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If teaching is to be effective with young children,
it must assist them to advance on the way to independence.
(Discovery of the child, Pg. 57)
Practical life Exercises are the foundation exercises in a Montessori classroom. They help prepare the child for life.
It helps build self-discipline, needed for future success.
For an adult, practical life activities play a “functional” role , whereas for a child, especially in the 1st plane of development,it’s a “Creative Constructive Developmental process”.
They are “gratifying” to a child.
They create a sense of “reality” – they are meaningful and purposeful , helping the child to construct and develop their mind.
Direct aim of Practical life activities: Independence, Concentration, Coordination, Order
Indirect aim of Practical life activities: Learn skills important for everyday life, build logical order and accuracy, early math skills, learn importance of sequence, prepare for reading and writing.
Food prep is an important component of practical life. Children encouraged to participate in real time food prep activities have a better understanding of food, its importance and seem to be less picky eaters and open to trying different food types/textures.
Go take a peek into your kitchen, make it easy for children to serve their own snacks, pour their water or milk, help prepare salad, spread butter on bread, jelly on cracker, chop fruits like banana , apple; juice the orange and so much more.
Check montessorireflections_geetha for easy to set-up Practical life activities and its importance in Early child development.