Many parents and educators alike wonder how Montessori philosophy and creativity coincide.
In some circles, there is a definite clash of theories; a play versus work mentality exists.
In other circles there is a collaboration between the two where the words of Dr. Montessori ring true: that "play is the work of the child"
Play and Language
The Montessori Farm exercise is a classic model of what Dr. Montessori described as the "miniature environment" used to teach parts of speech, sentence diagramming, sentence analysis, craft and structure.
The main strength of this material is the agreement with Developmentally Appropriate Practices ie. Children love to play with little figures and set up stories and scenes.
The farm itself isn't the only material that teaches in this way. Montessorians who are responsive to the needs of children know that miniature environments exist in many forms such as doll houses, train sets, and yes even gardens.
The photos below are the beginnings of my garden miniature environment. This teaching tool will live in the south west section of the garden bed among the herbs and flowers.