Freedom to Observe, Experiment and Learn

"Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet..." — Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

Children can dissect different flowers, comparing the parts of each flower to others they have dissected. Older children may enjoy dissecting flowers using an exacto knife and then looking at each part under a microscope.

Elementary-age children can organise "going out" experiences, with trips to outdoor gardens and arboretums. The DeYoung museum in San Francisco has an annual flower exhibition, with ingenious arrangements, which sometimes include a dragon made of flowers climbing up the stairway bannister.

Maria Montessori was surprised to discover how much young children enjoyed dissecting flowers.

"The children with the keenest interest dissected a section of violet with remarkable accuracy, and they quickly learned to use all the instruments. But my greatest surprise was to find that they did not despise or throw away the dissected parts, as we older students used to do. With great care, they placed them all in an attractive order on a piece of white paper, as if they had in mind some secret purpose." — Maria Montessori, The Advanced Montessori Method II