Practical Life or Everyday Living Skills activities are important to teach children to function in their own environment and find their place in their world and culture.
Practical Life exercises help children find their place in their home by becoming involved in how their home works and how they can best function in their home. When children become involved in the workings of their home, it creates a great sense of pride and builds self-confidence. This sense of self-confidence will be imprinted in their being for future success.
Practical Life exercises include pouring, sorting, food preparation, care of self (hand washing, dressing oneself), care of the environment (table setting, sweeping), and grace and courtesy lessons (saying excuse me, introducing oneself.)
Practical Life skills are the foundation of all other areas in a Montessori environment.
Consequently, all of the Practical Life activities are designed to be purposeful work that leads children to more complicated work; children refine their fine motor skills through repetition of Practical Life exercises.
Practical Life activities build children’s concentration, coordination, order and independence enabling them to master other Montessori curriculum areas. Children love the Practical Life area because it enables them to do adult work in a child size environment.
With more and more success comes greater confidence, giving them the internal foundation to believe in themselves with the realization that they can conquer any task through repetition and perseverance. The concentration children develop through using Practical Life works will aid in future skills and success in other areas of the Montessori curriculum such as Sensorial, Language and Math and Culture.