This lesson is designed for 1-3-year-old children to teach them how to shovel snow, sand, or mud. The activity helps the child to become independent and carry out the daily household chores.

Montessori education promotes hands-on learning and shoveling is one of them. Children enjoy shoveling as it gives them the opportunity to go outside, enjoy the fresh air, and be active. 

What is a Shovel?

A shovel is a gardening tool for digging, lifting, and moving bulk materials, such as mud, snow, etc. Its blades usually consist of sheet steel or hard plastics which are extremely strong.

Everyday Usage of Shovel in a Child’s Life

A shovel can be used for many activities,activities, such as

  • To play with sand at the beach
  • To clear the lawn covered with snow during winters
  • To clear mud lying in the garden and make them clean
  • To grow plants in the flower pot/garden

Material Required to Perform the Shoveling Activity

  • A child-size shovel
  • A pair of child-size gloves
  • A bin/ bag to collect mud

Benefits of Shoveling

Shoveling is one of the popular practical life lessons taught during winters. It has many benefits. Some are listed below:

  • It teaches the child control of movement
  • It improves concentration and attention
  • It builds confidence and encourages independence
  • It helps the child to learn daily household chores and let them adapt to their surroundings
  • It teaches cleanliness by keeping the environment clean.
  • It also refines gross motor skills.

How to Introduce Shoveling to the Child?

  1. Invite the child outside the house and tell them today they are going to shovel the sand.
  2. Bring the shovel into the lawn.
  3. Stand behind the sand you would like to sweep.
  4. To hold the shovel, place the right hand around the rake’s handle with the thumb on the top and the four fingers wrapped around the handle.
  5. Now, place your hand below the right hand.
  6. Put the shovel into the sand/ snow and apply pressure to the back of the shovel as shown in the video.
  7. Now, and push the shovel downwards to lift the sand/ snow.
  8. Move the shovel towards the bucket and turn it to collect the sand in it.
  9. Continue until all the sand/snow is collected in the bin.

Useful Tips While Introducing How to Use a Shovel to the Child

  • Before introducing shoveling to the child, it is very important to watch the video lesson specially designed for parents and teachers. 
  • When shoveling mud or snow, it is best to give the children a child small-sized shovel.
  • When introducing this activity, designate a specific area for the child.
  • Clear small areas at a time and collect the dirt/snow in the basket (do not just fling the sand/snow all over the yard)
  • Make it easy for the child to lift the shovel by shoveling a small amount of dirt first.

Watch the video to see the correct way of shoveling the sand. Ask the child to shovel the sand in your garden and instill in them a sense of confidence and independence.

For more practical life lessons, click here.

Video Created by: James Bauckman



  • care of environment
  • English
  • Practical Life
  • toddler