In May every year, the children at Montessori House Brussels like to surprise their mothers by preparing a breakfast for them. This year’s edition is coming up on Thursday 13 May. The children bake a cake, set the table, arrange flowers and prepare a little gift to make this moment even more special.

But is that something new? To prepare breakfast? Set the table?

The children feed their own development by carrying out tasks of daily life: preparing a snack for their peers, setting the table, cleaning the floor, cutting fruit or vegetables, dusting, washing clothes, ironing, taking care of plants, and many other daily tasks they see us undertake at home. A child is proud when they can take charge of practical yet important aspects of their own life, such as feeding or getting dressed themselves.

This is basic confidence-building.

At Montessori House Brussels, children freely use the material at their disposal. For example, they will continue to wash their hands even when the goal is reached: there will be repetition (beyond hygiene). The repetition here has a precise meaning for the child. It becomes a means of building themselves, of developing their self-confidence and their logical thinking.

Children like practical life exercises because, apart from imitating the adults in daily activities, they are able to turn these exercises into a source of great personal satisfaction: a little effort leads to a visible result. Through practical life, children gain that personal autonomy which progressively frees them from dependence on the adult.

Mothers’ Breakfast Day at Montessori House Brussels is actually a marvellous time for the child to use skills they have learned and to give a special gift to their mother: independence.