I was with a group of 6 to 9 year olds discussing fundamental needs of human beings. We had a variety of labels with different basic needs written on them - food, clothing, shelter, love, education, transportation, protection and so on.
It was a fine, sunny morning and a small group of 6 to 8 year olds and I were out looking at leaves. We had brought a few samples into the classroom that we examined and now we were observing and exploring the leaves of trees and plants outside.
It was lunch time in the environment for 3 to 6 year olds that I was working in. The younger children were going home while the older ones were preparing the classroom by reorganising the furniture so that all the children could sit in small groups to have lunch.
As children grow and develop, there are marked changes that occur in what they think and talk about and what interests them. As they turn six or six and a half or even earlier, they begin to ask for the reasons for things.
Keeping up with a moving toddler, walking around unsteadily helps us to look at our world with new eyes. The tin filled with lentils hardly noticed except in the flurry of cooking suddenly becomes the treasure which calls forth heart warming coos of wonder and delighted chuckles.
I often present Montessori books to young parents, even to grandparents. Rather than me making suggestions, reading Dr. Montessori’s books will create a greater awareness about children and help us realise our unfamiliarity with the needs of children.