The Practical Life aspect of Montessori education is about teaching children how to accomplish the skills necessary in carrying out aspects of everyday life – life skills needed to master their environment.
The exercises in this area are structured around four primary areas, including care of self, care of the environment, courtesy and control of movement. Broadly speaking, the Practical Life aspect of Montessori education develops children’s independence, coordination, self-control, self-awareness and confidence through real-world application. As children learn to be capable, they gain confidence in themselves. In turn, they experience success. That is why these skills are so important and should be encouraged at young ages.
Ultimately, the tools that allow children to work on these necessary skills, from dressing to preparing food to cleaning to social interactions, are going to provide a strong foundation for children to master these skills, not only developing practical skills but also the confidence needed to carry them through life.
Here is a look at some great tools and materials, which are broken down based on age. The key is to have a lot of variety and to change your tools regularly so that children maintain interest.
Which Montessori Tools Are Required For Practical Life?
- 12-18 Months
For children between the ages of 12 to 18 months, a few examples of tools that allow them to master Practical Life include a hair brush, a dressing frame, a backpack, a small sponge, a broom and a watering can. Other examples include trays, bowls, bottles or jars, pitchers, a pouring set, spoons and tongs.
- 2-3 Years of Age
For children in this age bracket, great tools for children to master Practical Life include a bucket, a mop, a dustpan, gardening tools (a rake or gardening gloves), a magnifying glass and a butterfly net or a bug catcher.
- 3-4 Years of Age
Children in this age group can benefit from such tools as a large calendar, an outdoor thermometer, a bird feeder, a microscope, a tool box (with tools like a screwdriver, flashlight and work belt), a clock, a measuring tape, woodworking tools (a hammer, wood and nails) or a rain gauge.
Thinkamajigs offers high-quality, value-priced Montessori tools with certified non-toxic paints and finishes. We offer a great selection of Practical Life tools, which you can view in our catalog here. We also offer a wide selection of Montessori teaching materials, educational toys, games and puzzles. We ship anywhere in North America. Contact us for more information.