Skip to Content

Practical Life, A View From Your Kitchen

Practical Life plays a big role in the classroom and also the home. This Montessori Mom wants to allow more independence and ownership in our home. When I need a minute (to cook, to work, to breath), I look for something to keep little hands busy.  Children take pride in helping.  Mirroring adults is play and work!

These are activities that I pulled from my kitchen, not my collection of Montessori materials.  My hope is for readers to put some of these together without buying anything.  Most of these I threw together while burping a baby or flipping pancakes during the newborn twin days!   It’s not always done perfectly, but through practice we are getting better. The goal here is gaining a sense of responsibility and the fine and gross motor exercises of caring for the home or classroom. After all, it’s the entire family’s home; not just mine to keep tidy.


1.  For the floors (oh yes, food gets there!) I keep vinegar and water in a spray bottle down low. We have a bunch of flannel cloth napkins low for this.  Of course it’s important to keep children safe, using child-safe cleaning products and adult supervision.

2.  A simple dustpan and brush works wonders.  Practice with larger items like craft pom poms or beans before expecting help with crumbs.

3.  Our favorite:  Table washing!  They use this for many surfaces.  I put out a bowl of water with a whisk, a dropper with baby wash, and flannel napkins or a washcloth.  Kitchen towels for drying.

table washing

[email protected] MOMents

Wednesday 27th of April 2011

My sons LOVE to help clean up. Washing tables and using a dust pan are favorites in my household, but I'll have to add the floor washing. Great advice...thanks! :)

Jessie, Education of Ours

Tuesday 26th of April 2011

Thank you for your lovely comments!


Monday 25th of April 2011

These are great ideas, the boy is JUST starting to want to help with things, so when he gets over the new baby, he might be ready for some of these ideas! Amber :)


Monday 25th of April 2011

My kids are my biggest helpers! They help set the table for dinner, and also help clear the table. Right now we are really pushing the, make your own beds, routine. Even though the beds aren't perfect they are learning that when you wake up, you tidy up your beds and rooms. Every little bit helps and it gives me a few more minutes just with them instead of cleaning!

Great tips, going to have to try a few of these with the Wee people, especially the floor wiping. Might deter some massive messes.

Deb @ Living Montessori Now

Monday 25th of April 2011

Great post showing how simple it is to provide practical life activities at home, Jessie! It's amazing how much young children can help when they're given the materials!