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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 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
Detachable Kids Cleaning Toy Set
It contains 7 different pieces including a wooden broom, mop, duster, dustpan, brush, rag and organizing stand. It Comes With Everything Your Children Needed For Pretend Play. Allows Your Children To Learn How To Do, Also Part Of Stem Housework And Can Also Use Our Toys To Do Some Real Housework Activities.
Rubbermaid FG2963TPBISQU Neat 'N Tidy Bucket, 11-Quart, Bisque
This bucket's heavy wire bails offer extra durability for heavy use.
Crumb Cleaning Set with Magnet Brush
Stainless Steel and Wood
Magnet on Back of Brush for Attaching to Tray
Bamboo Dish Scrub Brushes by Subekyu, Kitchen Wooden Cleaning Scrubbers Set for Washing Cast Iron Pan/Pot, Natural Sisal Bristles, Set of 3
High-density firm bristles make it easy to brush off stains on a variety of surfaces without wearing and scratching.
3-Ounce Stainless Steel Bell Creamer
6 Pieces Wooden Kids Kitchen Knife Include Wood Kids Knife Plastic Potato Slicers Cooking Knives Serrated Edges Toddler Knife Kids Plastic Knife for Kitchen Children Baking Knife (Lemon Style)
Reliable and long lasting materials: these wooden kids kitchen tools are mainly made of plastic and wood materials, which are reliable, long lasting, not easy to break or deform, can give you a good using experience; This toddler knife is painted with a cute pattern, has wood textures, is close to nature, eye-catching and beautiful, full of rustic feeling, can make your home more attractive
Mini Ceramic Pitcher 4 oz (125ml) _ 3.3" high _ very small
Baby Silicone Cup, Silicone Trainer Cup with Handles, Unbreakable, Non-Slip Handles Sippy Cup for Toddlers, 5 oz (Sage)
Our trainer cup made of soft silicone BPA-, BPS-, PV-, phthalates-, lead- and latex-free, to help protect baby's developing teeth while allowing for a nonslip grip to make movements to the mouth more successful.
Mr. Woodware Sensory Bin Tools Montessori Toys for 1-3 Year Old Toddlers Set of 9 Wooden Spoons, Scoops, Bowls, Tongs, Cubes for Fine Motor Skills Development + Free Cotton Bag Included
Wooden Montessori sensory set of spoons, scoops, bowls, tongs, and cubes is perfect for pouring beans, oats, rice, and sand. These toys can promote kids' fine motor skills in a better, natural way. And give them the freedom to learn new things.
Curious Chef Children's 6-Piece Fruit and Veggie Prep Kit
The Curious Chef 6-Piece Fruit & Veggie Prep Kit includes a vegetable scrubber, melon baller, medium nylon knife, apple slicer, large silicone spoon and vegetable peeler, plus a bonus sticker set and shopping menu.
Amazing Child Mini Ceramic Creamer Pitcher 4 oz (110ml)
Luminarc Quadro 16.75-Ounce Jug/Pitcher with White Lid
Enamelware Collection™ Rectangular Serving Tray, 16 x 11.5"
Kiddison Metal Pitcher Color Options Montessori Practical Life Materials (Blue Ash) Pitcher for Toddlers
Amazing Child Mini Glass Pitcher 9 Ounces - 5" High. Child Sized. Very Small Size
MR.SIGA Mini Dustpan and Brush Set, Portable Cleaning Brush and Dustpan Combo with Bamboo Handle, 1 Set
MR.SIGA mini handheld dustpan and brush set has a natural bamboo handle, which is more environmentally friendly and comfortable to hold.
Boardwalk 951TEA Lobby/Toy Broom, Corn Fiber Bristles, 39" Wood Handle, Red/Yellow
OXO Good Grips All Purpose Scrub Brush
Joie Crinkle Cutter / Wavy Knife for Any Vegetable, Great Crinkle Cutter for Veggies, Stainless Steel Blade, Colors Vary
Have fun with this crinkle cutter knife! If you need a slicer for veggies, french fries or fruit, try this wavy cutter for fancy edges and waffle cuts.
OXO Good Grips1.5 Qt Mixing Bowl
R&M International Apple Peeler Machine with Suction Mount, Peels, Cores and Slices
LEETOYI Porcelain Mortar and Pestle, Ceramic Herb Grinder Pill Crusher Set, 3.3-inch White
5.1-Inch Dark Stained Beech Pepper Mill
Kids Knife Set For Cooking – 5 Piece Kids Cook Set in Aqua – Kids Cooking Supplies with Kids Chef Knife, Kids Paring Knife, Kids Peeler, Kids Serrated Knife & Universal Holder – TruChef
The blades on these kids knives are rounded at the tip, to prevent the possibility of accidental stabbing. As you supervise their cooking experience, you'll have one less danger to worry about.
9 Pieces Kid Kitchen Knife Set, Kids Safe Knives for Real Cooking, Serrated Edges Plastic Toddler Knife, Crinkle Cutter, Y Peeler, Children Gloves, Sandwich Cutter, Cutting Fruit, Bread, Lettuce
Three serrated edges toddler knives and a cooking plastic knife of different shapes are all designed with serrated teeth, which is not easy injury to the hand, and gloves can protect little hands from injury.
TruChef Kid Safe Tomato Steak Serrated knife - Kid friendly multi-use knife for kids cooking gifts
These kids kitchen knives have blunt tips and serrated edges, which are tough on food but easy on kids hands. The kid knives are stainless steel, lightweight and provide a secure and comfortable grip, helping unleash your junior master chef in the kitchen.
BOSKA Boska Holland Mini Oak Table Grater
Norpro Double Melon Baller w/Wood Handle, 8 In, Brown
Easily scoop decorative balls from melon, butter, pears, apples, potatoes, cheese and ice cream!
Vegetable Crinkle Cutter and French Fry Slicer
Prepworks by Progressive Egg Beater
Norpro Stainless Steel Mini Tongs
Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Hand Crank Flour Icing Sugar Sifter, Stainless Steel, 5-Cup
HIC Flying Saucer Mortar and Pestle Grinder, Porcelain, White
Norpro Multi Grater with Juicer, One Size, As Shown
Norpro Strainer, 3.25", White
Mason Cash Colour Mix Powder Pink S18 Chip Resistant Earthenware 26cm Mixing Bowl
HIC Harold Import Co. HIC Ice Tong, Japanese Stainless Steel, 6.25 1-Inch, 6.25 Inch, Silver
2 Pairs of Child Latex Rubber Re-usable Gloves - Great Value and Quality ! for Ages 3-5 Years (Average Sized Child)
Bamsod Boys Clothes Lables Dresser
Farm Cards for Object to Picture Matching Activity with Safari Toob
Tomato Plant Life Cycle and Parts of a Tomato Plant
Fruits and Vegetables Vocabulary 3 Part Cards
Las Frutas y Verduras Fruits & Vegetables 3 Part Cards Bilingual Spanish Montessori
Fruits and Berries Toddler Picture Cards Matching Activities Editable
Food and Nutrition Pack
Food Preschool Pack - "I am a Chef"
I hope you found this list helpful!