Montessori Practical Life: snack and self-care stations in a small space and on a budget. What are practical life skills?

Hi! I am a firm believer that the more independent, the happier and more confident the child is. If you're looking for advice on how to start implementing practical life skills into your child's life, and how to create a self-care and snack stations in a small living space (and on a budget!), I've got you. If you need a weekly dose of ideas for practical life skills activities, please check out my Instagram account

What are practical life skills and why they are crucial for the child's development?

Practical life skills include everything that a person needs to master in order to become independent and live in a society. Obviously, that all depends on the person's age and abilities. 
Independence boosts confidence like nothing else in this world. 
Teaching kids some practical life skills take a lot of patience and persistence. And do you know what do they learn besides cleaning, cooking and doing laundry? Patience and persistence. The core of success. 

Kitchen drawer instead of a snack station

When Kian was a baby, I had all of his cups and plates in a cabinet high up. But when it was a time for him to gain independence in a snacking department, I decided to swap whatever I had in one of my drawers (tea towels and kitchen cleaning clothes) with his stuff. So the tea towels now live in a cabinet, and Kian can easily access his belongings without having to ask an adult to help him. 

Inside his drawer, there are some cups, his plate and a bowl, metal straws, his cutlery, as well as kids-friendly kitchen knives and his bottle for when we go out. 

I always leave a clean kitchen cloth for him as well, so he can deal with any spills independently. 

He drinks only water, so when he is thirsty he grabs one of his cups and then pours some water from the water dispenser that we keep at all times on our table. 

He has a foldable step-stool that he uses to get fresh fruit from the fridge. Our fridge is pretty small and light, so it is easy for him to open and close its door. We often make ice lollies at home so he can get them directly from the freezer. Obviously, it is important to ensure that the freezer drawers are not damaged nor over-filled with food. This way, instead of having to build or buy a pretty chunky snack station, I found some easy ways to incorporate Kian's kitchen tools and tableware into existing furniture. And because the water dispenser is always on our table, we are well hydrated. 

If your child normally eats some snacks in wrappers, you could leave them in their drawer as well. Some parents prep snack caddies for their kids, so anytime their child wants something to eat, they take it from that caddy. 

I created an alternative to a Montessori self-care station by incorporating it into existing bathroom furniture.

Self-care station

I love the self-care stations that parents make for their kids, and if only I had somewhere to fit one, I would definitely build it for Kian.

My tiny bathroom, however, came with no storage at all. Luckily last year I found a narrow but capacious cabinet that I can fit all of our products and backups into. I still wanted Kian to have some sort of care of self station, that's why I created it on one of the shelves.

This basket used to store Kian's nappies and hairbrush when he was tiny, and because it is in a perfect condition and fits on the shelf, I now use it to store his hair accessories, a washbag, his sunscreen and his hair brushes (for those who don't know, my son has a very beautiful, long hair). On the side, there is his toothbrush and toothpaste, and a small mirror. He can now easily reach the sink, but before he used to use his step-stool (the same one he uses in the kitchen). His towel hangs on the radiator just next to the shelving unit, so everything is easily accessible for him. 

That is all that I have for you today, but check my InstaStories on Saturdays for weekly practical life activities for kids. If you missed any of the episodes, you can find them in the
'Practical Life' highlight on my profile.  Thank you for your time! 
Gosia x


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