Washing Clothes - Montessori Style!

How many times have you thought about adding a proper washing clothes lesson to your Practical Life area, but have lacked the funds to purchase all the required items?  It's usually the table/basin set up that is so incredibly expensive, or it's the shipping costs associated with purchasing this item online that make it cost prohibitive.

As Montessori teachers and parents, we've all spent time surfing the net trying to find an affordable alternative to the washing station that we've all dreamed of (but can't afford)...

Photo from Montessori Services

This morning, much to my delight, I stumbled across a Montessori blog that I never knew existed - How We Montessori.  I love finding new Montessori blogs - it's like discovering a mouth-watering treat you never knew existed.

Low and behold, the most recent post was about a clothes washing station that was repurposed/homemade!! If you're wanting to add hand washing clothing to your Practical Life activities, you most definitely want to read this post.

Photo from How We Montessori

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a child engaged in purposeful Practical Life activities. Here are 12 reasons to include P.L activities in your home/school.

Practical Life activities lead to...

1.  Construction and integration of the child’s personality through their freedom of choice, and through the variety of their choices. Freedom of choice is necessary for the healthy development of the will.

2.  Spontaneous purposeful activity that is only possible when children are allowed to exercise their curiosity through repetition. It is only through repetition that abstraction is possible. This abstraction brings about a feeling of completion for the growing child.

3.  Development of co-ordination of movement. The child thinks of the activity, wills himself to the activity, and then does the activity.

4.  Development of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the child.

5.  Purposeful movement that helps the development of the mind, and a sense of achievement. The development of the child’s mind, movement, and senses will in turn, develop the will.

6.  Concentration. The child will concentrate on completing an activity as perfectly as possible; all activities are intelligible, logical, sequential, and exact. Children will internalize this and try to repeat the exercises as perfectly as possible; all exercises have a motive for perfection.

7.  Orderly work habits. The children need to internalize presentations in an orderly manner in order to reproduce it in an orderly manner.

8.  The practical life exercises develop logical thought through the definite logic in the exercises. There is a beginning, middle, and end to each exercise.

9.  The exercises give the children a sense of responsibility from the result of freedom (freedom which is a result of co-ordination of movement and awareness of the environment). Children have the freedom and ability to exercise their will within their environment.

10. Social development. All of the practical life exercises teach the children grace, courtesy, patience, and respect. These elements of social development are re-enforced through the actions of the other children and through the actions of the teacher.

11. Establish a sense of reality, rooted in real activities (nothing is make-believe). Exercises are lucid, logical, and realistic. This helps the children pursue reality. If an activity is not meaningful and purposeful than the mind cannot develop or construct itself.

12. Emotional stability helps the children become familiar with the real world and their environment. It builds self-esteem, and through that, their dignity will flourish. Materials and activities are therapeutic, meaning the mind and body work together.

We wrote a full post on Montessori Practical Life Scope and Sequence on website to assist those who are not familiar with the Montessori Practical Life area.

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