Importance and Characteristics Of Practical Life Exercises In Montessori Classrooms
Activities that are mundane for an adult are often wondrous and mind-blowing experiences for small children. The most ordinary things—like blowing bubbles—are joyous discoveries for children, because they have never experienced them before.
These practical experiences and activities improve a child’s life in two ways:
They empower children and help them be more independent
They allow children to develop significant cognitive and motor skills as they learn new habits and everyday routines
In Montessori classrooms, the hallmark method of teaching is practical activities and learning new life skills. The curriculum is designed to promote coordination, concentration, and a sense of responsibility among children.
These practical life exercises are divided into two main areas of development: self-care and care for the surroundings. In addition to this, control of movement and grace also fall into the main areas of practical life that are taught in Montessori.
Characteristics of Practical Activities in the Classroom
At the Montessori level, activities are simple and can be easily set-up. With observation and active involvement, children learn life skills in a purposeful way, all while developing a sense of belonging and responsibility. A few characteristics of practical life exercise are:
They are reality-based
Children need to act out real responsibilities such as washing a plate after finishing lunch or peeling and cutting fruit independently. Since the motor skills of Montessori age children are limited, it's important to teach these activities in a safe environment and under supervision.
They are not limited
There are tons of practical life activities for children, which is why they’re not limited by what children learn in a classroom. They can vary child to child and country to country, depending on the environment and the culture practiced in the child’s home.
They are sustainable
An important aspect of Montessori grade practical activities is their sustainable nature. The materials, equipment, and tools used during the learning process are often returned to the teacher.
Their limited and sustainable nature also teach children the value of material objects and help them unlearn instant gratification.
They must be completed
A child won’t learn much of anything if the activity is abandoned halfway. Unfinished tasks can be counter-intuitive to practical life skills, which is why classrooms should ensure the availability of materials, resources, and the space to carry the activity to completion.
Other than this, it’s important for the activities to be sequential so children clearly know where to begin from and end the activity at. Color coding and functional uses of each tool are critical in helping children learn the intended use of each item.
At Abacus Montessori Academy, we incorporate real-life practical activities in the preschool and kindergarten curriculum. Parents can learn more about Chalfont child care center by getting in touch with us.
Our daycare and Montessori academy is based in Chalfont child care, Pennsylvania.