Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Montessori Practical Life Activities - Furoshiki: Environmentally Friendly Holiday Wrapping Material

NAMC montessori practical life activities furoshiki environmentally friendly wrapping material

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things.
~ Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers

Oh, I do love seeing presents under the Christmas tree. We decorate our home soon after the Thanksgiving holiday is over. I have collected many beautiful and sentimental ornaments over the years and I enjoy displaying them for all to see. It is our family tradition that, as soon as the tree is up, there must be at least one wrapped present placed under it. For, how sad is a Christmas tree with no presents? As Christmas approaches, more presents miraculously appear, each one wrapped in beautiful paper and shiny ribbons and bows.

In an attempt to be more environmentally conscious, we have begun looking for ‘greener’ ways to wrap presents. Brown paper packages might sound good in song, but they leave something to be desired under my Christmas tree. Here is a beautiful and environmentally friendly holiday wrapping material that will double as a practical life activity for your Montessori students!

Montessori Practical Life Activities - Furoshiki: Environmentally Friendly Holiday Wrapping Material

Furoshiki is the ancient Japanese art of wrapping presents in cloth. By cutting down on the use of paper, this environmentally friendly means is such an integral part of life that the Ministry of the Environment has posted a PDF guide outlining the different styles. (http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.pdf)

Learning the art of Furoshiki can be an important part of your Practical Life shelf work in your Montessori environment. On a tray, place several different objects such as a book, some blocks, a doll, and a box, along with several pieces of cloth, cut to about an 18 inch square. Silk or nylon is typically used as they are produce durable knots which are easy to untie. You can print out the Furoshiki guide, laminate it, and place it on the tray. The child carries the tray and Furoshiki cards to a mat, chooses which style he or she would like to try, and wraps the object.

Learning the art of Furoshiki is an excellent way to promote environmental as well as cultural awareness. Children come to understand that reducing waste and reusing materials can be incorporated throughout all aspects of daily life.

Related NAMC blogs:
Furoshiki video tutorials can be found by searching “Furoshiki” on YouTube.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, December 7, 2010.


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