As I believe that children are natural learners, I also believe that children are capable of doing things if we give them a chance to do so. This is what makes me fell in love with the Montessori method. Children are given a chance to do practical life exercises through a prepared environment.

I try my best to always involve Lulu in doing my daily activities; be it house chores, physical exercises, or doing my hobby. These activities may seem simple to us as adult, but for an absorbent mind like a child in Alula's age, there are sure a lot of things to learn.

I haven't been really setting up a plan for what activities or skill that Lulu needs to exercise. I kinda let Lulu explore on her own, follow what she's interested in, and develop the activities based on it.

So today we did some of practical life exercises based on daily activity.

Washing Hands

We try to make Lulu get used to hygiene. One of the way is to train her to wash her hands at least before and after a meal. She usually will say "cuci.. cuci.." (wash in Bahasa Indonesia) while showing her hand gesture, asking us to take her into the sink.

Today we plan to eat out. It will be a challenge to take her for "cuci", as not all restaurant has a sink. So, before entering any restaurant, Papa brought Alula to a toilet in the mall. It has a child-size sink that makes it easier for Lulu to wash her hand by herself.

Her response? She was thrilled! It was the very first time she can reach a sink and been able to wash her hands by herself. She spent quite some time in front of the sink washing her hands. I'm sure the germs are all gone. Papa needed to intervene her to end this activity, to avoid wasting water.

Areas: applied exercise on self-care

Key development: hand and eye coordination, practice hygiene

Observation note:

  • She's really excited to do this activity, as the sink is in her size

Brushing teeth

Every time my husband or I brushing our teeth, we would take Alula with us. I usually hold her in one of my arm, hand her her tooth brush, and brush my own teeth with my tooth brush. Lulu will eventually follow to brush her teeth even without my command.

Areas: applied exercise on self-care

Key development: hand and eye coordination, practice hygiene

Observation note:

  • Grip on the tooth brush is correct
  • Needs more exercise on the correct movement of the toothbrush
  • The result of brushing is relatively clean

Typing on a laptop

I guess any baby would be excited to type on the computer keyboard. Well, so does Lulu. She will ask the adult to take her on the lap whenever she spots anyone working with a laptop. She will usually say "duduk.. duduk.." (sit in Bahasa Indonesia) while pointing on the chair where the adult sits on.

As a little bit of a background, Alula's papa is a software engineer. He often works in front of a computer, even at home. I also frequently work on my laptop to finish some of my projects. So, she has been quite exposed with the scene of someone using a laptop.

What makes it interesting is the way she lays her finger on the keyboard. She uses all of her 10 fingers! Instead of banging her hands onto the keyboard, she touches the keyboard softly. Haha. Maybe she has been paying attention to what her Papa has been doing.

Areas: preliminary exercise (pressing buttons)

Key development: hand and eye coordination, motor skill control

Observation notes:

  • Lulu enjoys pressing the buttons on the laptop keyboards
  • This activity can be developed into introduction to alphabet later on
  • Anyway, exposure to gadget should be kept to minimum

Setting up the diffuser

It has been our routine in the past couple of months to diffuse essential oils before we go to bed every night. Before putting Lulu to sleep, I always involve Lulu to set up the diffuser together. First of all, I open the the diffuser, fill the tank with water, put several drops of desired essential oil (s), close the diffuser, and turn it on. The last step is to choose the light colour, according to our mood.

Lulu has been so attentive to take part in this activity. Her part is to put several drops of essential oils and choose the lighting colour by pressing a button on the diffuser.

Areas: preliminary exercise (pressing buttons)

Key development: hand and eye coordination, motor skill control

Observation notes:

  • Actually Lulu is so interested to do more, like pouring the water, but I still need to organise the diffuser spot so that it is accessible by Alula
  • This activity can be develop to exercise more skills, like wet pouring, olfactory sensory (smelling different kinds of essential oils), introducing colours from the diffuser lightings, introducing the concept of evaporating, and so on.

Putting laundry into the washing machine

Ok, we both love this activity. Lulu loves to put the laundry into the washing machine and Mama just love to have a helping hand, haha!

Areas: preliminary exercise (moving object)

Key development: hand and eye coordination, motor skill control

Observation notes:

  • Lulu is very happy when we let her to help us doing an adult task