“One, two, three.. four”, a three-year-old child was overheard quietly saying as she counted four carrots onto her plate. As she independently prepared her snack, she practiced many skills. First she recognized her body was feeling hungry so she paused her work and retrieved a snack necklace. Next she asked a teacher if she could wash her hands. With clean hands, she headed over to the snack area. She remembered to use two gentle hands when picking up her glass plate. She knew how many carrots, cucumbers and crackers to take by reading the numeral on the sign in front of each bowl of food. With tongs, she practiced refining her fine motor skills as she gathered her snack.
Once she carefully carried her plate to the snack table, she decided to get a cup of water. She then looked for her name, which is printed above her red cup and takes it off the hook. Next, she removed her cloth napkin from the cup and placed it under the water jug spigot. She remembered to fill it only half way. (A pitcher will replace the jug of water once the children have had more practice pouring in the practical life area). At last, she was ready to enjoy her snack!
“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.” – Maria Montessori