Practical Life Materials And Tools for the Montessori Classroom and Home

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Practical life materials are essential tools in the Montessori classroom and at home. These materials help develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and independence. Examples of practical life materials include buttons, zippers, lacing cards, tweezers, pouring jugs, bowls, and utensils. Other commonly used tools in the Montessori classroom include trays, baskets, dustpans, brooms, and mops. These tools help children learn responsibility, organization, and cleanliness. Children in the Montessori environment are taught how to use these materials and tools independently, giving them a sense of accomplishment and confidence in their abilities.

I was amazingly fortunate to work in four different Montessori Centres around the world. I would like to share with you some of the most effective, beautiful, and high-quality Practical Life tools we used in our Montessori classrooms.

Practical life materials and tools for montessori classroom and home montessori nature kids in the kitchen

Practical life activities are an essential component of Montessori education. These activities focus on developing a child’s independence, concentration, coordination, and sense of responsibility. Children learn valuable life skills such as pouring, spooning, washing, and dressing themselves, which ultimately builds their confidence.

Additionally, these activities help children acquire fine motor skills, allowing them to develop hand-eye coordination and improve their ability to perform everyday tasks. The practical life curriculum also provides a foundation of respect for oneself, others, and the environment. Through practical life experiences, children develop life skills and independence, which is the foundation for their success in their later years.

Practical life activities are essential for Montessori kids as they help develop important skills. At home, parents can encourage their children to learn basic chores such as watering plants, cleaning tables, and arranging their toys. Children can also learn how to pour liquids, tie their shoes, and prepare simple snacks independently. These activities help children develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as their focus and concentration. Parents can use everyday items such as clothespins, buttons, and cutlery to create fun and educational activities for their Montessori children at home.

Here is what Maria Montessori spoke about the importance of Practical Life activities in the child’s life:

The exercises of Practical Life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of useful education.”

Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.”

If teaching is to be effective with young children, it must assist them to advance on the way to independence. It must initiate them into those kinds of activities, which they can perform themselves. We must help them to learn how to walk without assistance, run, go up and down
the stairs, pick up fallen objects, dress and undress, wash themselves, express their needs, and attempt to satisfy their desires through their own efforts. All this is part of an education for independence
.” – Maria Montessori, The Discovery of the Child

The children of three years of age in the “Children’s Houses” learn and carry out such work as sweeping, dusting, making things tidy, setting the table for meals, waiting at the table, washing the dishes, etc ., and at the same time, they learn to attend to their own personal needs, to wash themselves, to take showers, to comb their hair, to take a bath, to dress and undress themselves, to hang up their clothes in the wardrobe, or to put them in drawers, to polish their shoes. These exercises are part of the method of education, and do not depend on the social position of the pupils; even in the “Children’s Houses” attended by rich children who are given every kind of assistance at home, and who are accustomed to being sure rounded by a crowd of servants, take part in the exercises of practical life. This has a truly educational, not utilitarian purpose. The reaction of the children may be described as a “burst of independence” of all unnecessary assistance that suppresses their activity and prevents them from demonstrating their own capacities. It is just – these “independent” children of ours who learn to write at the age of four and a half years, who learn to read spontaneously, and who amaze everyone by their progress in arithmetic.” (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 66)

Practical Life - Children's Learning Resources

I hope you found this list helpful!

  About Anastasia. Anastasia is a former Early Childhood Teacher and the founder of Montessori Nature, a blog about Montessori - inspired and Nature-based explorations. She taught in a Montessori setting for 10 years and has been practicing the Montessori way of learning and living for the last 20 years. She loves designing engaging educational printables for children. Browse Anastasia's educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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