“There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” — Maria Montessori
Children who learn from the natural world come to understand the needs of the natural world and their impact on it. They often become stewards of the earth and ambassadors for it. A sense of calm and peacefulness can overcome a child who is immersed in the natural world.
At Creative Minds Montessori School, we believe our children need direct personal experiences to fully understand the world around them. By exploring the relationships between the plants and animals in their environment, they discover their own role in these relationships. Nature’s materials awaken a child’s senses in ways that even our classroom materials cannot.
Montessori’s Cosmic Curriculum allows for exploration and appreciation of nature. It helps the child understand the connections between the world’s biodiversity and themselves while encouraging them to explore life through spontaneous nature observation, discovery and discussion. This nature study-influenced work integrates seamlessly into the Montessori curriculum through botany, zoology, preservation of the Earth and other scientific concepts, such as the study of weather and the universe as a whole.
Recently, the fires burning across Australia are having a devastating impact on our world’s unique wildlife. Ecologists now believe more than a billion animals have died. They've also said the tragedy could be moving more species closer to extinction. The fires are so massive and horrific that everyone is desperate to help as many animals as possible in any way they can.
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One of our primary directresses, Janine Kloiber, contacted the Animal Rescue Freecycle Craft Guild to see how the students at Creative Minds Montessori could do their part to help animals suffering in the Australia wildfires.
Enter the bat wrap!
A bat pup needs a special fabric wrap to mimic the safety of its mother. Bat wraps simulate the mother’s wings and are used to wrap injured and orphaned bats so they feel safe. It’s a meaningful way to help, and our students at Creative Minds Montessori know that something they’ve made with their hands will keep an animal safe and warm at night. We believe that’s a beautiful gift to give.
Thousands of adult fruit bats, or flying foxes, have been killed in Australia's fires. Others have been forced to abandon their young, leaving the flightless baby bats behind.
Bats are one of the most misunderstood and persecuted animals, yet they're the most vital animals in Australia. One bat can disperse up to 66,000 seeds a night! They are also the only nighttime pollinator, and most trees in Australia can only be pollinated at night because that’s when their flowers open.
The bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem. Australia needs them now more than ever since the fires have gone through. They will help to regenerate all those forests, which support all the other wildlife as well. In the end, healthy ecosystems also support us, human life.
We are all interconnected.
Diane M. Bauso is head of school for Creative Minds Montessori School, 169 Genesee St., Auburn. She can be reached at (315) 406-9495 or auburncmms.com.