When children play, some essential themes present themselves, such as friendship, compassion, cooperation, and kindness. (These four themes are further discussed in Charles A. Smith’s The Peaceful Classroom.) These themes and values can be introduced, encouraged and expressed through many activities in the Montessori classroom and fostered again in the community atmosphere of the Montessori playground.
Montessori Cosmic Education and Peace: The Outdoor Environment
Help older students to remember that they may need to adjust their game when joined by younger students, and that their behavior is setting an example for their fellow students. Practicing conflict resolution and problem solving in the Montessori classroom through role playing can help students learn to work through playground squabbles and nurture community, independence, and self-confidence. This is work that can continue throughout all age groups and throughout the school year.
Just as in the classroom, at recess a Montessori educator’s role is to observe and guide. In this way, the Montessori teacher encourages and nurtures the important social skills that Montessori students are acquiring in these early years of development.