As a former Montessori Directress and now mom, I am always looking for ways to incorporate Montessori principals into everyday home life. Many Practical life exercises may be done at home; whether it be care of the self, care of the person, or care of the environment, it's all apart of everyday life and we may not even know that we are teaching  essential life skills to our children.

One way I try to help my child "do it himself" is to have an established snack cabinet. This can be done in many ways. One way would to purchase a separate cabinet just for supplies or to just have one of the kitchen cabinets in your home designated to your child's "kitchen supplies". In my home I have chosen the latter. What goes into the cabinet is up to the parent and may vary greatly and also depend on your child's age. You may first introduce this idea around age 3 depending on the child. In my 4 and a half year olds snack cabinet are:  small plates, silverware, cups and napkins and another section for cutting tools, spreaders and cutting board. If the child's snack is an apple for instance he would get out the apple cutting tool and a cutting board. For an older child you may also put out the snack that s/he is to eat that day.  There are even cool little snack dispensers for dry cereal or a small cracker like goldfish crackers. Water is always available at the refrigerator door dispenser so he may go get it anytime he wants. He doesn't have to rely on me to stay hydrated. I also tend to put the juice in a small pitcher on the bottom shelf in the fridge for easy access but he must ask first or it will be gone in a hurry. As a reminder the child should also have access to a small hand broom to help clean up the mess. Independence is  a great self-esteem builder in children, they will love "doing it themselves".


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