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Montessori-style birthday

Maria Montessori invented a particular rite to celebrate the baby's passage fro
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Montessori-style birthday
East, California 80001

Maria Montessori invented a particular rite to celebrate the baby's passage from one year to another, a way to really put him at the center of the party. But how do you celebrate a Montessori birthday? We asked Daniela Valente, founder of Montessori 4u, and Sonia Coluccelli, teacher and trainer of the Montessori Italia Foundation.


Gifts, balloons, cake, and, in some cases, even an entertainer to entertain the little ones. This is the classic picture of a traditional birthday party. "In an era where the celebration of the child's birthday is often reduced to the reception of gifts and entertainment for the guests, I propose you to discover instead the rite of the birthday according to Maria Montessori, where it is the birthday boy and his story that are at the center attention and you need to plan it before at least 2 weeks so need to remember how many days since birthday »explains Daniela Valente, author of" How to unlock your child's potential "and founder of the Montessori 4u website.

1. The ritual

In Montessori schools, the birthday is celebrated with a particular rite. «We prepare a circle divided into twelve segments with the names of the months - continues Valente -. The Sun is drawn in the center of the circle and a candle is placed next to this symbol. Outside the segment that represents the month in which the child was born, a globe and as many candles are placed as the number of years that the child celebrates ».

At this point, a notebook with photos of the child is prepared. "This notebook will accompany the little one as he grows up, clearly showing his appearance and telling the salient events he experienced with images".

All the guests, including educators and parents, sit around the circle. «The celebrated lights the candle of the Sun, symbolizing the moment in which it came to light - continues the writer -. Holding the globe, symbol of the Earth, it then turns around the Sun starting from the month in which it was born and proceeding in the sense of the calendar. He will make as many circles around the circle as the number of years he turns. At each turn, the child will tell the most important events of the year he lived by showing the photos of his notebook relating to that year and will light one of the candles placed next to the segment of the month of birth ».

For the rite, the child can wear a crown, to symbolize the fact that he is the king of the party. At the end, all the participants sing a greeting song to the child.

“This ritual is part of the concept of the child's cosmic education. Through it, not only the child understands the concept of the passage of time, but the whole community, by participating in his party and his story, makes him feel part of a whole and the protagonist of his own experience »continues Daniela Valente.

2. The party

But how does a birthday of this kind take place in detail? How many days until it is planned? What characterizes a celebration inspired by Montessori thought is the rituality linked to the moment of greetings, for the rest, it is a birthday party which, respecting the interests of the tastes of the birthday boy, is rather similar to non-Montessori celebrations. However, we try to offer children an experience of play and fun that is not too artificial and chaotic, during which children can move independently, intrigued by stimulating activities "explains Sonia Coluccelli, teacher and trainer of the Montessori Italia Foundation and coordinator of the network. Montessori High Piedmont Schools.

3. The location


Rather than saying where it is best to have the party, it is easier to say we're not to have it: «I would avoid baby parks or similar places with inflatables and rides with lights and synthetic music. Depending on the age of the children, you can opt for a party at home or in simple rooms or rooms equipped with essential structures, which leave space for children to move and give way to have fun with games offered by adults or with materials made available to them for create, experiment, build ".

4. Entertainment

At a Montessori birthday party, activities that can stimulate children are welcome. "I have the memory of a beautiful birthday in a park during which a friend who works the wood had brought a rectangle of plywood for each child and then had overturned on a large sheet wooden scraps of different sizes and shapes: each child assembling them at will (with the help of adults who fixed them with hot glue) he built the model of his own house ... A wonder that has captured them for a long time! " continues Coluccelli.

5. The gifts


Gifts aren't forbidden, but some are more recommended than others. «There are now many games that offer children the opportunity to experience practical life, natural exploration, and knowledge of the complex system of which they are protagonists. Even better than games like asking each other how old am I today? Days till my birthday, that simulates the adult world: that is, tools suitable for children that allow you to have real experiences of cooking, sewing, taking care of yourself or others. And then books: good books that open to the cosmic vision and train the taste for beauty or help to know and put into words one's own emotional world ».


6. The cake

For a truly perfect birthday, the cake is a must. «Better to do it with the child, with homemade decorations. But not only that: it would be nice to be able to cook together during a birthday in a micro-cooking activity where children can peel, cut, grate, spread, mix. Or make popcorn together… We know how much better everything is when you have contributed to the preparation! ».

Read also -
4. The first birthday: organization, gifts, cake

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Map of Montessori-style birthday
{{ directions }}
Montessori-style birthday
East, California 80001