Springtime at Villa di Maria is a very special time indeed! Flowers are blooming everywhere; seedlings have sprouted inside classrooms and reached their long bodies toward the sunny windows; and this past Friday, the Primary children celebrated Earth Day by planting parent-donated flowers, herbs, and vegetables all around campus.
The weather leading up to Earth Day was sunny and bright, but on Friday, the clouds rolled in and it rained or drizzled on and off all morning. However, this did not stop the Primary children and Directresses from enjoying their planting. Montessori kids go out in all sorts of weather!
Attempting to pick up tiny spherical broccoli seeds while wearing gardening gloves – no easy task!
Each of the three Primary Directresses guided the children, one by one, or sometimes in small groups, on how to clear away mulch, dig small holes, place the plants (or seeds) into the holes, and cover them gently again. The children were quiet and focused during the course of this enjoyable work, and many watched and waited their turns from doorways or over fences while their friends had their chances to plant.
Each child had helped make his or her own t-shirt earlier in the week for this special occasion. They turned out so well!
It was heartwarming to observe the care with which each child handled the plants. After observing their Directresses use gentle hands and words, they took note and did the same. It was a good reminder of the extension of caring for living things that happens in the Montessori classroom; caring for plants can play a huge role in helping children develop empathy for others.
Gardening can teach a child about living things: not only that plants have needs, but that these needs are different from their own, deserve to be respected, and that every child can play a role in helping meet these needs. With great power comes great responsibility! Look at those gentle hands…
Ms. Braud’s class, who managed to squeeze together for a quick group shot after planting. My how they’ve grown over this past school year!
Be sure to look around the school grounds for all the new pops of color. These wonderful people worked pretty hard. Happy Earth Day!