10 Easy Montessori Practical Life Activities That Toddlers love
Easy Montessori Practical life activities are based on basic and simple real-life tasks. The goal is to teach your toddler about everyday tasks and skills that will help them in their daily lives.
Practical life activities include self-care skills, like hand-washing or getting dressed, as well as typical household activities, like dishes, sweeping, watering a plant, and more.
Ideas for Practical Life Activities at Home That Are Both Easy and Fun
It’s very easy to implement Montessori practical life activities at home with just a little preparation. Have items ready for your child to use and only put out a small.
You will want to be there to help your child with these activities when needed. Here are 10 easy practical life activities your toddler can do at home:
1. Setting the table
This can be done by making a special placemat with outlines of where items, like utensils, belong.
2. Helping with the laundry
Show your child how to place clothes in the laundry basket, sorting and putting them in the washing machine, adding soap, and pushing buttons.
3. Getting dressed and undressed
t’s best to offer as much assistance as necessary and provide clothing that is easy for your child to learn to get off and on.
4. Help with breakfast
You may want to have a container with a scoop in it for your child to prepare their own cereal. You may also want to add a small container of milk to the breakfast table for your child to pour.
5. Help with lunch
Your child can serve themselves using some slices of bread or crackers with various toppings like cheese or peanut butter.
6. Help with dinner
Let your child help with preparing vegetables and other simple side dishes, then assist with setting the table.
7. Cleaning Around the House
Let your child use sponges and brushes to clean around the house, even if not perfect.
8. Washing windows
Washing windows is fun for your toddler because they love using a spray bottle. Provide your child with plenty of towels during this task as well.
Show your child how to measure ingredients, transfer pre-measured ingredients in to the mixing bowl and then let them mix. They can also transfer the batter to the cooking pans with help.
10. Taking care of plants
Teaching your child to care for house plants connects them with nature when they are unable to go outside. It also gives them a way to add beauty to the world and learn to use a spray bottle.
What are the Characteristics of Practical Life Activities for Toddlers?
- Reality-Based: Practical life activities should be reality based. Children can wash dirty dishes with real soapy water, clean shoes with real polish and cut food with a real knife.
- Self-Contained: Materials for activities should be placed in a basket, tray or placed on a table in a specific place. All items should be complete, prepared and ready for use. This helps the child's learn direction.
- Complete: The activity your child attempts need to be completed. If something needs to be replaced at the end of the activity, show your child how to replace it. If the activity is incomplete for whatever reason, broken or missing component, you should complete it or remove it from the shelf.
- Location of Materials: Activity materials should be placed out in their groupings, such as, food activities in the food prep area, dishes near the sink and kitchen, water activities should be near a water source to help your child in successfully performing the activity.
- Sequential: Each activity has a beginning, middle and end. One of the cues for beginning an activity, can be putting on an apron. If the child has an apron on, so should the adult wear an apron.
- Color-Coded: Items in your child’s activity should be color coordinated or expressed on each item so that the child can identify which items belong together and able to replace pieces successfully.
- Handy Container: The containers used in activities should not be too small or too big for your child to handle. Trays and baskets need to be deep enough to hold items and prevent them from falling out when being carried.
- Proportional Items: The materials used in your toddler’s activities should be proportional to each other as well as the child using them.
- Natural Materials: Natural materials offer more opportunities for multi-sensorial experiences, are more aesthetically pleasing and kinder to the touch for your child.
- Hygienic: The materials should be cleaned on a regular basis and be hygienic to use. Natural materials are easier to clean and carry less bacteria.
- Safety: While materials need to be functional, it is most important that they be safe. The use of non-toxic materials is recommended and sharp objects need to have rounded ends and corners.
- Sequence: Activities should always be in a logical sequence, whether it is how you present the material or lay the activity out on the shelf.
- Cultural: Practical life activities should reflect the culture of the child's environment. There should not be any activities that have no relationship to the child’s life.
- Functional: All materials for activities should have a clear purpose and function. Meaning a knife really needs to cut. If the item does not perform the intended task then the child may look for something else to do with it or will think that they are not able to do the task others have used it for.
- Child-Sized: Materials must be proportional to the child. Even the size of a sponge or scrub brush must fit the child's hand so they can use it easily.
Why are Practical Life Activities Necessary?
The skills learned while doing practical life activities at a very young age will provide your child with better motor skills and independence. In turn this will help fulfill their own desires and needs.
These abilities will allow your child to believe in themselves as well as develop the self-discipline needed for success throughout their lives. Montessori practical life lessons teach your child how to accomplish chores in a manner that prepares them for success in daily life.
Toddlers try to be helpful in their family environment and want to make a contribution. Even if they are still developing many of their skills, they need to be allowed to practice. Montessori practical life activities help your child with their fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination.