In the Montessori world, “Practical Life” refers to activities that provide children with opportunities to develop motor skills, cultivate independence and learn to get along with others.
Maria Montessori believed that through Practical Life activities, children learn to control their own movements, care for themselves and practise grace and courtesy. Skills learned here also benefit the community, whether it be through table setting for lunch, thanking someone or cleaning the leaves of a plant.
Crocheting is one of the Practical Life areas in Montessori.
Practical Life materials are traditionally focused in the toddler and preschool environments. In the primary classes, advanced practical life activities build a bridge between the experience of using the hands in preschool to the abstract ideas developed at the primary level.
Beautifying the environment through flowers is a popular Practical Life activity.
The focuses in Practical Life generally are:
- Memory and perception: Remembering objects, weighing objects;
- Motor skills and creativity: Hammering skills, creating designs with elastic band boards, making potpourri;
- Food preparation and cooking;
- Fabric crafts: Sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, embroidery, making bracelets, hooking rugs;
- Planting: Botany work;
- Social graces: Role-playing good manners, making thank you cards, hosting afternoon teas;
- The general store: Shopping for materials used in cooking and crafts.
We can give children an endless number of activities and most of the time they come up with their own projects.
Our primary students love to plant and work in their gardens.
It is through these activities that we can observe expanded concentration, paying attention to details, following step-by-step instructions, improving motor skills, plus developing self-esteem, confidence and control.
It is through the work of the hands that the child’s brain is enriched and their focus is strengthened.
by Karina Tabnungar
Categories: Lower Primary, News