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YCC Practical Life 

Care of Self  |  Care of Home  |  Food Prep 

Practical life is so much more than washing hands and cleaning up. For the child under the age of three it is imperative to involve and allow them to participate in all practical life activities. Allowing them ample opportunities to do as much as possible for themselves. It is in at this age in which the child’s neurological foundation is formed. By the age of 3 90% of their neurological structures have been created. It is through their movement and repetition that these structures are fortified. Hence why it is also very important to recognize, they are more often interested in the process, not the product of the activity.

Practical Life Works to Develop: 

  • Concentration

  • Sequence

  • Order

  • Fine Motor

  • Language 

  • Independence

  • Self-Esteem

  • Self-reliance

  • Self-Confidence

Pieces to Remember


Be Present 

Get down to their level, make eye contact, listen even if they are hard to understand.


Be Consistent  

Follow a routine, items put in designated spaces and respond consistently.


Be Positive 

Spin their view by adjusting your response. They will feed off your positivity.

Care of Self 

Dressing and Undressing

Allow them to dress and undress them selves giving mostly pointers and only the help that is absolutely necessary (even if it does not match or if they put it on backwards). In order for this to be most successful and stress free you will need to:

Ways to make this Sucessful



Choose 2 appropriate options for you child to wear the night before (while they are sleeping). 



Have a designated area where they can choose from your provided options as mentioned above. (A table, night stand, chair or small closet)



Allow ample time for dressing in the morning.



 Give pointers using as much relevant language as possible “Hold the waistband”, “Find the leg whole”, “Which sock do you want to put on first, this one or that one?”



Have an accessible small hamper which they can also help carry to the laundry when full.

Care of self activities you can do at home:

Hand Washing    Blowing Nose    Wiping their face    Shoe Cleaning     Bathing

Care of Home 

There are countless ways a toddler can help around the house. As he or she becomes more and more mobile and coordinated the more they can contribute to the family home. There are some key things to remember in order to set your child up for success.


First the items available for their use should be functional and child sized in an accessible location.

Everything should have a home or designated location to be kept. This allows for you child to always know where to find it.

Be patient.

For success is to do it together. This is such a learning process for them. From how to move their bodies to coordinating their eye hand movements. The more they see us take care of things the more inclined they will also be to do the same.


Keeping a positive and happy attitude will also shape their perspective on cleaning.

For this age group it is all a learning process therefore at first they may not actually get all of the crumbs or all of the dirt from the windows. This is okay! They are more interested in the process. With years of experience you will see the growth and the product of their cleaning.

Food Prep

Food preparation in your home is one of the easiest and most fun way to incorporate your child in daily living. It can seem intimidating, but it does not need to be. While the ultimate goal is to develop independence slowly you should find more ways to remove yourself allowing them to independently do it on their own. There are many ways to involve them which gradually can increase. 

Montessori at Home 

One of the easiest ways to incorporate them is by providing an easily accessible snack (in limited quantities) which they can choose to sit and eat at any moment. Items like clementines, cooked vegetables, muffins etc. It is important to help them in providing only a limited quantity, which is appropriate as a snack.

Baking with Toddlers 

Baking can be such a fun and rewarding activity to do with any age child. With young toddlers it can be a great moment to connect with them by working together. Our goal it ultimately independence in all areas which comes with practice and more and more independence. When you feel comfortable and they have gotten the rhythm of baking you can move toward independently setting it up for them to do on their own or you can continue to enjoy the moments of connection. Allow your child to be involved from retrieving ingredients from the pantry and fridge to pouring pre-measured ingredients into the mixing bowels. Remember the flavor of baked goods is not altered by their shape or appearance. 

Banana Bread  

1/2 stick butter, melted

1/2 C. Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour

1/4 C Unbleached Flour


Banana Bunch

1/2 Tsp. Baking soda

1/2 Tsp. Salt

1/2 C mashed bananas

1/4 C Plain yogurt

1/2 Tsp. Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Help your child spray 1 medium sized loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray 

2. Allow your child to go stir crazy creaming butter and sugar until fluffy. Invite your child to crack the egg to add and beat well. (A fork can be used to fish out egg shells.) Don’t forget, always wash your hands after handling raw egg!

3. Allow your child to combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a measuring cup or scoop allow them to slowly mix in butter mixture.

4. Using a fork or masher allow your child to mash the bananas to add,  then yogurt and vanilla. Allow your child to continue mixing all ingredients incorporating them together. 

5. Using a measuring cup or scoop allow your child to scoop batter into greased pan or cupcake liners.

6. Bake for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

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