Practical life includes life skills to help develop independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, confidence and include:
- Care of Self (food preparation, dressing, washing),
- Care of Environment (cleaning, gardening, care of pets, environmentalism),
- Grace and Courtesy (greetings, manners, social interactions),
- Control of Movement (refining movements, walking the line, moving quietly).
The purpose of the practical life area is two-fold. The activities are to assist the child in developing social skills and personal independence. Children will learn to respect and to take care of themselves and their environment and to respect others. The second purpose is to develop the child’s gross and fine motor movement that will provide the foundation for every other facet of the learning environment. All Practical Life Activities are uniquely purposeful and calming and may appear simple and repetitive. However, if you were to observe a child as he/she performs such activities, you would notice a high level of concentration; a developing sense of order (putting materials back where they belong); pride in his/her work; taking responsibility for any necessary cleaning; and an increasing sense of independence. Practical Life Activities are designed to encourage competencies in the following categories: Preliminary Activities; Care and Respect for Self; Care and Respect for the Environment; Social Graces and Courtesies; Fine Motor Skills; and Life Skills.