Practical Life Exercises
Simple and attractive materials in trays or containers give children the opportunity to do sorting, spooning, pouring, sponging, polishing, basting, cutting, grating, whisking etc. It provides them to develop muscle control and eye-hand coordination. Activities such as dressing frames, sweeping, crumbing and washing help children to take care of themselves as well as the environment. It also helps them to expand their level of concentration for learning, to have a sense of order and to accomplish tasks independently.
Special sensitivity to sensorial impressions develops during preschool years. Sensorial activities help children develop their senses and powers of observation. This enhances their readiness for greater work. Sensorial activities are designed to develop a child’s sense of taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. Advanced sensorial activities aim at developing the child’s sense of balance and concepts such as short and long, thin and thick, small and big, smooth and rough and various shades of color.
First presented to the children in concrete, manipulative terms using colorful objects, math is introduced to children so they can understand basic mathematical concepts, always associating quantity with symbols. Once they understand the concept, more abstract forms are used. Avoiding memorization, children learn addition and subtraction facts by actually performing the operation with bead material.
Language spans every area in a Montessori environment from verbal skills, visual perception and learning the phonetic alphabet which leads to printing, spelling and reading. With the use of movement from tracing sandpaper letters to manipulating the movable alphabet, children learn to build words. A complete reading system helps the child to gain understanding that sounds can be blended together to form a word.
Songs, finger play, action rhymes and games help children develop their sense of rhythm and pitch, and improve focus, muscle coordination and group interaction. These activities help them to develop their understanding of basic concepts such as singing in tune, timing, beat and the use of percussion instruments. Movement, mime and improvisation help bring out the best of their imagination.
Children learn to express their feelings and emotions in a safe way through Art. It helps them to practice and gain fine muscle control and strengthen eye-hand motor coordination by holding paintbrushes and learning how to control paint, crayons, scissors, and other art tools. Children gain the skills necessary for writing activities as well as a feeling of control over themselves and their world. Children develop awareness of colors, shapes, forms, lines, and textures as they try to express themselves through Art.