Practical Life Activities
Our friends over at Montessorium have put together some great summaries of the key activities from each of the curriculum areas.
We hope this sparks your interest even more about Montessori, you can also join us on our regular information evenings where Directress' go into much more detail about each of the areas.
Here’s an example of a type of closure a child might find on a bicycle helmet. While the child works on this specific clasp, they are also improving their hand strength and task-persistence. The dressing frames are just one more example of how the Montessori classroom helps prepare children for independence!
Slowly, carefully, one by one, a child threads the first bead onto the string. After pulling it all the way to the knotted end, they begin again with the next bead. And so on, until all the beads from the container are on the string. A seemingly simple task, but one rife with fulfilment for the young child.
Not only will this activity help children develop a better sense of muscular control, it also provides a lesson in exactness and rigour, laying the foundations for later geometry work.
Dry Pouring appeals to a child’s love of materials with tiny components, such as grains of rice or small beads. They carefully pour these materials from a bigger vessel into one or more smaller containers. It’s powerful to witness when even one grain of rice spills, how carefully a child will return it to its proper place.
This activity serves multiple purposes, just like most materials in the Montessori classroom. Firstly, children are inherently attracted to water activities. They love the process of pouring, washing, and transferring water. A child’s concentration may be engaged for long periods of time, simply by pouring liquid from one container to another, and back again.
Opening and Closing
Opening and Closing jars is the perfect activity to strengthen wrist and hand muscles, while directly helping children understand how to open the containers they see on a daily basis.
Maria Montessori, recognised the importance of cleanliness, and sought to teach children at an early age how to incorporate this practical life skill into their daily lives. This is, perhaps, the overarching theme as to why she introduced washing hands as an activity. Personal hygiene is a life skill.