PRACTICAL LIFE ACTIVITY IDEAS AND WHY THEY ARE SO IMPORTANT!
Practical life activity ideas can easily be overlooked as not important but I am here today to tell you why they should be the most important activities that your child does in your home!
During this session of Montessori Mondays with Holly, we talked about practical life activity ideas and why they are so important. Watch the show above and click here to join the Facebook group.
Not only are practical life activities some of the easiest activities to put together they are often the cheapest because everything you need you usually already have at home, so yay for that one!
What that means is that if you are stuck at home right now like half of the world is, then you are going to want to stick around for some of these practical life activity ideas.
What Is Practical Life?
Practical life activities are constructed based on the activities of a child’s daily life.
Practical life activities relate to the child and are always a part of a child’s reality. They respond to the child’s inner needs.
What this means is that when you do practical life activities with your child the child receives the message that they are a valuable member of their family.
They are becoming more Independent from you and the collaboration of the activity builds trust between you and your child.
One really great example of this is helping with laundry. This is a big part of your child’s reality right now because they are learning to dress themselves and clean up after themselves.
Being able to help wash the clothes or help hang them allows them to be a part of the process of care of themselves. Allowing them to feel a part of the family by contributing and building trust with the parent.
Why Is Practical Life Important?
Alright, now we covered what practical life activities are Let’s talk about why practical life is so important.
As I mentioned earlier these activities help facilitate independence and a sense of belonging. This is very important but it’s also so important to note that practical life activities support your child in other ways as well.
- Practical life activities help support human tendencies such as order, group orientation, and exploration to name a few. For example, group orientation can mean families, churches, or schools and when we participate in group orientation we feel part of a community! We care for & are a contributing member of our community and we already discussed how important that is to our young children.
- Practical life activities also support the absorbent mind. Which as you might already know is your child’s unconscious way of learning and developing from the environment.
- And lastly, practical life activities help support your child’s sensitive periods. Sensitive periods such as Order, Development of Movement, Development of Language, and Refinement of Senses.
It’s so important to remember that these are the reasons we do practical life not to have our toddler doing “chores”. But to help support them through this developmental stage!
And remember, Favor the process over the product! For example, sweeping. The goal is not to have a perfectly cleaned floor, cleaning dishes is not to have clean dishes.
4 Categories Of Practical Life Activities
Alright now for the really fun part, activity ideas!
But first you need to know there are 4 categories when it comes to practical life activities. They are:
- Care of the Person
- Care of the Environment
- Movement of Furniture
- Grace & Courtesy
When we talk about activities such as washing hands, dressing, brushing hair, brushing teeth, or other self-care activities these would all fall under the care of person category.
Activities that fall under the care of the environment category would be more of the cleaning type activities. Such as mopping, washing the table, washing dishes, laundry, window washing, etc.
Moving tables and chairs as well as learning how to properly sit in a chair fall under the category of movement of furniture.
Grace and courtesy for a child aged 0-3 are mostly done through modeling.
Food Prep Activities
All of these categories are equally important when it comes to practical life. Lucky for us there is one activity that encompasses all of them, food prep!
Food preparation activities such as slicing bananas, spreading butter on bread, making guacamole or even just sorting berries. Are all fantastic ways to support your child in all of these categories.
Grab your Montessori Practical Life Activity List here for more practical life activity ideas.
What practical life activity ideas have you used with your child in the past? Share with us in the comments below!