Now our toddler is old enough to work on her practical life skills in the kitchen on regular basis. We set aside time every day to incorporate Montessori principals to create healthy snacks and build healthy habits from the start.
Why do we need practical life exercises at home?
Practical life activities in the kitchen are very important because they:
– help to gain control over their little hands and movement
– support their desire to be independent and do things on their own
– help to develop deep concentration
– children learn orderly thinking
– children are encouraged to take care of themselves and eat healthy,
– children get excited to prepare their own nutritional snacks and tend to be less picky with their food
Every day I aim to allow my daughter to prepare her own snacks for morning tea and afternoon tea.
Snacks that we make:
– apples, bananas, nectarines or pears for slicing
– mandarins or lemons for juicing (oranges are a bit too large – I use smaller fruit to set her up for success)
– grapes, watermelon or berries for making fruit kebabs
– nuts for cracking
– dips, butter or gem for spreading on crackers or toasts
– eggs or mushroom for slicing
– frozen berries to enjoy on their own or to make flavoured frozen cubes
I usually do not offer more than three or four choices otherwise she wants to eat everything in one go because she is so excited to use all the tools.
Another significant aspect of allowing my girl to make her own snacks is to teach her to tidy up after herself and also teach her that spills and making mistakes is a part of life. I make sure she knows that its OK to make mistakes and don’t make her feel bad for spilling or creating a mess as soon as she cleans it after herself.
When Miss decides to have a snack she tells me what she would like to eat and I help her to find the right tools and arrange them on the tray for her to take to the table. I try to give as little assistance as possible and step away as soon as I know she can handle the rest on her own.
tools that we use ( found in a dollar store, opp shops or a majority of supermarkets):
You can find a wide range of Practical Life Tools used in the Montessori Classroom in this post