3 Simple Steps to Teaching Children Practical Life Skills - The Montessori Room

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by Laura Berthiaume February 03, 2022 2 min read

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This is a follow-up to the post from a couple days ago, Why Montessori Teaches Children How to Cook, Clean, and Sew.

If you missed it, go here to check it out > https://themontessoriroom.com/blogs/montessori-tips/why-montessori-teaches-children-how-to-cook-clean-and-sew

The gist is that young children truly enjoy practical life activities for a variety of reasons and they're great for building confidence, focus, coordination, and overall strength.

Toddler Montessori Practical Life Skills

So if you're looking to teach your child more of these skills, there's three simple steps to follow:

  1. Observation - don't distract your child with another activity or wait until they're napping to cook, clean, and perform self-care. Simple exposure will do wonders to pique their interest.

  2. Provide child-sized tools - adult-sized tools can be hard and awkward to work with when you have such small hards (you may have heard me compare it to chopping a salad with a machete).

    There's lots of options on out website (kitchen and cleaning) but there's tons of DIYs too:

    -> Cut sponges in half
    -> Remove the middle bar from the Swiffer to make it child-sized
    -> Only fill larger jugs or spray bottles with small amounts of water
    -> Practice cutting soft fruits and veggies with a butter or plastic knife
    -> Place your child's dish ware and self-care items on a low shelf they can reach

    There's A LOT of ways to involve your child in practical life without all the fancy materials. Sometimes it just requires a little patience and creativity.

  3. Demonstration - Maren Schmidt, author of Understanding Montessori: A Guide for Parents, uses the phrase SHOW - Slow Hands, Omit Words.

    This is a reminder to slow down, use purposeful movements, and choose words carefully. It's easier for a child to follow your movements when you're not talking the entire time. Focus more on the physical demonstration.

And if you want more specific, step-by-step instructions on teaching these skills, check out our at-home virtual program.

Katie, the MACTE-certified Montessori teacher that runs our at-home program, has years of experience in the toddler classroom and has put together some amazing practical life lessons on everything from baking and cooking, to watering plants, to cleaning sunglasses 😎

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August 31, 2022

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