5 Things you’d see, hear and smell at Casa dei Bambini – Maria Montessori’s first school in Italy
Maria Montessori first came up with her infamous educational method in 1907 in a low income neighborhood in Rome, Italy. She believed children learn better in multi- aged environments, and called her first preschool, “Casa dei Bambini”, or “Children’s House”. Here are 7 things you’d experience at a normal school day back in the 1900’s:
Lots of noise. Close your eyes, and imagine all the sounds coming from a single open indoor space. There’s a child crying because he wanted more outdoor time. There’s a child trying to open the wooden latch to the gate leading to the older children. Another kid is singing loudly as he bangs a tambourine, while his friend bangs the bookshelf with a wooden spoon. An assistant teacher is conversing with another child to help her friend teach her how to tie her shoe, something they must learn on their own according to Maria Montessori’s philosophy.
Now it’s outdoor play time. Children stumble towards the cobblestone play area, waiting to step on the fresh cut grass to roll all over it. Birds are chirping, and the sun is shining strong. Even though there wasn’t sunscreen in that small italian town, teachers were smart to advise children to stay in the shade. There’s a water fountain short enough for the kids to reach it, and rehydrate as the day goes on.
Snack time comes. Fresh cherry tomatoes are waiting to be picked in the garden. Children are let out, and told to explore the yard for food. They find the tomatoes, and start picking and picking, only the ones they think are ripe, to then share on a picnic cloth on the grass.
Now it’s time to get even more creative. Maria Montessori has the children (mixed ages) figure out how to make paint by using natural resources found in their yard. The kids pick berries off a bush in the garden, and sure enough, smash them in bowls, making the perfect finger paint. The tart scent of the berries fills the air.
Finally, it is time for parents to come in and participate as well. They come in, play with their children. All while Maria and the other teachers take notes, as they base their classes off the research they do while teaching. A few of the things they are focusing on learning and teaching about are activity, communication, exploration, orientation, repetition and work.
That’s why at Rock & Roll Daycare, we count with fully trained Montessori teachers. The Montessori toddler environments are unique and are set up with child sized furniture and lots of sensory based materials and practical life exercises. To see our daily schedules, click here.