I am pretty new to Montessori education, but I really appreciate its focus on teaching young children practical life skills. I feel that practical life activities very much address the “self-care” building block for kindergarten readiness.
The kids love helping me in the kitchen, so I have used this to my advantage to provide them with some practical life work that builds fine motor skills. Here are two practical life activities we have done in the kitchen.
Note: For more activities that use Montessori principles in the home, see my Montessori Activities page.
Occasionally the kids and I make a wonderful, no-dairy, banana ice cream. The first step to make this dessert is to slice up the bananas. This task offers a perfect opportunity to practice a very practical life skill: cutting things with a knife. I demonstrate for the kids how to hold the (not sharp) knife, and how to angle their hand and arm as they cut.
QBoy is getting pretty proficient at this skill, and can generally cut some very nice slices.
XGirl is still developing the motor control to do this activity well.
But no matter what their slices look like, we sure enjoy making banana ice cream from our work!
Zesting an orange
Recently I was baking some cookies that called for zest of orange as an ingredient. I decided to show the kids how to zest an orange using a small grater.
They worked on positioning their hand on the orange and pushing the orange into the grater with enough force to scrape off the peel.
They worked on turning the orange every so often to scrape a new section of the peel.
What have your kids done in the kitchen to build practical life skills? Please share your ideas and posts in the comments.
More Montessori resources
More Montessori posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Apple Montessori activities
- Farm Montessori activities
- Pirate Montessori activities
- Winter Montessori activities
- Easter Montessori activities
- 4th of July Montessori activities
- Halloween Montessori activities
- Montessori caves unit
- Practical life activities using food
- Montessori mapping activities
- Montessori living / nonliving / once living activities
- Montessori sandpaper letters