At almost 12 months of age, we are starting to introduce Otto to a wide range of practical life activities. To be honest, it's more like he is demanding to be involved. Last week we started using the FunPod and it's been a lifesaver. Practical life in our home occurs naturally - when I am doing something I ask myself is there a way my children can be involved. Last Sunday morning Otto helped to whisk his eggs for breakfast, while I tided he washed his dishes (played with the sink water with his dishwashing brush and dishes). Children and yes, babies (!!) are observing and want to copy, want to do just as you are doing. Where their skills permits why not allow them?
We have started a small collection of practical life tools. Here is what we have at almost 12 months:
- Apron - look for especially small aprons from 1 year, we love the aprons with the velcro closure and elastic neck. In the US look at Handmade Montessori.
- Infant Fork and Spoon - we've been using a fork from 11 months.
- Child Dishwashing Brush - where possible look for an extra small one, this one is smaller than our other child-sized dish brushes.
- First Knife - this is only suitable for soft foods.
- Kitchen Sponge/Cleaning Cloth - I just cut a small rectangle from a larger kitchen sponge.
- Small Watering Can
- Small Bucket
- Broom - we have this ready for as soon as he starts confidently walking, there are a few brands that offer brooms from 12 months, many child-sized brooms will be too big for an infant/toddler.
- Pitcher and Glass Cups
- Wooden Spoon
- Wooden Scoop
- Hair Brush
- Mini Whisk
- Cloth napkins
- Vegetable brush
- Small chopping board
- Small Spatula
As I've noted above we've looked for and use very small materials, often smaller than child-sized materials. Redecker make very small brooms (to use from 1 yr) and I've found Etsy a good source for very small aprons. If you have an older child or toddler I would still recommend many of these materials, it's not too late to start practical life in the home!