Practical life activities are a vital component of the Lower Elementary classroom, and it is one of my favorite components of the Montessori experience.
These activities are designed to teach everyday skills such as knitting, sewing, woodworking, caring for class pets, watering plants, or doing classroom chores to name a few. Practical Life activities give children the opportunity to develop real life skills that also serve them well academically, without students ever realizing the correlation.
Here are just a few examples:
-While children are learning to master a needle and thread, they are also developing the fine motor skills needed for penmanship development.
-As they knit row by row, they are learning concentration and perseverance.
-When two friends work together for a woodworking project, they are both learning cooperation, consideration, and collaboration.
Children walk away with more than just a cute craft or final product, they gain life skills through the process. They are completely absorbed with perfecting their craft toward mastery so they can advance to more complex tasks. They love looking forward to the next challenge available to them! What they usually don’t realize is that these new found skills transfer naturally to their daily work. 🙂
So next time you see your child laboriously working on a project, remember: Value the process.