5 Practical Life Experiences That Are Perfect for Elementary School


Children who are enrolled in a Montessori elementary school will take part in age-appropriate practical life activities. These are lessons and experiences that help kids develop essential skills that they will need for a happy, productive future.

When elementary school kids take part in these activities, they don’t just learn a single skill. They also learn to follow complex sets of instructions, develop better motor skills, and practice working independently toward a goal. Many practical life experiences also teach care and awareness of the world around them.

These five life experiences are well-suited for Montessori elementary school students.

1. Planting Seeds and Caring for a Plant

Plant care is ideal for elementary school students. They can be responsible for caring for a single plant they grow from a seed or start. Classes may also incorporate the skill of plant care into a classroom garden. 

Because this is an ongoing project, students build memory, responsibility, and planning skills. This is a part of the practical life skills category “the care of plants and animals.”

2. Preparing a Simple Lunch

Even fairly young elementary school students can learn food preparation skills. When children prepare a simple lunch or snack they measure, use utensils, plan what they would like to eat, and serve others. The skill of cleanliness is also learned here. This is an activity that can be practiced alone or in groups.

3. Organizing an Art Caddy

Students who are preparing for an art project can be given the job of organizing their art caddies. They can ensure that art supplies are sorted and placed where they belong. This helps students to learn organization and planning, as they are able to notice missing supplies and then replace them.

4. Caring for a Tiled Floor

Elementary students must learn to care for their environment. Part of this is practicing surface cleaning skills. This includes sweeping tiled floors with a long broom and then mopping them. While this seems like a simple task, it requires students to follow multiple steps. Sweeping into a dustpan also requires fine motor skills.

5. Styling Hair

Montessori elementary school children are often interested in caring for their hair and styling it. This is a perfect age for them to learn how to brush or comb their hair to keep it free of tangles. Students this age can also learn to style and braid hair. They may even enjoy combing one another’s hair.

To facilitate this activity, students may be provided with their own brush or comb for school.

Why Practical Skills?

Students need to learn practical skills for future success, but these lessons are part of Montessori school programs for other reasons.

The Montessori philosophy is that learning is a hands-on experience. It should engage all five senses and integrate gross and motor skills. Additionally, children this age often enjoy taking part in these practical skills activities and are open to learning them.

The Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff helps your child develop and strengthen the skills needed to have a rich, fulfilling life. Reach out today to learn more.