Maria Montessori believed that in each plane of a child’s development there is a sensitive period where a child learns different skills and activities. Montessori incorporated Practical Life Lessons in the classroom to help develop each child’s social skills, independence, control of their body, and improve their concentration. The Practical Life area in a Montessori classroom includes hand transferring, pouring, and many other lessons that help children with their coordination, concentration, independence, and preparation for more difficult exercises. These lessons give children the opportunity to do simple tasks they see adults perform on a daily basis. It is work that motivates and peaks their interest, brings them full enjoyment and gives them an understanding of the environment and how it works. Practical Life Lessons help children take care of themselves, the environment, and learn respect for the materials and others.
Children watch and imitate what we do; therefore, it is important for parents and teachers to do our chores with plenty of love and respect and not complain, and they will also do the same. A Montessori Classroom provides a place besides home where a child can realize that all types of work can and should be done with love and joy.
Parents can duplicate a Montessori Practical Life area at home as an extension of the classroom. By incorporating a few items that are the right size for their small hands, as well as having them help around the house, you will see a very independent and focused child develop before your eyes.