Practical Life

Practical Life activities teach children how to respect themselves, each other, and their environment.

A three year old learns to push in their chair and scrub their table after lunch while a Kindergartener uses their reading skills to bake a cake in class with a friend.

These activities meet a child’s desire to feel competent, to be independent, and to belong.

Practical Life activities also help children develop a sense of order and sequence, increase coordination, and enable children to do meaningful things during their time at school.

  • Care of the Person: Routines such as hand washing, dressing, and personal hygiene.
  • Care of the Environment: Activities such as washing chairs, sweeping, dusting, cooking, feeding animals, watering plants, composting, and recycling promote the beginnings of community awareness and an ecological ethic.
  • Social Relations: Maria Montessori called these exercises Grace and Courtesy. They include developing skills in greeting visitors, participating in a conversation, self-assertion, resolving conflicts, initiating, and maintaining friendships.
  • Coordination of Movement: This includes many exercises involving hand/eye coordination, carrying objects, and self-expression through movement, as well as initiating and inhibiting actions and impulses.