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Kids Activities, Montessori

30 Montessori Practical Life Activities for Kids

Montessori practical life activities food prep

Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Bilingual Kidspot

Practical life activities for kids is an essential component of a child’s development using the Montessori Method of teaching. These Montessori practical life activities enable children to develop independence, concentration, coordination, and a sense of order.

By engaging in purposeful tasks that mimic daily life, children gain valuable life skills while fostering a sense of confidence and self-esteem. If you are raising kids using the Montessori method, you should implement some of these practical life activities into your daily routine.

Here we will explain 30 Montessori-inspired practical life activities for kids.

Benefits of Practical Life Activities for Kids

Engaging in practical life activities within the Montessori approach offers numerous benefits for children’s overall development.

Montessori education recognizes that these activities are not just chores or tasks to be completed but rather opportunities for children to engage in purposeful work that directly aligns with their developmental needs.

  • Through practical life activities, children gain valuable life skills and independence while fostering a sense of confidence and self-esteem.
  • The focus on fine and gross motor skills development enables children to refine their hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and control of movement.
  • The emphasis on order, sequencing, and organization within these activities helps children develop a sense of structure and responsibility for their actions.
  • Practical life activities for kids also provide a foundation for concentration and focus, allowing children to engage in purposeful work that aligns with their individual interests and abilities.
  • By fostering independence, promoting responsibility, and nurturing a child’s natural curiosity, Montessori practical life activities lay the groundwork for lifelong learning and holistic development.

30 Montessori Practical Life Activities

Here you can find  a list of 30 Montessori Practical Life Activities to do with your kids.

1. Pouring Water

Such an easy practical life activity that you can do every day. Provide a small pitcher and a glass for your child to practice pouring water into a cup. Start with dry pouring and progress to water pouring as their skills improve. This helps to develop hand-eye coordination, concentration, and control of movement.

2. Setting the Table

Children practice placing utensils, plates, and napkins in their designated spots on the table preparing for meals, promoting organization and spatial understanding. This cultivates order, sequencing, and spatial awareness.

3. Spooning

An easy practical life activity for toddlers and young kids. Provide a bowl of small objects (e.g., beans, rice) and a spoon for your child to practice transferring them from one bowl to another. This enhances fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and focus.

4. Buttoning

A little more difficult, but with practice any child can get it. Introduce clothes with large buttons, allowing your child to practice buttoning and unbuttoning. Refines fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and patience.

5. Sweeping

Montessori practical life activities sweeping

Kids use a small broom and dustpan to sweep small areas of the floor. This helps them not only to assist around the house and contribute to the household, but also learning to keep their own surroundings clean. Develops gross motor skills, coordination, and a sense of responsibility for the environment.

6. Polishing

Children of all ages can polish small objects like spoons or shoes using a cloth. This can be with hot water and a little bit of vinegar. It helps kids by improving their fine motor control and focus, improving their hand-eye coordination, and attention to detail.

7. Washing Dishes

A great one for kids of any age. Set up a designated area for your child to wash dishes, starting with plastic dishes and gradually moving to real dishes. When kids engage in washing plastic or real dishes, they develop self-reliance and an understanding of cleanliness. This type of practical life activity promotes independence, responsibility, and care for personal belongings.

8. Folding Clothes

Children of all ages can fold clothes and other items at home. We usually start with towels and face washers that are easy and then move on to other items. Kids who learn to fold small items of clothing learn precision and order. It develops fine motor skills, concentration, and organization.

9. Plant Care

Montessori practical life activities gardening

Kids of all ages can help around the house watering, pruning, and caring for plants, which fosters a sense of responsibility and connection to the natural world. They might be indoor plants or plants and trees outside in the garden. This type of Montessori practical life activity fosters nurturing skills, responsibility, and an appreciation for nature.

10. Food Preparation

Montessori practical life activities food prep

Food preparation is a really popular Montessori practical life activity and kids as young as toddlers can participate, just be careful of which utensils you use. While younger kids can start to mix ingredients and peel carrots, older children can slice fruits and even start to learn to cook as they  develop their practical skills. Preparing foods help kids to understand healthy eating habits. It helps their independence, and understanding of nutrition.

11. Tying Shoelaces

Montessori practical life activities tie shoelace

Tying shoes is an important life skill and it’s never too early to start. It doesn’t need to be on actual shoes, children can start to practice tying shoelaces using a shoe model or practice board as well. Another good one for helping their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, but it also teaches perseverance because they keep trying until they get it right.

12. Opening and Closing Containers

Offer a variety of containers with different types of lids for your child to practice opening and closing. Another great one for motor skills, it also helps their hand strength, and problem-solving abilities.

13. Sorting Anything

Children sort objects based on attributes like size, color, or shape. You can give objects just as buttons, blocks, towels, toys, or anything you have lying around. This enhances cognitive skills, visual discrimination, and organizational abilities.

14. Transferring with Tongs

Provide your child with a pair or tongs or tweezers so they can use them to transfer small objects between bowls or compartments. Not only a fun practical life activity but it really works on their hand-eye coordination, and concentration.

15. Grating

Allow your child to grate soft foods, like cheese or vegetables, using a child-safe grater. This Montessori practical life activity, not only helps their hand strength, it gives them a good understanding of food preparation.

16. Washing Hands

Sounds simple but it really takes practice for little ones not to make a huge mess! Teach your kids the  proper handwashing technique with a safe hand wash This will foster cleanliness and personal responsibility, and promote good hygiene habits.

17. Taking Care of Pets

Montessori practical life activities pet care

It could be your own pets or those of friends or relatives. Kids can engage in feeding grooming, or walking. This type of practical life activity cultivates responsibility, empathy, and compassion towards living beings.

18. Arranging Flowers

A great one for those who love to get creative. Offer a child-sized vase and fresh flowers for your child to arrange and display. This way they can develop their artistic expression and appreciation for nature’s beauty.

19. Sewing

It sounds more difficult as it is but kids can start really basic with sewing. It can be a large wooden needle with thick wool and punched holes to practice. As they get older they can move to proper sewing tools. It is a great Montessori practical life activity for kids to improve their hand-eye coordination and patience.

20. Mopping

Another great one to get kids helping around the help is mopping the floors. Kids can use a child-sized mop and bucket to clean small spills or designated areas, perhaps their own little table and eating area. This type of activity helps to develop sense of cleanliness and responsibility because they are cleaning their own messes.

21. Opening and Closing Zippers

Perfect for younger children to work on their motor skills. You can use your own clothes at home or specially designed boards for your child to practice opening and closing zippers. Big jackets are perfect for this. Perfect for promoting their dressing skills and independence.

22. Setting up a Snack Area

Kids can organise a designated space for snacks, arranging plates, cups, and healthy food to eat during the day. This could be their own play area or a specialized area in the kitchen. Perfect for working on their organization skills, independence, and responsibility for personal belongings.

23. Ironing

With the iron on a low setting that is safe for kids, you can allow your child to practice ironing small cloth items, such as handkerchiefs or doll clothes. Promotes using household items in a safe mannor, works on their hand-eye coordination, and helps them with their understanding of clothing care.

24. Care of the Environment

A really important practical life skill to get your kids involved in early and really simple to implement. Things like recycling or composting promotes their understanding of environmental conservation and responsibility. It fosters environmental awareness and responsibility.

25. Dusting

Kids of all ages can help out dusting around the house. Provide a small duster or a cloth for your child to dust surfaces at their level, such as shelves or tables. This type of activity works on their fine motor control and responsibility for cleanliness.

26. Sweeping with a Hand Broom

Give your child a small handheld broom and dustpan to sweep crumbs or small messes. This not only helps their cleanliness habits but is great for coordination, and again gives them a sense of responsibility for cleanliness.

27. Sewing Buttons

Once your child has got the hang of sewing they can try sewing buttons. This is a great practical life activity and skill to have growing up. Children practice sewing buttons onto fabric scraps using child-safe materials. This helps in improving their manual dexterity and patience.

28. Care of Personal Belongings

A really important life skill is taking care of your own belongings. Teach your kids to organize and care for their personal things, such as putting away their toys or tidying their room. This cultivates organizational skills, independence, and responsibility.

29. Washing a Table

Give your child a damp cloth to clean their table or the kitchen table depending on their age and height. This can be done multiple times a day especially after meals. It develops gross motor skills, coordination, and attention to cleanliness.

30. Matching socks

The job of matching socks in the household is never ending and it is the perfect opportunity for a Montessori practical life activity. Can be done at washing time, or you can even just use a few socks from their draw so they can sit and match them. This enhances visual discrimination, and helps their organizational skills.

Practical Life and Montessori

Montessori-inspired practical life activities provide children with a wealth of benefits, including the development of essential life skills, independence, and a sense of responsibility.

By incorporating these activities into your child’s daily routine, you provide them with opportunities for growth and self-discovery.

Remember to follow your child’s interests and abilities, adapting the activities to suit their age and developmental stage.

Encourage them to engage in practical life activities with joy and enthusiasm, fostering their natural curiosity and desire to participate in the world around them.

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