Practical life activities are some of the most important Montessori activities. They help children develop order, concentration, coordination, and independence … skills which help in all learning. I’m excited today to share some wonderful practical life activities from Montessori by Mom. They use materials from the Montessori By Mom Helping Hands Toolbox and a free printable.
There are activities for babies through early elementary in the toolbox. Just choose the activities that fit the age and skill level of your child or children.
Disclosure: I’m a Montessori By Mom affiliate. I was given the Helping Hands package for this review/activity post.
Montessori By Mom
Montessori By Mom is a small business started by Nathan and Teresa Hadsall, two teachers who wanted to empower parents to teach their own children using Montessori principles and activities. Nathan and Teresa offer a subscription service, sending a box of themed Montessori materials and activities for 3-5 year olds each month. Everything you need for teaching your child with the materials is included in the monthly subscription. With each box, you’ll get
- Video instruction for 6-8 activities (The videos are wonderful! Parents with no Montessori experience can feel comfortable introducing the Montessori activities after watching the video instructions.)
- Video instruction about basic Montessori principles and teaching techniques
- All the materials needed for the 6-8 activities
- Bonus activities and ideas for more activities using materials at home
- Access to an online forum where you can ask questions and connect with other parents
Montessori By Mom now has a Montessori By Mom store where you can buy single toolboxes, activity sets, single items and refills, and printables and videos.
Helping Hands Box and Activities
I love that there are so many possibilities of activities that can be prepared easily using the Helping Hands Toolbox. Teresa and Nathan give many ideas for various ages and levels of difficulty. Each material can be used in multiple ways, and the extensions ensure that the activities can grow with your child. The instructional videos and online resources give you all the information you need to start using Montessori at home. This is like a mini Montessori training course to help you get started comfortably … and with all the materials included.
The Helping Hands Toolbox will continue to be available in the Montessori By Mom store. In the Helping Hands Toolbox, you’ll receive:
- Washing Set: Real Sea Sponge, Miniature Soap, Microfiber Drying Cloth, Spray Bottle with 2 Different Sprayers, Cotton Balls, Orange Sticks, Miniature Mirror, Mixing Bowl, Whisk, Ceramic Creamer
- Folding Set:4 napkins with different guides for learning to fold
- Felt Clothing Activity Set: Printable Felt Clothing Pattern, Felt Packet (assorted colors), Miniature Clothespins, String, Miniature Laundry Basket
- Wooden Dusting Brush
- Child-Sized Apron
- Instructional Videos
- Helping Hands Toolbox Guide
Helping Hands Practical Life Activities Using the Montessori By Mom Materials
These are just a few of the activities you can prepare using the Helping Hands Toolbox materials. The additional ideas are in the videos and online parent resources that are included with the toolbox.
Simple Table Washing Activity for Babies and Toddlers
This activity isn’t in the video presentations, although it uses materials from the Helping Hands Toolbox. I prepared a simple table-washing activity that could be used with older babies and young toddlers. It worked well with my 11-month old granddaughter, Zoey. I put the apron that came with the Helping Hands Toolbox on Zoey so she would get used to wearing an apron during water activities.
With a baby or toddler who is unable to wait during a presentation, I would lay out the materials as in the above photo, name the objects, and then put them out of reach. Then I would briefly show how to wash the table using the sea sponge and let the baby or toddler wash the table. For a baby who would try to eat the sponge, you could use a wash cloth to wash the table. When the baby or toddler seems ready for a new part of the activity, I’d show how to dry the table with the microfiber cloth and then let the baby or toddler use the microfiber cloth to dry the table. I don’t worry about how long a baby or toddler stays interested, but I’m careful not to interrupt a baby or toddler who is focused on the activity.
Update: See a version for older toddlers and preschoolers in my “Simple Montessori Table Washing for Toddlers.”
Washing a Small Object
This activity is great for seasonal or interest-based variations. In the fall, you might want to use a small pumpkin as the object to be washed. For a child who loves vehicles, you might use a small toy car. For this activity, I used one of the seashells from the Shells and Starfish Toolbox. The creamer and stainless-steel bowl are especially lovely and help children develop an appreciation of the materials.
Whisking is an activity that’s very appealing to preschoolers. Montessori By Mom gives variations with the child-size whisk that can be used at home instead of the classroom. Here, I used Montessori By Mom materials to create a bubble-making activity.
Spraying Activity to Clean a Mirror
Montessori By Mom provides two types of sprayers with different levels of difficulty in the toolbox. I used the white tray from the Shells and Starfish Toolbox to create a mirror washing activity using the simple sprayer.
Montessori By Mom provides a nice-quality dusting brush for this activity. The activity can be done with rice or beans for a simpler activity. For a more difficult activity, you could lay out the packing materials that come in the Montessori By Mom boxes. The child simply sweeps the materials into the square made with electrical tape. (Note: electrical tape doesn’t come in the toolbox but can be found easily at Walmart and many other stores.) Because the packing materials are more difficult to sweep, I recommend saving this activity for older children or using a larger square than you’d need for rice or beans.
I don’t like to sew, so I really appreciate that the napkin-folding materials were already sewn and even ironed.
Napkin origami (or elegant napkin folding) is a fun activity for advanced preschoolers and elementary-age children. This fold is shown in one of the videos, and resources are given for many more napkin folds.
Clothespin Activity for Fine-Motor Coordination and Learning How to Use a Clothespin
This activity uses the stainless steel bowl and clothespins that come in the Helping Hands Toolbox. It takes almost no time to set up yet is a great way for children to learn how to use clothespins and strengthen their fingers.
Felt Clothing and Clothes Hanging Activity
The Montessori By Mom resources include printable clothing patterns and ideas for using the materials for a variety of ages. Elementary-age children might even want to trace and cut out their own clothes or make clothes for a younger sibling.
Free Staying Healthy Printable Chart from Montessori By Mom
Montessori By Mom is sharing this free Staying Healthy printable chart. It’s a helpful tool for the upcoming cold and flu season. You can use it as a chart or cut out the text as shown in the photo below to use as a “staying healthy” reminder if you don’t like to use charts. The reminder can be printed on photo paper or cardstock. You could laminate the cardstock, although you might find printing on photo paper works well for home use.
Nose Wiping Station
This activity isn’t part of the toolbox, although it uses the free printable cut to use as a reminder. You could have a nose-wiping station on a nightstand beside your child’s bed or on a shelf in the classroom or in any room in your home. It’s a good reminder even for non-readers if you’ve previously discussed the phrases and ideas with your child. The reminder in the photo is on a very small tabletop easel.
Montessori By Mom Toolboxes + Toolbox Review and Activity Posts
Montessori By Mom has a few other Toolboxes, too: Mad Scientist (for skills such as pouring, color mixing, volume, and measurement), Space Explorer Toolbox, Movement and Motion, Caves and Caverns, Journey to Japan, Dinosaur Discovery, Delicious Discoveries, and Kings, Queens, and Castles.
I’ll be adding my review and activity posts to this post as I publish them. Montessori By Mom is actively working to restock several of their Toolboxes, so there should be more available every month.
MONTESSORI BY MOM SPECIAL OFFER FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS!
I really love the Montessori By Mom materials and curriculum. I definitely recommend Montessori By Mom for parents looking for a simple and fun way to start using Montessori at home.
Montessori By Mom offers $10 off to new subscribers with the coupon code AFFDECH at checkout.
Montessori By Mom is based in the U.S., but there’s even international shipping! Montessori By Mom also has a Montessori By Mom store where you can buy single toolboxes, activity sets, single items and refills, and printables and videos! You can connect with Nathan and Teresa on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and YouTube (where you can see their public videos, including a Montessori By Mom subscription sample). They also have a blog with more helpful information. Montessori By Mom runs the Montessori By Mom Family (Facebook group), too, “as a way way to support anyone interested in providing children with a Montessori experience. We also want our customers and fans to be able to connect with us and each other!”
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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