Practical Life activities are the activities of daily life. By observing practical life, children learn about their culture and the world around them, and develop the skills to navigate through every level of development. Maria Montessori spoke of the practical life as any behavior that has a purpose – purposeful movement. All humans must move, and all humans must work for themselves and for others.
“When we speak about the behaviour of men and animals, we refer to their purposeful movements. This behaviour is the centre of their practical life. It is not just the practical life in a house, cleaning rooms, watering plants, etc., that is important, but the fact that everyone in the world must move with a purpose and must work, not only for himself but also for others.”
Montessori, Maria. The 1946 London Lectures.
Practical Life is an integral part of the Montessori experience, as the mind develops through purposeful activity. These activities allow children to be a vital member of a working community, to test their limits of strength and endurance, and to fulfill their desire and joy to work and provide service to others and achieve peace of mind through the satisfaction of accomplishing an important task.