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April 24, 2018

Practical Life for the Outdoors

We are finally experiencing spring and warm weather here. Which means we are going to be outside as much as possible for the foreseeable future. Being outside doesn't just mean that the kids are off riding bikes or swinging on the playground, but it opens up a world of practical life work opportunities. Practical life activities are such a huge and important part about Montessori living, especially for young children, and this work does not need to be limited to the doors of your home or classroom. 

Montessori practical life ideas to try outside with toddlers and preschoolers

The possibilities for practical life work outside are practically endless! Nearly anything that can be done inside could be taken outside for a child to work on. It's actually kind of nice to take practical life outdoors because they you don't have to feel so concerned about the mess that comes along with young children and these types of activities. So, here are some ideas for practical life work outdoors for you! 

Care of the Environment

Scrubbing a deck/outdoor surfaces 
Cleaning bikes or other outdoor toys 
Shoveling snow
Painting a fence/house/other structure 
Window washing 
Picking up garbage from ground 
Hauling garbage to bins or curbside 

Care of Others and Self

Helping to put on coats/boots/swim gear/outdoor gear 
Pushing a younger child in stroller or swing
Tending to small animals - feeding the birds, keeping chickens or rabbits, caring for a family pet 
Taking a dog {or other animal} for a walk 
Outdoor laundry - scrubbing and hanging clothes 

Montessori practical life ideas to try outside with toddlers and preschoolers

Plant Care/Gardening

Hauling or pouring dirt/rock/other natural materials
Planting seedlings 
Caring for plants in the garden 
Tilling up dirt
Watering plants  
Harvesting fruits and vegetables
Peeling or cleaning vegetables and fruits .
Cutting flowers
Arranging flowers 
Pruning plants 

Other Outdoor Work 

Transferring work involving water - sponges, scoops, cups
Weaving or sewing of natural materials 
Walking the Line on garden edges and sidewalk lines 
Woodworking or building 
Setting a picnic table or other outdoor picnic for a meal 
Outdoor art area - painting, chalk 
Composting waste 

Montessori practical life ideas to try outside with toddlers and preschoolers

I'm sure there are tons more that we could add to the list for children to work on outside. And, each of these activities could be adapted for a younger or an older child. For a younger child, participation might include one step in the process, where an older and more independent child might have complete control over an entire process. 

What kinds of practical life activities do your children enjoy outdoors? Anything I should add to this list? 

Montessori practical life ideas to try outside with toddlers and preschoolers

12 Months of Montessori  

This post is brought to you as part of the 12 Months to Montessori series! This month's theme is practical life. Don't miss these Montessori and Montessori inspired practical life posts! 


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Julie Trujillo
Julie Trujillo said…
Cleaning our deck with sweepers and soap! always fun!