The reason for practical life activities, which include activities which are purposeful and useful for everyday living such as clearing a table and tying shoes, is to aid children in gaining confidence for day to day living. Children are naturally interested in activities and tasks they see performed on a daily basis, practising these gives children a sense fo independence and mastery over their own environment, it also serves to improve co-ordination and concentration. Activities which focus on grace and courtesy, such as blowing noses, or eating at a table, prepare children as functioning members of society. They learn through these exercises how to respect one another, and to work together. The great part of this aspect of montessori learning is that it is easily mimicked in the home environment, and you will be happily surprised as to how long such activities keep children engaged. Since the goal of these activities is to represent real life, the materials used should real, functional and complete. So, when doing these activities at home, try to resist temptation of over child proofing the material. Over the next few months I will be posting weekly examples of practical life actvities we are doing at nursery; try to do these at home as well.