As Maria Montessori said “The education of a small child does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” Children at Westwood enjoy pouring, sweeping, doing up buttons, hanging up their coats and other life skills and time at home can be a good time to practise these skills at home in fun ways.
The Practical Life area of our classrooms are filled with activities that enable children to practice different kinds of daily life activities, acquiring skills they will use throughout their lifetime.
Generally, the activities of practical life revolve around four areas:
Caring for the Self – washing your hands, dressing yourself or brushing your hair;
Caring for the Environment – wiping a table, caring for plants or sweeping the floor;
Grace & Courtesy – social interactions between each other;
Movement of Objects – carrying a tray, pouring, using a spoon, tweezering or setting a table.
Many of these activities also support development of the pincer grip and fine motor skill, enabling your child to develop foundations for writing.
Practical life activities help give the child a sense of being and belonging, established through participation. They are able to echo the movements and activities they see adults doing around them on a daily basis.
Next time you are in the classroom, take a look at the shelves, speak to a member of the team and see how you can give your child the opportunity to practice these skills at home by participating in the everyday life of your household. Helping with the washing up, the cooking, the cleaning. Give them the time they need to dress themselves.
We want to support the children in developing the skills they need for themselves, and not wait for us to serve them and do it for them.
Never do for a child something they can learn to do for themselves.