Nobody can deny that the internet has become a vast repository for all sorts of information and is the foremost “go-to” place when you need an answer or inspiration for something. In fact, it’s no wonder that so many additional services, apps, lists and sites have cropped up over the years to try and curate what is out there, organize it somehow depending on your interests and make it less unwieldy. I’m not so sure how well it’s working. It depends on how you look at it I guess. There’s still an overwhelming amout of ideas on offer and it certainly takes a lot longer to search for things because you know how it goes…..one thing leads to another and an hour later you’re wondering “how did I ever get to this site? and wow look at that ! and what am I looking for again??”
Take the current upcoming celebration – it can be so inspiring to navigate through site after site when you are searching for Halloween crafts or activities for example. Wow.. .we should do this….or how about that….and what a clever idea! Anything could take on a Halloween theme – washing pumpkins in Practical Life, spider and ghost counting in math, spooning activities, language and stories and on and on. How on earth do you choose when you want to do so many things?
While I was contemplating that vastness of choice, I came across a post that took everything back to the basics for me. What is perhaps more important to incorporate is a lesson in Grace and Courtesy. Through role playing, the Halloween celebration provides the perfect opportunity to practice this core Montessori principle in a fun theme. You can read the original post here in the Living Montessori Now blog, but here are the pointers mentioned (as if being presented to the child):
- We only walk on sidewalks, not through yards or flower beds.
- We never go to a house with the lights off.
- If the porch light is on, I knock or ring the doorbell once and wait a bit. I don’t keep knocking or ringing the doorbell. If no one answers, I go to the next house. I don’t try to peek into the house.
- When someone answers the door, I smile and say, “Trick-or-treat!”
- If the person holds out a candy bowl or bag, I take only one piece of candy unless the person says I may take more.
- I always say, “Thank you,” after I’m given a treat. Even if I don’t like the candy, I still say, “Thank you.” I don’t say that I don’t like the candy.
- It’s always nice to say, “Happy Halloween!” at the end.
Trick or Treating can become a bit of a free-for-all out there, with the sole goal of seeing who can collect the most candy, while tearing around the neighbourhood with a gaggle of friends….who just might be forgetting their manners at the door. It’s never a bad thing to remind everyone from young to old that there are actually some rules, perhaps unwritten rules, about how Trick or Treating should happen. The etiquette of social interactions is easy to forget, much less practice, in our world of reduced face to face communication. But practicing Grace and Courtesy from a young age in a fun situation ensures our little Montessorians don’t forget their manners.