Charlotte Montessori Blog

The Importance and Beauty of the Practical Life Area

The preschool child wants to be with adults, to take part in the activities of daily adult life.  When a child enters the school at three years of age. The practical life area provides the link between home and school.

In a Montessori classroom, the child is able to perform the same activities he has seen adults do daily; Polishing, scrubbing, pouring, sweeping, etc.  For the young child, there is something special about these tasks which an adult considers ordinary.

Maria Montessori said, “A child’s work is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect the environment, but the child works to perfect himself.” 

This can easily be seen, when an adult and a child are scrubbing a table.   The adult would like to finish as soon as possible and would accept any help offered.  The child could scrub it for a long time and any efforts to help the child are resisted with “I can do it myself”. The work the child is doing can be done only by himself.

By constant repetition of movements, he is strengthening his muscles, perfecting his gross motor control, eye-hand coordination, sense of order, and concentration.  Which will enable him to perform more precise and longer lessons later. 

“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play… it is work he must do in order to grow up.”

Maria Montessori

Ana Rivera