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5 Montessori Practical life Activities to Help Your Child Develop Independence

Apr 11, 2023 - Montessori , Practical Activies - By Carine Robin

Are you tired of doing everything for your child? Want to teach them practical life skills that can help them become independent and confident adults?

Look no further than practical life activities.

In this blog post, I will introduce you to five Montessori practical life activities that can help your child develop independence and self-esteem.

From pouring their own drink to preparing a snack, these activities are easy to implement and can make a big impact on your child's development. Get ready to watch your child thrive as they learn important practical life skills.

Pouring their own drink

A Montessori activity that can help your child develop independence is to invite your child to pour their own drink. This activity not only teaches your child how to pour liquids safely and accurately but also helps them strengthen their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

To begin, provide your child with a small jug and a cup. Start by demonstrating how to pour the liquid into the cup slowly and carefully. Encourage your child to try it themselves, and guide them if necessary. As they become more confident, you can increase the amount of liquid and the size of the pitcher. 

The best small jug in my opinion is the Arc jug with lid. Choose the smallest size. 

Jugs are also easily found in charity shops. You will find some "wine jug" for two glasses and small milk pitchers quite easily.

It's important to remember to keep a small towel or napkin nearby in case of spills. Let your child clean up the spill with your guidance to help them learn that accidents happen and how to handle them in a responsible manner.

Overall, this activity is a great way to teach your child life skills that they will use for years to come, while also boosting their confidence and independence. Next up, let's discuss how the Montessori coat flip can help your child learn to dress themselves.

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Montessori coat flip

The Montessori coat flip is a fun and practical activity that can help your child master the skill of dressing themselves. This activity involves teaching your child how to flip their coat over their shoulders and put their arms through the sleeves. By practicing this skill, your child will gain confidence in their ability to dress themselves and become more independent.

Not only does this activity teach dressing skills, but it also strengthens your child's fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and concentration. As with all Montessori activities, it is important to encourage your child to work at their own pace and offer guidance only when needed.

Once your child has mastered the Montessori coat flip, they will be one step closer to getting dressed independently and makes outing easier as your child will be able to be ready by themselves.

Washing hand station

A hand washing station is an excellent addition to any Montessori home. It reinforces cleanliness habits and helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

To set up a station, place a pitcher of water, a basin, and a bar of soap at your child's level. Encourage them to pour the water into the basin, lather up the soap, and scrub their hands thoroughly. Once they finish, have them pour the dirty water into a designated container and dry their hands with a towel. With a little guidance, your child will soon be able to wash their hands independently, setting the stage for further self-sufficiency in their daily routines.

Even if your child has access to a sink, providing a hand washing station under supervision prevents them from letting the water from the tap run unnecessarily. The extra steps involved in using a washing station, such as emptying the dirty water into a bucket, can also help children exercise their strength.

Create easy Montessori activities at home for your toddler! Our set of 50 cards will help you to set up more than 100 activities based on the Montessori method. Lilou toys Montessori Toddler Cards LEARN MORE

Setting up the table for everyone

This activity not only promotes responsibility but also teaches your child about mealtime etiquette.

Begin by showing your child where everything is kept in the kitchen and demonstrating the proper placement of utensils, plates, and cups.

You can use a specific Montessori placemat that has the outlines of the plate, cup and cutlery or make one yourself. 

Encourage them to use their problem-solving skills to figure out how many of each item will be needed based on the number of people eating. Once everything is set up, invite the family to the table and have your child take pride in knowing that they helped contribute to the meal. With practice, your child will be able to set the table independently and feel confident in their ability to contribute to household tasks.

This activity sets the stage for the next Montessori activity: preparing a snack.

Preparing a snack

Preparing a snack is an excellent activity to help your child develop independence while also encouraging healthy eating habits. Begin by showing your child where the snacks are kept and teaching them the importance of choosing nutritious options.

Demonstrate how to use kitchen tools, such as a chopping board and a child-safe knife or spreader, and emphasize safety rules.

Encourage your child to plan and prepare their own snack, with your guidance, of course. Ask them what they would like to eat and help them choose ingredients that are both healthy and appealing. This will not only teach your child about proper nutrition but also how to make decisions and communicate effectively. (check those 5 easy snack ideas that your child can make by themselves).

After your child has prepared their snack, have them clean up after themselves. Teach them how to properly dispose of any food scraps or packaging and how to wash their dishes.

By allowing your child to plan, prepare, and clean up after their snack, you are giving them the tools they need to become independent individuals. With your guidance and support, they will feel confident in their ability to make healthy choices and contribute to household tasks.

Incorporating Montessori activities into your child's daily routine is a simple and effective way to promote independence and self-esteem. By allowing your child to pour their own drink, flip their coat, wash their hands, set the table, and prepare a snack, you're giving them the opportunity to develop practical life skills that will serve them well in the future.

As they master each new task, their confidence will grow, and they'll begin to view themselves as capable and competent individuals. So why not try implementing these five activities today?

Your child will thank you for it, and you'll be setting them on a path towards a lifetime of success. As Maria Montessori once said, "We should not help a child do things that they can already do themselves."

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About the Author: Carine Robin is a qualified and experienced Montessori teacher and founder of The Montessori Family. With over 15 years of experience, Carine offers a blend of professional insight and personal understanding as a mother of two and qualified child psychologist. Inspired by the success of her Montessori subscription box, she created The Montessori Family to provide a comprehensive resource for parents and teachers globally. This platform aims to support child growth and well-being through curated educational activities. Additionally, Carine maintains the UK's most popular Montessori blog and administers the largest Montessori UK Facebook group, making her a central figure in the Montessori community.

Carine Robin
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