This wish list is quite specific. Most Montessori classrooms have Peace Tables or Peace Corners and mine is one that’s still in development. I’ve been slowly adding pieces to it, like the Buddha Board I finally splurged on, and the Zen rock garden I made myself. We keep our World Wildlife Animals in the Peace Corner, along with the yoga cards and Thich Nhat Hanh’s A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles and Eline Snel’s Sitting Still Like a Frog.
Yet, I’m always on the search for those things that make a Peace Corner special. I want it to be, in Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, an Embassy of the Kingdom of Peace. And as such, it needs as many resources as it can get. To that end, I keep on looking. Recently, I found the following chart on the Pinterest board of Montessori educator Victoria deLilla:
The Children’s Peace Dance Flag from the Peace Company is my favorite among the many Peace Flag options out there. I like that it has images of children from around the world, and includes an image of the Earth.
I spotted these wooden two-handed labyrinths on someone else’s Peace Table and immediately scoured the internet to source them out. Unfortunately, they’re prohibitively expensive, even in the less attractive plastic versions (not pictured here). However, I love the idea of two children doing a labyrinth together, or connecting the right and left brains by trying to trace them with both hands. I think my students would get a kick out it too.
These cards combine a number of different practices for calming the mind. I already have yoga cards on my shelf:
But this card deck encourages other mindful practices, such as breathing, Brain Gym activities, and emotional intelligence.
Pendulums are fascinating in the way they seem to move without movement. By their very existence, they encourage stillness, and stillness encourages focus. I would love to have a tabletop pendulum like this in the classroom. My students would have to fight me for a spot in front of it!
I spotted this sweet little gem at a used book store and I regret that I didn’t snap it up. Thinking back on it, this book, along with a collection of heart stones would be a lovely addition to my Peace Corner.
The final item I’d like is small, CD-playing boombox so that students can listen to the guided meditations in Sitting Still Like a Frog or audiobooks like Zen Shorts, books with a mindful bent.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into my developing Peace Corner. I’d like to close with a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s Peace Is Every Step:
“We have a room for everything–eating sleeping, watching TV–but we have no room for mindfulness. I recommend that we set up a small room in our homes and call it a ‘breathing room,’ where we can be alone and practice just breathing and smiling, at least in difficult moments. That little room should be regarded as an Embassy of the Kingdom of Peace. It should be respected, and not violated by anger, shouting, or things like that…she is safe within the grounds of the Embassy.”
Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, p. 45