Food preparation is one of the areas of Practical Life Activities in Montessori education. Lessons in Practical Life teach a child the skills for practically everything in life. Child's quote "Teach me how to do it myself” is what Practical Life area is all about. Our role as an educator and a parent is to help a child learn to function in own environment and lay the foundation towards more advanced learning. Allowing a young child to "do it himself" can be hard for a parent, but in order for a child to build independence and body control, children need to be allowed to make a mistake: spilling and making a mess while trying a new task is all part of the process! It is when the child is guided to wipe the spill and pick what has fallen: his pride will blossom. What we can do is step back and give them a moment to figure it out, and only then their problem solving skills and independade will beging to develop. With Practical Life activities, a child will learn new skills, such as folding laundry or cutting own snack, and most importantly, complete the task in its entirety: from the beginning until the very end independently. (We call it a cycle of activity.) Will see Child's need for order and repetition (that is how they learn)
Adrian has been really enjoying cooking lately. He gets to work with me side-by-side, feeling important and useful. Today, he is making a carrot soup.
Adrian brought a Carrot Peeling Activity from our Practical Life area (buy here).
Adrian is using a "Baking Apron" – buy here.
"I can do it myself!" Adrian says, and indeed he can!The velcro makes the apron very child-friendly.
This Mini Veggies brush is a must for children and adults! (Buy here).
Deciding on what step in next develops problem-solving skills. With stiff bristles made of coir (coconut) fiber, this small, wood-handled brush is the perfect size for small hands and is great for scrubbing vegetables like carrots or potatoes.
Make sure you explain the child to peel away from the hand holding the carrot. Peel one – eat one.
Adrian did not stop until all the carrots were peeled!
Adrian prefers this wavy chopper to the one with the handle since it is easier to apply the pressure to it with both hands.
Carrots are ready to be cooked!
A little Himalayan salt.
Using induction cooktop (read more about it here).
Once carrots were cooked (in about 5 min), while saving some of the broth, Adrian added them to the food processor along with Locatelli cheese and olive oil.
I selected the pulse setting so that the toddler has more control of the speed of the food processor.
It is in learning to do such mundane activities such as dressing, dusting, sweeping, preparing and serving food, and fixing or building-work that a child sees going on around him all day long-that he learns to use his body and mind for a purpose, to plan, to concentrate, to control his actions, to finish what he started. … Allowing the child to participate in the daily work he sees going on around him is an act of great respect for, and confidence in, the child. It helps him to feel important to himself and those around him. He is needed. Child of the World by Susan Stephenson.