Nienhuis Montessori Practical Life
The Nienhuis Montessori practical life materials provide the child with the necessary tools to perform exercises of practical life, which are the foundation of a Montessori environment. The range of materials facilitates activities which allows the child to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of their environment, orderly thought patterns, independent work habits, responsibility, and many other human characteristics which can only be attained by spontaneous, purposeful work.
When children come into the world, their first function is to adapt to their environment so that they may become a member of the human group to which they uniquely belong. The mechanism by which this occurs is one of absorption of all the elements surrounding them, and the numerous levels of order prevailing in their home. The daily activities undertaken by adults in establishing, maintaining and embellishing the living environment and the quotidian rites of everyday existence are comforting and provide a security necessary for the child’s development.
Practical life exercises are classified under the headings of preliminary exercises, care of the environment, care of the person, grace and courtesy, and movement. The Nienhuis Montessori practical life range includes materials for each of these areas adapted to the children’s size, interests and capabilities. Fundamentally, these exercises are the same all over the world, but distinct in their expression in different societies since they reflect the domestic life of the particular culture where the Montessori environment is established.