Friday, January 18, 2008

Creating a Center-PEACE

Your children may enjoy being asked to make this very special contribution to the family meal. Don't wait for special holidays to set the table in a sacred manner. Any meal can be lifted to a feeling of loving care with a vase of flowers, perhaps "the good" dishes, a table cloth, whatever feels right in creating a sense of grace.

Some of us have been collecting treasures for years (sea shells, river stones, drift wood, buttons, fabric scraps etc.) these treasures and your child's creative eye will together become a beautiful centerpiece for your dinner table. While you are finishing fixing dinner ask your child if they would like to create something beautiful for the middle of the table. Make sure you express how important this task is and how all eyes will see what they make for the table.

Provide your child with a tray or box with supplies to choose from (whatever treasures you have on hand will be fine) limit them to three items (or else you'll have trouble seeing one another at dinner time!) and let them know that if they enjoy doing this, that the other items can be used next time. Provide a place mat or piece of felt (to help define the centerpiece space) and encourage them to be creative!
Remember: a newly picked dandelion in a jelly jar of water can be a simple center piece that brings us great joy.

There is something very special about being asked to make a contribution. Your child may take on this task with loving care and enjoy this new responsibility. If they don't, make something yourself, remembering to take a moment before your meal to enjoy it's beauty.
Here are some of my favorite Center-PEACE displays that have graced our family's dinner table (and made me smile) over the years:
  • a sea shell, a blade of grass, a driveway stone (they look like crystals you know)
  • a juice glass with water, a sprig of rosemary, and a shiny penny
  • a Harry Potter Lego piece, and two stones that looked like mountains
  • my grandmother's bone china sugar bowl filled with grapes,
  • a post card of a photo Martin Luther King Jr., a glass heart and a tissue paper flower
What's important is taking a moment as a family to celebrate one another and the beauty of our world.
(and should you do this activity and want to share, please comment and let me know what your children came up with!)


village mama said...

Wonderful idea Montessori Mama!

plaidshoes said...

I really like this idea. I especially like bringing the idea of peace to the dinner table. Do you always provide a selection of objects for them to choose from or do you have them find the objects themselves?

Jocelyn said...

I came across your blog through RYD and am ecstatic! Unfortunatly I am entering single motherhood with my beautiful 2 year old daughter. I don't have much time, with work and all that single motherhood has to bring so my time with her is precious. I love Montessori and I know my daughter would thrive in it. Thank you for your blog and all the ideas and thoughts. I've been looking for meaningful precious time I have with my daughter and you have given me wonderful ideas!

amanda. said...

i Love this idea!! i stumbled upon your journal a few months ago & really love reading it. i asked my 2 year old to make a centerPeace tonight & he really got a kick out of it! he was so proud!

Jennifer Howard said...

I'm glad you like this idea, it's a favorite of mine too. I look forward to seeing what my boys will come up with each night. And even though he's taller than me, my 15 year old occasionally still makes a contribution which makes me smile, since it was with him the tradition started so many years ago.
Thanks for your comments!

village mama said...

I love your blog too!

Creating a centre peace remains on our to do, looking forward to creating it, then I'll blog how it was inpsired by you ;-)

amy turn sharp said...

that is lovely!

amanda. said...

we just did this last night; you can see the pic on my blog! it was a wonderful time & i look forward to seeing what noah will come up with tonight.

i hope you are recovering well from your surgery!! much peace to you.

aka modern communities mama

nxnfgfgh said...

Excellent craft .. I like to spend time with my kids doing this kind of activities and to develop and flourish so their intelligence and gives me time to use generic viagra with my husband

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