Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Practical life-water, beans, and pitchers, oh my!
When I first entered a Montessori classroom I was entranced by the math materials. So concrete, it made such sense. Then, I saw the practical life area. Pitchers, water, sponges, beans, trays, what was all of this stuff and why are children using it? Well, practical life is just that, it teaches practical life skills in a fun way for children. Give a child an attractive set up of a tray, two pitchers with colored water and a sponge and watch the magic. The child can sit there for as long as they want. It is mesmerizing. These skills, pouring, spooning, funneling and the like can then be translated to the home. It can be daunting to let your child pour their own milk for example. Find a small pitcher and put some milk in it on a low shelf in the fridge. You are still setting them up for success while keeping your sanity. If a spill should happen, let your child clean it up. This is also a part of practical life skills. These skills will lead to giving your child more responsibility in the home. There is no reason why a young child can not help around the house. A young child can dust, sweep and put their own toys away too. How does your young child help around the house?