What is Practical Life?

Once children are walking well, they want to start using their hands for purposeful work.  They have been watching you and the others around them all their life, and now they can actively take part in all the activities they have been witnessing.  In Montessori Environments, we offer children the opportunity to choose Practical Life activities. You may have noticed that your little one loves to help out around the house.  At Studio June we have an environment that is sized just perfectly for your child’s success with Practical Life.  This area of our environment has three main areas: taking care of yourself, taking care of the environment, and taking care of your friends.

Taking care of yourself includes such activities as washing hands and wiping your nose.  When a child learns to take care of himself he becomes more independent, more coordinated, and more invested in his own ability to teach himself.  He moves about his environment with ease and comfort, taking care of his own needs as he is aware of them.  This type of self-awareness strengthens as he grows and can be very helpful as he learns when he is hungry and when he needs to use the bathroom.

Taking care of the environment includes washing tables and watering plants.  Children are naturally drawn to work with water, and these activities do not disappoint.  With many opportunities to fill and pour small pitchers, a young child increases his eye-hand coordination, concentration, and awareness of how his world works.  All of these activities and more are offered in our Studio June classes.  Children are offered real opportunities to take care of their classroom and connect with their work as they prepare food, paint pictures, and wash windows.

Learning to care for friends is an important part of developing empathy and strong friendships.  In Montessori Environments we help children understand how to greet someone, how to ask for help, how to wait, and we show them to shake hands when we say goodbye.  These skills help a child feel comfortable in new situations and welcoming new people. Having the words to say and understanding the expectations of socializing gives them confidence and positive self-esteem.

To learn more about Practical Life activities and how you can bring more opportunities for Practical Life into your home, join us at Studio June for our classes for children 14 months through 6 years.  We offer Montessori for Young Children (14m and walking-3yrs), The Primary Experience (2.5yrs-6yrs), Bake with Me (18m-3yrs), and Pastry School (3yrs-6yrs).

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