Children in the Kitchen: The Delights of Food Preparation

Contributed by TMS Assistant Teacher, Danielle Hines

Parents often hear the phrase, “I can do it myself,” coming from their little ones and still may want to take the reigns on the situation. One of the most beautiful things about the Montessori philosophy is that it fosters a child’s independence by encouraging adults to help a child do it herself. Maria Montessori saw how much children wanted to participate in everyday activities and how much they learned from them, which is why a big part of early Montessori education is focused on practical life.

Many of our school parents are brainstorming and asking for ways to bring the Montessori education that their children are receiving and applying it within the home. One of the easiest and most fun ways is through snack and food preparation. Making utensils and tools accessible, including cleanup tools, allows the child to take control of preparation, from cutting fruits and vegetables to cleaning up spills.

Here are a list of simple practical life activities that can be done at home involving food preparation:

  1. Folding napkins
  2. Setting the table
  3. Cutting fruits and vegetables (with a plastic knife or the wavy chopper). Other great slicers include the banana slicer, the hard-boiled egg slicer and the apple slicer.
  4. Cleaning up spills with a cloth and/or a broom and dust-pan
  5. Making juice using a juicer (lemonade and orange juice are favorites!)
  6. Grating cheese
  7. Mashing potatoes
  8. Pouring drinks

Children take such pride in their accomplishments when we give them the ability to enhance their independence through small tasks.  And parents and children can enjoy the beautiful gift of  being able to prepare and share a meal together.

For more information on tools for food preparation at home, visit http://www.montessoriservices.com/practical-life/food-preparation.

Thanks Ms. Danielle!

Image: Chef Mom She Knows

tmsChildren in the Kitchen: The Delights of Food Preparation