Writing a post on Practical Life is probably one of the most difficult ones to do, due to the incredible amount of very practical, detailed and knowledgeable information available on the internet. However, I would like to take a different spin on it and do a sneak peek into the past. 50 or 60 years ago it was generally accepted for children, as young as one year of age, to help around the house and perform simple but very purposeful tasks. For example, young children used to contribute to plant potato by following their parent who dug the hole in the ground and throwing it into that hole. It helped to create a sense of belonging from a very young age.
In comparison, today, parents are not as patient, everything needs to be done quickly and efficiently. As a result, children find ways to become destructive, because their need to be involved in learning early to perform real-life activities is not met. On the other hand, when children learn to be engaged in helping around the house, they gain a feeling of accomplishment, stronger self-esteem and confidence.
I would like to share how we allow our toddler to play her part in our everyday life, my experience in the classroom and give some suggestion for different Practical Life exercises.
child brings water in a bucket – pours water into a bowl – puts a little bit of soap onto the scrub brush – scrubs the table – takes a wet sponge and wipes soap of the table with left to right movement – dries the table with a hand towel – pours soapy water back into the bucket and carries it to the bathroom or outside.