This transferring Practical Life Activity is perfect for toddlers or preschoolers who have mastered hand and spoon transferring as this activity is a little more 📈challenging. Use a stainless steel picker-plucker (buy here) for plucking olives, 🍇 grapes, 🍒cherries, dry 🍝pasta or any other food big enough to be plucked.
One of the aspects of Montessori prepared environment, which is meticulously designed to meet the needs of the child both physically and emotionally, includes Practical Life activities. Many such activities are tasks a child sees routinely performed at home. They each serve a meaningful purpose as the child masters essential tasks such as food preparation, pouring a drink, tying of the shoes, sweeping, sewing and many more.
Through Practical Life activities, a child also develops and refines social skills, which build self-esteem, determination, and independence. "Through practical life exercises … children develop a true ‘social feeling,’ for they are working in the environment of the community in which they live” (5, pg. 97). Maria Montessori explains in The Discovery of the Child.
Additionally, fine motor skills are improved through the use of Practical Life materials since by virtue of repetition, a child refines coordination and concentration, and thus develops independence, which leads to the inevitable growth of child’s sense of self-worth.
"I can do it myself!" is the premise on which Practical Life Activities are pivoted, and although, appearing quite simple and repetitive, practical life activities are highly purposeful since a child engaged in them demonstrates high levels of concentration, sense of order, and refinement of fine motor skills.
Picking an olive requires coordination of small muscles in the hands and precision.
"Pick one – eat one!" Both Julia and Adrian love olives!
You can also use dried pasta or any other food big enough to be plucked.
Practical life skills are an essential component of Montessori education as they provide a foundation for the life-long love of learning while teaching a child independence through caring for oneself and the environment.
For more on plucking, see here Adrian pitting cherries in a video post "🍒Cherry Pitting • Practical Life 🙌 Activities 101🎥 Series 🎇.