Monday, December 20, 2010

Variations on The Montessori Silence Game for Developing Skills

The Silence Game Part 2

True silence is the rest of the mind;
it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body,
nourishment and refreshment
~ William Penn

NAMC montessori silence game variations developing skills boys with eyes closedAs mentioned in my previous blog (Silence Game, Part 1), the Silence Game is a deliberate stilling of the body. It is intended to promote listening skills, develop coordination, improve one’s attention span and refine the coordination of muscles. I always take such satisfaction in implementing the Silence Game in the Montessori preschool classroom, as I know how it helps heighten a child’s awareness of their peers and how it encourages them to reflect on the world around them. Especially in a world as busy as we are today, it is pure bliss to have the ability to slow down and appreciate a few minutes of peaceful silence.

There are many variations for implementing the Silence Game and I would like to share some ideas with you:

Variations on The Montessori Silence Game for Developing Skills

  • You can darken the room and light a candle while the Silence Game is taking place.
  • Ring a bell to signal the starting of the Silence Game and ring a bell to signal the end of the Silence Game.
  • You can have the group close their eyes and only open them when they hear their name called.
  • You can give the children a task to focus on during the Silence Game. For example, you can challenge them to “hear” noises that they may not normally be aware of. Once the silence game had ended, encourage them to share with the group what they “heard”.
  • If you have older children, you can simply have a sign that has the word, “SILENCE” written on it and when you walk around the room holding up the sign, they will know that it’s time to tuck their sounds away and work silently until they hear a signal that ends silent work time such as a bell or chime.
  • Create an opportunity for children to enjoy silence on their own. Place a basket on a shelf in which there would be a mat to sit on as well as a one-minute sand timer. The child simply takes the basket to a spot on the floor and removes the contents. The child should sit on the ‘silence mat’ with their legs crossed and flip over the one-minute timer. The child needs to sit very still and quiet for the duration of the time while focusing on the sounds around them.
In Part 3 of this series, I will be offering some further ideas beyond the Silence Game for developing good listening skills in the Montessori preschool environment.
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 Monday, December 20, 2010.


  1. I've often dimmed lights & turned on quietly calm music or a non music radio station when in with children and it definitely captures a pleasant aura which then you see the children in a different 'light'. With the hustle & bustle of life with everything blasting & bright lights burning away, I just switch on some led lighting on a glow - dim setting & like magic the mood is gentle & clear thoughts are more able to produce polite, gentle conversation. The thing is, I have only just become aware of Montessori but feel already so aware of the necessary surroundings. If I tell you than I believe in the balance of Yin Yang would you say this has helped?


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