This is the term used by Montessori to explain jobs or chores done by the family unit. The Montessori classroom is somewhat a duplication of the home. Educators and children work together in cohesion in all tasks that are required from cleaning, to food preparation, to washing dishes and vacuuming. Practical life activities are paramount in the education of young children in preparing them for life.
The aim of sensorial materials is the education and refinement of the senses: visual/seeing, tactile/touch, olfactory/smelling, gustatory/taste, thermic/temperature, baric/weight, stereonostic/tactile-muscular and chromatic/colour. These activities assist the child in the development of their intelligence, to differentiate even the slightest differences in order to truly observe and appreciate the world around them.
Problem Solving and Mathematics
Children come into contact with numbers early on in life, as our world is dependent upon mathematics, from counting coins to baking biscuits. Therefore the practical purpose of helping children to develop mathematics curriculum is reality based. Concrete materials are used to present abstract mathematical concepts.
Language and Literacy
Language and communication are the crucial elements in life; therefore they must be introduced at an early age for children to form a strong foundation. Educators read books to children daily and encourage children to comment and discuss. Songs, rhymes and music are strongly involved in language curriculum, whilst visual and/or tactile resources are used regularly to offer a visual aid to language.
Dr. Maria Montessori saw that young children were interested in exploring the environment in increasing complex ways. She developed certain areas within the prepared environment that allowed the children to gain appreciation of biology, geography, simple science and history. By celebrating many traditions with food, music and stories, children can begin to see the uniqueness of all cultures, yet understand how much we all have in common.