Montessori Practical Life Activities
Within the Montessori environment, children use actual utensils found in their kitchens for real-life practice of their use, instead of plastic or wooden replicas. They learn how to manipulate items such as beads, pompoms and pasta as preparation for the actual serving of foods. Set up trays on nearby shelves that allow children to transfer items from one bowl to another, using fingers, spoons, tongs, tweezers and through pouring. Another advantage of using these materials in the classroom is that they can refine their fine motor skills, while developing concentration and coordination.
Further practice comes from actual food preparation for snacks. Allow children to use an apple slicer to core apples, or a small knife for cutting bananas and pickles. Use spreaders to put cream cheese on a bagel or peanut butter on a cracker. Small graters can be used to grate cheese and carrots. These items are traditionally set up on individual trays for the Montessori preschool classroom. Children could also have the opportunity to choose their desired food from the refrigerator and set up their own trays. When they are finished, they must always wash and dry their utensils and trays to make it ready for the next person.
Find child-sized materials in local stores, such as your grocery store, Big Lots, and dollar stores. Search resale shops and garage sales. Order specific items from Montessori companies, such as Montessori Services. Search for items that can rotate based on seasons, holidays and themes being taught in the classroom.