Maria Montessori believed children should speak freely, but respectfully. She realized that young children of 3-6 years of age are in the critical period for language development..yet many traditional schools impose a forced silence upon them. Montessori decided to present silence as a special challenge, something to be achieved. She called it the Silence Game. Children are taught to make their own silence by remaining still and quiet for a short period of time...and listen to the silence. They report hearing the most amazing things: the air conditioner, the traffic outside, the birds chirping. The Silence Game is never taught to calm or quiet the children down. Through the Silence Game, the children learn that they have the power to create silence... a very empowering exercise.