These practical life exercises are the beginning point of the Montessori environment. They will help children grow in independence, promote concentration and develop a spirit of friendliness and helpfulness.
Life Exercises include many familiar objects – buttons, brushes, dishes, pitchers, water and many other things that the child recognizes from his home experiences. Although the Practical Life Exercises may seem simple and commonplace, they are actually a very important part of the Montessori program. Each of the tasks helps a child to perfect his coordination so that he will be able to work later with the more intricate academic materials.
Practical Life Activities fall into three categories:
- Manipulative Skills: a child begins pouring, carrying containers/books and sorting
- Self-Development Skills: a child learns social graces, courtesy and personal care
- Caring for the Environment: children learn to care for the environment by sweeping, washing, dusting and polishing.