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25 Best Montessori Practical Life Activities List!

Have you ever wondered why your child is captivated by observing how you fold towels, set the table, or mop the floor? Like all individuals, children have an inherent desire to engage with others, perform meaningful tasks, and contribute to society. 

This inclination is particularly strong in young children as they develop the physical and cognitive skills necessary to stand, walk, use their hands, and actively participate in real-life tasks also known as Montessori practical life activities.

To harness and channel this interest effectively, Dr. Maria Montessori devised Practical Life exercises. 

These life skill activities not only enable toddlers to comprehend and engage with their environment but also aid in the development of their fundamental inner qualities during the critical early years of life.

Every Montessori primary curriculum place significant emphasis on Practical Life activities at home or in school.

This article aims to provide an understanding of how Practical Life Activities help children when they should be introduced and offers examples of such activities for children. So before we get into our Montessori practical life activities list, let’s explore these important activities.

What is a Practical Life Activity?

When Maria Montessori established her first school, she made an intriguing observation: children displayed a greater interest in engaging in tasks typically performed by adults rather than playing with toys.

She noticed that these activities brought immense satisfaction to the children. 

As a result, Practical Life activities were introduced in Montessori education as the initial activities for young children entering the Montessori primary environment.
These activities mirror real-life tasks and aim to help children foster a sense of comfort, as well as foster appropriate and productive interactions with their surroundings.
Exercises of Practical Life activities are purposeful tasks that simulate the activities involved in everyday life.
Often called ‘family work,’ typical Practical Life activities include sweeping, dusting, and food preparation.
The child observes these activities within their world and gains knowledge of them through experience using Practical Life materials in the prepared environment of the Montessori classroom.
Practical Life activities are culture-specific and provide children with the opportunity to develop a sense of being and belonging by participating in the activities of daily life.

What is the Purpose and Aim of Practical Life Exercises

The primary goal of Practical Life exercises is to foster the development of children’s coordination, independence, social adaptability, and concentration.
By engaging in repetitive Practical Life activities, children enhance their gross and motor skills, effectively solve problems, and cultivate a strong sense of self by actively contributing to their environment.

Five Areas of Practical Life Montessori

The Practical Life activities in the Montessori Curriculum encompass five essential areas: Preliminary Exercises, Care of Self, Care for the Environment, Grace and Courtesy, and Control of Movement.

  1. Preliminary Exercises 

Involves fundamental movements found in all societies, such as pouring, folding, and carrying.

  1. Care of Self includes 

Includes activities related to personal care and the daily maintenance of oneself, such as handwashing and dressing.

  1. Care for the Environment 

Focuses on teaching children how to interact with their surroundings in a loving and respectful manner. Typical activities include watering plants, cleaning tables, and arranging flowers.

  1. Grace and Courtesy 

These exercises teach children the skills needed for social interactions, including greetings, self-introductions, and appropriate interruptions.

  1. Control of Movement

This aims to refine and coordinate children’s body control through activities like walking in a line and playing the silence game.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Montessori Practical Life activities list you can teach your child in school or at home.

25 Practical Life Activities List

5 Preliminary Exercises Activities

  1. Carrying Work Mats
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For children aged 2.5 to 3 years old, work mats are utilized to define their individual workspaces. 

Work mat activities focus on teaching children the skills of unrolling and rolling up their work mats, as well as moving around the workspace of others with care.

  1. Move a Chair

Children in the 2.5-3 years age group are guided in the proper handling of furniture, emphasizing the importance of moving it with caution and in a quiet manner.

  1. Whole-Hand Grasp Transferring

For children aged 2.5-3 years old, this activity aims to develop motor skills and provides an opportunity for children who haven’t yet mastered the pincer grasp (used for utensils like spoons, tongs, tweezers, etc.) to practice transferring small items from one bowl to another.

  1. Carry the Tray

In the 2.5-3 years age group, children learn how to carry trays, which is a fundamental skill utilized in numerous Montessori activities within the classroom.

  1. Wipe the Spill

In the 2.5-3 years age group, children are taught the important skill of wiping spills. This skill is valuable during meal and snack times, as well as in various Montessori activities.

5 Self-Care Activities

  1. Washing Hands

At the age of 2.5-3 years old, children engage in an activity that allows them to acquire self-care skills and cultivate a feeling of independence.

  1. Putting on a Coat

Children at the age of 2.5 to 3 years old experience a sense of independence and delight in being able to put on their own coat.

  1. Dressing Frames

At the age of 3 years old, Montessori dressing frames are utilized to facilitate fine motor practice and develop skills in buttoning, tying, buckling, snapping, and using zippers.

  1. Cleaning Fingernails

At the age of 2.5-3 years old, children improve their self-care skills, enhance their motor abilities, and cultivate a sense of independence through the instruction of proper nail cleaning techniques.

  1. Preparing Food

Teaching children how to prep food is a great way to help them learn about healthy eating, develop their fine motor skills, and feel more independent. You can start by having them wash fruits and vegetables, tear lettuce, or measure ingredients.

5 Care of the Environment Activities

  1. Sweeping the Floor

At the age of 3 years old, children in a Montessori learning environment are taught the necessary skill of using a brush and dustpan to sweep the floor. This skill enables them to experience the natural and logical consequences of spills and breaks, promoting a sense of responsibility and learning from their actions.

  1. Dusting a Table

At the age of 3 years old, children in the Montessori classroom will frequently utilize this skill.

  1. Cleaning a Spill

At the age of 3 years old, children are taught the importance of properly cleaning spills, which is essential for maintaining a safe and clean learning environment.

  1. Washing Dishes

At the age of 3 years old, engaging in this activity brings joy to children and instills a feeling of accomplishment and responsibility for their surroundings.

  1. Animal Care

At the age of 4 years old, participating in animal care activities fosters the development of empathy and enhances both gross motor and motor skills.

5 Grace and Courtesy Activities

  1. Greeting People

At the age of 2.5-3 years old, acquiring the skill of greeting others fosters a sense of independence and heightens children’s awareness of others.

  1. Phone Etiquette

At the age of 4 years old, children are taught the essential skills of answering a phone, concluding a conversation, and effectively taking a message.

  1. Blowing Nose

This activity focuses on developing self-care skills and how to take care of themselves when they are sick or cold.

  1. Coughing and Sneezing

At this age, children are taught proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, emphasizing the use of their elbows and turning their heads.

  1. Serving Food to Others

At three years old, children engage in an activity that involves serving food to others, which helps develop empathy. 

This exercise also contributes to the refinement of fine and gross motor skills, as well as the development of control of movement.

5 Control of Movement Activities

  1. Walking a Line

In the Montessori curriculum for children aged 2.5 to 3 years old, there is a lesson that encompasses Grace and Courtesy skills. This lesson involves walking along a designated line, which aids in the development of movement control and enhances a child’s understanding of their body position in relation to others.

  1. Pouring Activities

At the age of 3, children engage in various Montessori activities that involve pouring. Early practice in pouring is both enjoyable and crucial for their development.

  1. Silence Game

The Silence Game is a Montessori activity that is designed to help children enhance their self-control, concentration, and awareness of their surroundings. To play the Silence Game, you will need a silence board. To start the game, show the children the silence board and explain that they need to be silent when they see the word “silence.”

  1. Carrying a Bowlful of Water 

Carrying a bowlful of water across the room is a great way to practice the kids’ Control of Movement skills. 

  1. Threading beads

This activity aids children to develop their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. To do this activity, you will need a needle and thread, and some beads. Thread the needle and have the child string the beads onto the needle.


Practical Life activities are a great way to support children’s development in their motor skills, coordination, and balance. 

When you first start doing these activities with children, start with simple activities that are easy for kids to do. 

As they get better at the activities, you can gradually introduce more challenging activities.

Remember that it takes time for children to develop their fine motor skills, coordination, and balance. Be patient and don’t get frustrated if the children make mistakes.

If you are looking for ways to help your child develop practical skills, these activities are a great option.


What is a typical day in a Montessori classroom? A typical day in a Montessori classroom is typically divided into three main parts. Morning Work is when children work independently on activities that they have chosen. Circle Time is when the class comes together as a group to sing songs, listen to stories, and learn about different topics. Lastly, the Work Cycle is the time when children work on activities that they have chosen with the help of a teacher.

Why are the 5 areas of practical life activities important? Practical Life activities are an important part of the Montessori curriculum because they aid children develop a number of important skills including independence, social skills, self-confidence, and fine motor skills.

What is the practical life sequence in Montessori? The activities are typically presented to children in a specific sequence, starting with the simplest activities and gradually working up to more complex activities. This sequence is based on the idea that children need to master basic skills before they can move on to more complex tasks.