The Montessori “Practical Life” activities deal with the care of the child’s own person (personal dressing and grooming), care of the environment (cleaning, taking care of plants and pets, preparing food), development of fine and gross motor skills, and learning courteous behavior and conflict resolution.
Independence, Confidence and Self-Care
The activities of Practical Life take the child closer to independence and bundled with that are feelings of security, confidence, and self worth. The child knows how to make her own toast and pour her own juice. He knows how to dress himself and clean up if he makes a mess. Children can make a perceptible impact on their immediate environment and this is a very empowering feeling.
Increasing Attention Span and Carrying Out Multi-Step Processes
Courteous Communication and Conflict Resolution
Learning how to work and play together with others in a peaceful and caring community is a basic life skill. Learning how to greet someone graciously is one of the first acts of courtesy learned in our classroom. Here a young boy is welcoming a new student into the class.
Differences of opinion and misunderstandings are a natural component of social relationships and can lead to conflict. Learning how to express one’s needs clearly and to communicate honestly is critical in order to prevent an outburst and come to a peaceful resolution. We do daily role plays in our class to demonstrate how to handle various social situations. The children love to act out scenarios in which they have to deal with conflicts and resolve them!
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” -Mother Teresa