The Practical Life, or everyday living, materials and exercises help children to master self-care and independence. These activities include self-care, food preparation and cooking, grace and courtesy, and environmental care to name just a few. Children have a natural urge to partake in the activities of daily living and be a participating member of family life. Simple chores that the adults may take for granted fascinate
the child, engaging them in the meaningful learning of life skills.
Practical life activities help children develop the coordination of movements, learn independence and responsibility. These exercises develop order and organize their thought patterns. The lessons in Practical Life include:
Preliminary Exercises - preparing the fine motor skills for more challenging activities. These activities include spooning, pouring, stringing, sorting etc.
Care of the Environment - learning to respect and care for the materials in the space where the child lives and learns. Activities include sweeping, dusting, washing, polishing, food preparation and more.
Care of the Person - learning the basics of self-care skills such as hand washing, dressing himself, tying shoe laces, nutrition and more.
Grace and Courtesy - learning of social skills such as walking carefully, communicating skills, manners, table setting, hosting a guest and more.
Through these common activities, the children learn to concentrate, develop fine motor skills, learn the order and sequence of steps and become confident learners, moving toward greater challenges with enthusiasm. The Montessori Method encourages independence, assisting children in gaining the skills to care for their personal needs, care for the environment, and care for their peers with grace and courtesy.