Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Practical Life - First Bath

Okay, so you won't find young children bathing actual babies in a traditional Montessori classroom, but you will find them attending to all sorts of Practical Life tasks like those described here.  And as was so eloquently put in Michal Olaf's Child of the World, "The traditional work of the family is referred to in Montessori as practical life work. It is the single most important area of an education for life...These areas of practical life depend on the culture in which the child is growing up, and may include, but are not limited to:
(1) care of the environment—cleaning, sweeping, washing clothes, gardening, etc.,
(2) the care of the person—dressing, brushing teeth, cooking, setting the table, etc., and,
(3) grace and courtesy—walking carefully, carrying things, moving gracefully, offering food, saying "please" and "thank you" and so on...
...Allowing the child to participate in the daily work he sees going on around him is an act of great respect for, and confidence in, the child. It helps him to feel important to himself and to those around him. He is needed. "

So, when it came time to give Jack his first tubby lately, we focused on family and on Luke and Nina's desire to participate and made it a Montessori-inspired event!

First, we got out all the materials we would need and then, went step by step through the process of bathing a baby, from testing the water's temperature:

 ...to the actual bathing -- gently, gently!:

...to making sure to dry baby thoroughly before holding him tight to ensure we warmed our happy, clean bundle back  up:

And, finally, to commemorating special occasions such as this with photos.  Luke, who loves taking pictures lately, did a great job with this one:

Now, we know, true Montessori fashion would be to demonstrate the activity first and, then, let the child do it independently, but -- safety first!  We treasure Jack too much to let Luke and Nina bathe him on their own just yet. :)  And, we value teaching the practical lesson that some things require help, anyway.

What a blessing something as simple as a first baby bath can be.  We are grateful to have had the opportunity to share this experience as a family.  What are you grateful for this week?  How are you applying principles, beliefs and values in very practical ways on your household?

This post is linked to Heavenly Homemaker's Gratituesday.


Related Posts with Thumbnails