Develop longer focus and attention through Practical Life activities

May 09, 2016

Do you get tired of seeing your child always gravitating to the Practical Life (PL) area?  Well, I’m here to tell you, that it is not necessarily a bad thing for them.  Did you know that activities such as transferring, spooning, scooping, and washing dishes are beneficial to their learning process? <—Yes! I said washing dishes.

Practical Life.  The area of the classroom that not many understand.

This isn’t about “playing” as so many would like to think.  PL offers many interesting ways for children to develop necessary skills like hand-eye coordination, longer focus, and attention span.

WHAAAAAAT???  “They do all of that?”

Why yes. They do, actually. Every activity in PL has an important function.  Tweezers?  Excellent for pincer grip, which inevitably aids in proper handling of a pencil. Table washing? Focus, focus, focus! (Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout) You know that child in the classroom that spends fifteen minutes a day washing the table? When have you ever seen a 3 and 4 year old focus on ANYTHING for that long?

“Whoa!  I never thought of it that way.”

That’s OK.  Not many do.  PL is the foundation of the Montessori classroom.  These exercises provide a host of other valuable assets to the child.  Besides improving focus, attention span, and hand-eye coordination, they help in developing control, independence, care for self and environment, as well as order.

Activities are also developed to work left to right. Orderly thought patterns, perhaps?  Maybe.

You too, can do these activities at home with your child. Let them help you in the kitchen.  Hand them a broom. Guess what?  They can even assist in setting the table.  Children want to imitate what we adults can do.  Allow for extra time in the morning and let them dress themselves.  You will be surprised what your little one can accomplish.

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