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June 14, 2016

Montessori practical Life at 2-years-old

Sometimes when people think about practical life work for toddlers they think about tiny little cups or pitchers where toddlers are sitting quietly and transferring beans/rice/water/whatever. In reality these works often end up all over the floor with the toddler and the parent frustrated. This work is often designed for older children, specifically for 3-6-year-olds in a Children's House. 

So, what does practical life work look like for toddlers? What is Montessori practical life at 2-years-old, what does it look like? 

Montessori practical life ideas for 2-year-olds. What does practical life look like for toddlers? Here are some easy ideas for toddlers to help around the house.

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Well, in a word, it's practical. It's really doing work. It's pouring your own glass of water. It's helping with the laundry.

It is practical.
Montessori practical life ideas for 2-year-olds. What does practical life look like for toddlers? Here are some easy ideas for toddlers to help around the house.

It's moving chairs and sweeping the floor. It's swiffering. It's feeling needed and respected. It's being an important member of the family. 

It is practical.

It's washing and slicing your own snack, then serving it to your family. It's feeding yourself that snack and then returning to clean up the mess. It's spontaneously wiping, and pouring and cleaning and concentrating in the same way you see the adults in your life wiping, pouring, cleaning and concentrating. 

It is practical. 

It's returning things to their proper place. It's spraying windows and wiping them clean.

There are many things that practical life at 2-years-old is not. It is not about sitting still. It is not about being perfect. It is not about the end goal. It's not always clean or efficient or done the way adults do it. It is not shelf work. It is not hard to prepare. It is not expensive.

It is practical.

So prepare your environment, give them the tools and give them the space. Set your 2-year-old free. Forget a million pouring works and get practical! 

What does practical life look like for your 2-year-old? 

12 Months of Montessori 

This post is brought to you as part of the 12 Months of Montessori series. The theme this month is practical life. For great Montessori and Montessori inspired practical life posts, check out these great blogs! 

Montessori Practical Life Checklist | Sugar, Glitter & Spice
Practical Life for an Older Child | Grace and Green Pastures
10 Ways to Encourage Family Chores this Summer | Christian Montessori Network
Practical Life at 2-Years-Old | The Kavanaugh Report

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Mama's Happy Hive
I love this! I really appreciate how you present what practical life work is for a 2 year old. It's practical for them at their age. Bravo!
Unknown said…
So sweet. I love how open your home is to really facilitate wonderful activities. She looks so accomplished too!
Unknown said…
Thank you for this! This was a wonderful reminder for me!
Every Star Is Different
Adorable and SO true! Perfectly said.
Unknown said…
ADORABLE! I mean I can barely read it, because her face is so cute :) Love this!
Unknown said…
Awww, she is so lovely and working so well on her practical life skills! Great post!
Bess Wuertz
Bess Wuertz said…
I LOVE your focus on the practical nature of practical life. Thank you for showing just how natural it should be in the home.
noreen claire
noreen claire said…
My two year old is in the 'throw it on the floor' and the 'spray mama with the hose' phase. Practical life activities are not working out right now...
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Stephanie Hein
Stephanie Hein said…
Can you tell me where you got the shelving units that the kids snacks are on? The ones that are pie shaped? Also, is that a mini sink?!
Molly said…
Like Stephanie, I'd also love to know the sources of some of your child-size furniture.