Helping families create a solid connection between Montessori learning in the classroom and at home.

Age Appropriate Practical Life Activities 

Practical life activities are the core of the Montessori philosophy. They introduce children to the concept of education as an aid and a preparation for life and they assist them to develop a sense of order, concentration, independence and coordination. These skills form the foundation to master the Montessori materials across all areas of the Montessori Curriculum.

Practical life activities also teach children the importance of contributing to their family, classroom, and community. From a young age, children are willing and able to assist with household chores and ‘family work.’ To support your child’s involvement in family life, provide them with opportunities for independence through age-appropriate practical life activities.

Tips for Introducing Practical Life Activities

  • Follow your child’s interests when they want to ‘help’
  • Show your child first, slowly, and with minimal words
  • Repeat activities several times when your child is interested and watching
  • Give them the tools for success by providing child-sized brooms, mops, dust pans, and utensils
  • Let go of perfection and appreciate that while a spill may not be perfectly wiped up, it has been wiped, and that is progress to build on
  • Scaffold skills by providing opportunities to extend on and repeat activities  
  • Invite your child to do family work with you throughout the day to diversify their interests

Examples of Practical Life Activities

Care of Self

  • Choose clothing
  • Get dressed and put on shoes
  • Wash hands
  • Blow nose
  • Put on shoes 
  • Wash face
  • Toileting 
  • Hang up clothes 
  • Brush teeth and hair 
  • Fetch nappies/wipes 

Care for the Environment

  • Put clothes in the laundry hamper 
  • Make bed 
  • Pack away 
  • Sweep, mop and dust 
  • Wipe up spills 
  • Make bed 
  • Vacuum 
  • Recycle 
  • Help hang washing and fold laundry
  • Compost 

Care for Others

  • Feed pets 
  • Pour pets clean water 
  • Brush pets
  • Water plants 
  • Help younger siblings
  • Help parents 
  • Practice polite manners

In the Kitchen

  • Load and unload the dishwasher 
  • Bake together 
  • Make a snack 
  • Assist with meal preparation 
  • Pour own drink 
  • Wash dishes 
  • Set the table 

Outdoors

  • Walk the dog together 
  • Water plants 
  • Rake leaves 
  • Put away outdoor toys 
  • Planting 
  • Weeding 

General Activities

  • Bring in mail 
  • Arrange flowers in a small vase

Infant Practical Life Skills

Ages 12-24 Months

  • Pour glass of water/milk using a small jug
  • Wash hands with soap and water 
  • Feed themselves using a spoon and fork
  • Scoop cereal into a bowl 
  • Wipe up spills with a hand mit 
  • Drink from a cup 
  • Fetch nappies and wipes 
  • Take off socks 
  • Brush hair 
  • Brush teeth with assistance 
  • Get dressed with assistance 
  • Fetch shoes 
  • Put a few small toys away in box

Toddler Practical Life Skills

Ages 2-3 Years

  • Tidy toys in baskets and pack them away
  • Prepare a snack/sandwich 
  • Peel and slice a banana 
  • Set the table
  • Pour a drink 
  • Stack books on shelf
  • Make orange juice 
  • Wipe table 
  • Sweep floor 
  • Use dustpan and brush
  • Throw rubbish away
  • Put dirty laundry in the hamper
  • Help to make bed
  • Pick out clothes to wear (restricted choice) 
  • Get dressed with assistance 
  • Put shoes away
  • Fetch nappies/wipes
  • Brush hair and teeth with supervision
  • Wash body and clean face with supervision
  • Help feed pets
  • Wash windows 
  • Wipe down mirrors
  • Brush and put lead on dog 
  • Arrange flowers in a small vase

Preschool Practical Life Skills

Ages 3 – 6 Years

  • Get dressed without assistance 
  • Set and clear table
  • Load and unload the dishwasher 
  • Fold laundry
  • Pack away clothes
  • Scrub and peel vegetables 
  • Prepare simple meals and snacks
  • Pet care
  • Vacuum 
  • Flush toilet
  • Put dirty clothes in laundry hamper 
  • Wash hair and body 
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Measure and mix ingredients for cooking
  • Sweep 
  • Dust
  • Wash windows 
  • Wipe down mirror
  • Make bed
  • Water plants
  • Tidy their room
  • Polish silver
  • Crack eggs into a bowl
  • Unpack groceries
  • Collect mail

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