Dr. Maria Montessori introduced Practical Life exercises to provide the children with opportunities to perform simple tasks that they have already observed at home. Practical Life exercises enable the children to care for themselves, take care of the environment, and develop respect for others.
Care of environment activities encourage the child to interact with the environment, exhibiting respect and love. These activities help the child form a connection with their environment and find a personal responsibility towards it.
This week we introduced one of the most beloved activities in our Montessori environments: flower arrangement. This is a beautiful activity that offers so much to your child’s development. Through this exercise, children develop a sense of beauty, work on the mental task of sequencing, and learn to exercise their judgment of size and capacity in matching flowers to vases and also in pouring water. This activity also indirectly prepares your child for botany studies in our Primary program and offers a great opportunity to work on independence and concentration.
Another highlight of our week was our first lesson on food tasting. As children grow beyond the infant stage, they begin the journey to independence as toddlers. Many parents notice this change in their children when it comes to mealtime, as they begin to hear a resounding “no!” when it comes to eating the foods they once loved and trying new ones. In order to help families, we have integrated food tasting into our toddler program as a way to ease children into the idea of trying new foods by teaching them all about the food and encouraging them to participate as a group.
This week we introduced some delicious yellow peppers.
Children were really excited to see the food tasting tray covered. They knew there was a surprise and they immediately gathered quietly around the tray. They were attentive at the moment we removed the towel that was covering the pepper. The pepper was presented as a whole first, then cut in front of them, presented as half, and then served individually while following all COVID safety guidelines. In our conversation we included such adjectives as cold, big, smooth, yellow, and tasty to keep adding to our vocabulary.
Children observed while I slowly picked up a piece of pepper and placed it inside my mouth, tasting it slowly and dramatically, with the purpose of encouraging curiosity and expectation when it was their turn to taste. They immediately started to ask for their turn to taste it! They really liked it!
From now on, these two exercises will be available in our environment every week! Thank you SO much to the Mica family for the gorgeous flowers they donated this week and thank you all for your support providing your own child’s food tasting. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Mrs. Hood and Ms. Maria