks on the sand
- Arrange the accessories like bowl, buddha, or pagoda
- Place the mini garden tools on one side either the right side of the tray or far left.
- Invite your child/student to stroke the mini garden tools unto the sand creating a beautiful pattern. It can be a series of lines, a wave, a circular pattern or anything a child desires.
- Ask question about how they feel looking at the mini zen garden or how it feels stroking the sand with the mini garden tools.