For over a decade, I worked in a Montessori setting and one of the most profound teachings of Dr. Maria Montessori was her belief in practical life activities for young children. Practical life activities help children develop a sense of order, concentration, coordination, and independence.
Practical life can be broken down into four main categories: care of self, care of the environment, control of movement, and grace and courtesy.
While practical life activities begin in the preschool setting, they can extend well into the lower elementary years.
What practical life work can your child do over the next several weeks? Below are a list of ideas:
- Self Care: hand washing, nose blowing, hair brushing
- Shoe tying, button/zipper exercises
- Sweeping, dusting
- Cooking: cutting sandwiches, frosting cupcakes, measuring ingredients, etc.
- Flower arranging
- Napkin folding
- Sorting work: arranging cans in the pantry, sorting utensils, etc.
- Tidying the bedroom or toy room: sorting toys, arranging books, maybe even paring down what’s in the room and preparing for donations
- Watering & maintaining plants
- Sewing: simple stitches, buttons, etc.
- Laundry: folding laundry, folding towels, sorting socks, etc.
- How to greet others, how to use titles, how to transfer objects to another person; particularly sharp objects
Feel free to try some of these activities out or create your own. And remember. . . Practical Life is just as important as other academic skills. Don’t overlook them; the confidence and self-esteem benefits they provide will help your child in many other academic areas.
Happy Tuesday! Hope you have a terrific day. Stay well. Wipe down door knobs, handrails, and other surfaces frequently touched, and remember to check on friends and family!