What Material Suits Each Ages For Practical Life Activities?


Montessori practical life materials form the groundwork for basic life skills learning. Life skills support children to gain control in the coordination of movement, help gain independence and adapt to society  

Practical life includes life skills to help develop independence, coordination, concentration, self-control, self-awareness, confidence 

      • Care of Self (food preparation, dressing, washing)
      • Care of Environment (cleaning, gardening, care of pets, environmentalism)
      • Grace and Courtesy (greetings, manners, social interactions)
      • Control of Movement (refining movements, walking the line, moving quietly) 

Designing play sessions and activities to suit real life, everyday activities is key. To do this, and ensure your child is mastering the right skills at the right time, it’s important to provide the right material for their level and interest.  

“The child becomes a person through work.”
Maria Montessori

This is a helpful list of material ideas for age groups: 

12-18 months + (for a child who is walking) 

        • Pots and pans (our mahogany set here is perfect)
        • Watering Can 
        • Plant mister 
        • Broom – indoor or outdoor 
        • Dish brush (for washing dishes) 
        • Vegetable brush (for scrubbing vegetables) 
        • Safety chopping board 
        • Small cleaning cloth or sponge 
        • Hairbrush 
        • Leaf Duster 
        • Polishing mitts 
        • Backpack or little messenger bag 
        • Apron – consider separate aprons for cleaning, gardening, and cooking 
        • Wooden tool sets & screws  

2-3 years + 

        • Chopping board and safety knife 
        • Bucket 
        • Mop  
        • Carpet sweeper 
        • Dustpan and brush 
        • Wheelbarrow  
        • Washing or clothes line, pegs, washboard 
        • Gardening Tools – rake, hand shovel, shovel, spade, gardening gloves 
        • Butterfly net, bug catcher or bug viewer 
        • Window Squeegee and small spray bottle 
        • Cleaning Caddy  
        • Scrubbing brush (for cleaning) 
        • Dusting brush 
        • Magnifying Glass 
        • Lock box or latches activity  
        • Daily routine charts 

3-4 years + 

        • Recycling bins and materials 
        • Flower Press  
        • Rain gauge  
        • Large outdoor (or indoor) thermometer 
        • Large Calendar  
        • Composting system  
        • Worm farm 
        • Paper making kit 
        • Bird feeder 
        • Table top greenhouse, seeder or root viewer 
        • Wood working tools – hammer, wood, nails, eye protection 
        • Tool box – with tools such as a screwdriver, torch, work belt 
        • Binoculars 
        • Microscope 
        • Stop-watch  
        • Measuring tape 
        • Scales (or balance bucket) 
        • Magnets 
        • Vases and gardening shears 
        • Social and emotion cards  

Don’t forget about little stools, chairs, a child size table, or a kitchen helper, while these aren’t necessarily practical life materials they are useful and can really benefit the child.   

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