Montessori Silence Game – Teaching Children Concentration and Focus
One of the things that amazes me about Montessori children is their ability to truly concentrate and focus deeply on the tasks they are working on. One of the ways that many Montessori families and teachers help to encourage this concentration and self-regulation in young children is by practicing with the Silence Game!
I have to say, this is just one of my favourite activities and we have done it so many ways both at school and at home. In today’s chaotic world that just seems to value being busy, I adore stopping, pausing, and taking in my surroundings with my children.
This is a fantastic way to ground yourself and pay attention to the little things – just taking a few minutes of your day to stop and listen. Here’s how!
Montessori Silence Game
Why : The silence game helps to develop concentration, listening, and patience. When you do this for circle time or as a group, it can also help to build community. This activity helps children to self-regulate, and to understand how controlling their voices and bodies can impact silence.
Related: How to Set Up A Montessori Bedroom
- Ask your child(ren) to join you.
- Tell your child that you will make silence. Have the children close their eyes.
- Ask your child to close his or her eyes and to be absolutely silent. You can provide an example to help them understand this. “Can you be as quiet as the grass growing?”
- When your child hears his/her name, then they can go back to making normal noise.
- Ask your child what they heard while you were being silent
- There are so many ways to do this! It’s so open ended! One of my favourites is to go outside and listen to birds chirping and bees buzzing! Here are some other ways to play the Montessori Silence Game!
- Light a tea candle. The child should be silent until the candle burns out.
- While the children are silent, they should be listening to you drop something with their eyes closed. Once they hear it, have them raise their hand and open their eyes.
- Ask your child to feel for her heart beet.
- Ask your child to listen to his breathing.
- Set out a sand timer. Once the sand has run out, the children can open their eyes.
- Show the children a card or photo. During the silence, show them the blank back side of the photo. When the silence is over, show the photo again.
I started out doing this for about 30 second increments. You can see how long your child or children have patience. As they become used to this, you can make silence together for longer periods of time.
Here’s my son’s absolute favourite variation – listening for cars on the street. We are absolutely silent in our yard. We can only open our eyes if we hear a car driving by! We do have to choose a time to do this when people will be headed home from work in the afternoon or we will be sitting there for quite some time, but you get the idea.
You can also do this while listening for birds, too!!