Practical life means basic every day life, all the things we need to do for daily living. Dr. Maria Montessori felt that children need to be shown and given opportunities so that they learn how to do every day living
“The child can only develop by means of experience in his environment. We call such experience work.” - Maria Montessori.
In a Montessori class room you may find an area where on a low shelf there are activities that involve pouring, spooning, sorting, stringing etc. There might be child size brooms, tiny jugs to pour liquid, and frames that invite the child to button, zip or do lacing activities.
You may find a circle taped on the floor where a child is walking with heel-toe motion, balancing her arms stretched out, carefully keeping her feet on the line. Or, there may be times when a group of children are practicing to be silent and be aware of the softest sound in their environment.
According to Dr. Montessori, during the sensitive period between births to 6 years of age, the child is constructing his inner self. He is preparing himself for the big world, using his motor skills and problem solving abilities.
Montessori saw the child’s need for order and repetition of the same activity to refine certain skills. The child needs to move to gain balance, grace and confidence. He also needs to develop the power to be silent.
We, adults need to show that to the child –
“If talking don’t move, if moving don’t talk” suggests Montessori to the teacher.