The Practical Activities are the first activities the child is introduced to in the Montessori environment. These skills allow the child to become more self-sufficient. The Practical Life Activities allow the child to do things that the child sees the adult do every day – dressing oneself, cleaning the house, and greeting people. Because of this, the Practical Life Activities should use real, child-sized, working tools, not toy versions of adult tools. The child enjoys the PROCESS of the practical life activities, and often is not concerned with the results.
According to the Practical Life Early Childhood manual available through Montessori Research and Development, the Practical Life Activities are broken down in the following areas: Control of Movement – whole hand grasp, three-finger grasp, wrist movement, and arm movement, Care of Environment, Care of Self, and Grace and Courtesy.