We have made a decision to begin referring to the Long Day Care as Nido. Some of you may be aware that the term Nido in a Montessori environment is usually meant for babies up to 2 years of age so you may be wondering why we have made that decision.
The Nido environment is usually the first class children in a Montessori school attend. Nido is an Italian word meaning ‘nest’. It aims to support, nurture and protect a developing child. Our classroom is a warm, comforting and supportive environment where we take the utmost care to meet the developmental needs of all the children in our care. Both environments have activities and materials that are scaled to the children’s abilities and size.Movement is encouraged and the development of independence is emphasised.
Importance of Practical Life activities
The importance of practical life activities is to develop the child’s coordination, life skills and encourage independence. Many of the skills they practise are the same skills they will need in order to take care for themselves and look after a family of their own one day.
Like many of the activities in the Montessori environment, practical life activities have a direct and an indirect aim. The direct aim for instance can be to clean a plate, juice an orange or peel an egg. The indirect aim is far broader. It encourages deep concentration; it improves fine motor skills; it encourages the children to make intelligent choices and they have logical, sequential steps that the child needs to follow in order to complete the activity. These logical, sequential steps are developing the same part of the brain that the child will use later in life when it comes to writing and planning essays, completing a project or solving a mathematical problem.
Some of the practical life activities we have in the Nido class include:
- Setting the table
- Handing out glasses to their peers
- Washing up after they have eaten
- Cleaning the tables
- Pouring water
- Mopping up spills
- Sweeping and using a dustpan
- Juicing an orange
- Grating cheese or a carrot
- Slicing a cucumber
- Using a pestle and mortar
- Peeling an egg
- Transferring with a hand or spoon
- Dressing themselves
- Washing their hands