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On May 13, 2017, the Casa dei Bambini (“Children’s House”) area will provide artist-grade chalk and space for young artists to create a collective masterpiece. The facilitators of Casa dei Bambini are artists and members the Potomac Art Therapy Association (PATA), a non-profit organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

We called this space Casa dei Bambini in honor of the first school that Marie Montessori opened in Italy in 1907 called Casa dei Bambini. She believed that a child’s development came from mastery of their immediate environment. Each child should be free to pursue what interests them the most at their own pace, but in a specially prepared environment. In fact, the first children in her program who learned to write using her methods, wrote their first words in chalk on the pavement.

The Casa dei Bambini location this year is located on Uhler and Mt. Vernon, right by the Mount Vernon Community School playground. You’ll see a big sign showing festival-goers the way to Casa dei Bambini, which goes on throughout the festival from 9 to 3. It’s free to participate. The design this year involves mandalas, but that’s all we’re going to say to keep it a surprise. Hope to see you and your children there!