Home / Group Activities / The Importance of the Silence Game

The Importance of the Silence Game

To Montessori’s surprise, when she experimented with this very first Silence Game, the group of over 40 children waited quietly and patiently to hear their names whispered. After they refused the sweets she thought they might need as a reward, Montessori reflected, “They seemed to say, ‘Don’t spoil our lovely experience, we are still filled with delight of the spirit, don’t distract us.'” Thus the Silence Game came into being.

Playing the Silence Game can give children a sense of joy, achievement, and social spirit as the group works together for a common goal. It also helps children develop a higher level of self-control, which in turn contributes to the normalization of the classroom. In 1930 Montessori wrote that the Silence Game brings “little by little a discipline composed of calmness and inner beatitude.” (“The Importance and the Nature of the Silence Game,” AMI Communications, 1976)

Indirect Preparation

All the exercises in Practical Life, especially the Grace and Courtesy lessons, are indirect preparation for the Silence Game. Children learn to control and perfect their movements: pushing in a chair quietly and carefully, walking around a work rug on the floor, pouring the rice carefully without the sound of even one grain spilling on the table.

These activities help children develop concentration and precision, as well as social awareness, as they wait for their turn, without disturbing the classmate who is working. They learn to speak softly in response to the teacher’s quiet voice, and to stop moving and listen when a chime is rung or the lights are turned off.

Direct Preparation

Here are some games that can be played to help children perfect the ability to listen and to still the body:

  1. Pass a bell around the circle, encouraging the children to not let it ring.
  2. Invite children to listen to the sound of birds singing or the rain striking the window panes.
  3. Have the children close their eyes. Then play several familiar instruments (egg shaker, rhythm sticks, cymbals). Ask them to identify, by the sound, which instrument was played.
  4. Invite a small group of children to sit quietly with their eyes closed for a short amount of time (start with 20-30 seconds). Afterwards discuss what sounds they heard.

When Are Children Ready?

The Silence Game is best suited for children ages four and up. It should not be attempted until there is certainty of success, and for many classrooms that may be sometime in the spring after months of preparation. You’ll know that the children in your classroom are ready to play the Silence Game when they can:

  • Control their movements.
  • Sit quietly and listen for a period of time.
  • Concentrate and work independently.
  • Cooperate with each other.

Don’t be discouraged if one or two children aren’t able to be quiet enough to participate. Your classroom assistant could work with them on a special project outside the classroom.

Playing the Silence Game

Many teachers first introduce the Silence Game when the whole class is gathered, in order to explain and practice the game. Older children can model how to get up, ever so quietly, and go to the teacher once their name is called.

Some teachers choose to hold up a card during the work period that reads “Silence” and then wait, as one-by-one, the children notice, stop working, and become still and silent. Some teachers encourage the children to close their eyes. Then the teacher goes to a far corner or walks out of the room to whisper the children’s names. When a child hears her name, she goes over to the teacher and sits near her.

When all of the children have heard their whispered names and come to you, you might want to take them outside for a celebratory walk in the garden. Be creative and vary the activities you do after playing this game: group singing, a birthday celebration, or simply a return to work.

Today we live in a noisy world, filled with the sounds of the television, electronics, phone conversations, leaf blowers, sirens, and traffic. Many of us rarely have the opportunity to experience silence or to savor the quieter sounds of bees buzzing, wind rustling the leaves, or a fire crackling in the fireplace. The Silence Game can give children a precious gift that could last a lifetime: the ability to cultivate and appreciate silence.

“When the children have become acquainted with silence…(they) go on to perfect themselves; they walk lightly, take care not to knock against the furniture, move their chairs without noise, and place things upon the table with great care…. These children are serving their spirits.”
—Maria Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook

Check Also

The Benefits of Cooperation and Teamwork

Was your child eliminated from the spelling bee and came home in tears? Have you …

35 comments

  1. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in truth bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If possible, as you grow to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra particulars? It’s highly helpful for me. Large thumb up for this weblog post!

  2. I am not rattling good with English but I come up this rattling easy to read .

  3. Thanks for this grand post, I am glad I noticed this site on yahoo.

  4. you may have an ideal blog right here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  5. I’ve been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  6. What is Alpha Tonic? Alpha Tonic stands as a natural health supplement designed to comprehensively address men’s overall well-being.

  7. Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a bad conclusion great post! .

  8. F*ckin’ awesome issues here. I’m very happy to look your post. Thank you so much and i’m taking a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  9. Puravive is a weight loss supplement that targets the root cause of weight gain issues in men and women.

  10. Puravive is a weight loss supplement that targets the root cause of weight gain issues in men and women.

  11. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  12. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!…

  13. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such fantastic information being shared freely out there.

  14. Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

  15. Good info. Lucky me I reach on your website by accident, I bookmarked it.

  16. I have recently started a web site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  17. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  18. Just about all of what you say is supprisingly accurate and it makes me wonder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this with this light before. This particular piece truly did turn the light on for me personally as far as this specific topic goes. But at this time there is 1 issue I am not necessarily too comfy with and while I attempt to reconcile that with the main theme of your issue, allow me see what all the rest of the subscribers have to point out.Very well done.

  19. I would like to convey my passion for your kind-heartedness for visitors who must have assistance with this particular theme. Your real dedication to passing the message throughout had been especially significant and has in most cases permitted somebody much like me to arrive at their dreams. This warm and helpful help means a great deal to me and a whole lot more to my office workers. Best wishes; from everyone of us.

  20. Wonderful web site. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  21. But a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding pattern. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” by Albert Einstein.

  22. Well I definitely enjoyed reading it. This subject offered by you is very helpful for correct planning.

  23. I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I’ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?

  24. You could certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  25. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback.

  26. Good V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  27. What Is Java Burn? Java Burn is an herbal weight loss formula that comes in the form of sachets of fine powder.

  28. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

  29. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch! “We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.” by Laertius Diogenes.

  30. What Is FitSpresso? FitSpresso is a dietary supplement that is made to support healthy fat-burning in the body

  31. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The full look of your site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  32. I am constantly thought about this, appreciate it for putting up.

  33. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  34. What i do not understood is in truth how you are not actually a lot more smartly-appreciated than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably in terms of this matter, produced me personally believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t interested except it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs outstanding. At all times handle it up!

  35. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *