Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Montessori Maslenitsa

Brightly colored scarves, long dresses, the sound of accordions playing traditional Russian tunes, children singing…  all against the backdrop of a Montessori school!  What a gift to be given opportunities that combine two of my major interests in life - all things Montessori and all things Russian.  Many of my readers might not be aware, but my undergraduate degree is in Russian Studies while my master's is in Montessori education.  Our time in St. Petersburg has afforded me chances to seamlessly weave these interests, creating unique experiences that are personally meaningful.

Last weekend, my family and I were invited to Mikailova Montessori School to help ring in the traditional celebration of Maslenitsa.  I can still hardly believe that I was able to take part of this type of cultural event at a Montessori school!  It was evident that this school has built a strong community, full of committed families, teachers, and students.  The children were friendly, inquisitive, and clearly had put forth a lot of effort in preparing for this event.

Several classes participated in plays depicting traditional Russian folk tales and stories.

Tea was served from several traditional samovars.

Children and adults enjoyed various games.  Here the children are practicing flipping blinis (Russian pancakes).

Part of the Maslenitsa celebration includes symbolically parting with Winter by burning a scarecrow and welcoming Spring.

What would it be with out dancing?!
The students prepared a vast array of handiworks ranging from knitted bracelets to pottery which were sold during the event.  Proceeds went directly to the school - what a fantastic way to include the children in fundraising!