IN THE KITCHEN:
Jack and Sarah love helping out in the kitchen although sometimes it can become a little stressful. In order to have things more harmonious I have found that if I think about each step that is involved in a task and then think about how I could simply explain that to them, things flow a little more smoothly. I might give them one step of a task or all steps depending on the difficulty and how well they have mastered previous tasks. Here’s a list of questions you can ask yourself when you are setting up a child-friendly kitchen which encourages harmonious independence and mastery of skills.
A quick note, online Montessori stores do of course sell wonderful child-sized utensils and crockery but I have found most of ours at either the supermarket or a discount kitchen store for a fraction of the cost. At the bottom of this list I have some links to some of our utensils.
- What specific tasks do I want my child to be able to do in the kitchen?
- What tasks has my child shown an interest in doing for themselves? For example, pouring a drink or choosing a snack
- Is there a cupboard or space in the kitchen which is readily accessible to my child?
- Does this space contain child-sized utensils?
- Are the utensils neatly organised to allow for easy access?
- Do they have access to child-sized plates, bowls and cutlery?
- Have I shown them how to make a snack? Do they have access to all items needed to make this snack?
- Do they have safe access (stool or Learning Tower) to the bench or a low table for preparing snacks?
- Have I shown them how to open the fridge carefully?
- Do they have a fridge shelf with snacks and drinks easily available?
- Is the fruit washed and chopped (if needed)?
- Is there access to water?
- Is the water container easy for them to carry? Sometimes it is easier to fill a container half full so it is not too heavy and easy to pour.
- Have I shown them how to pour?
- Are they interested in learning to set the table? Have I shown them how to do this?
- When cooking or baking, what simple steps could my child be involved in? Stirring, washing vegetables, peeling vegetables, pouring ingredients etc.
- Has my child shown an interest in helping to clean up? Do they have access to cloths and sponges for cleaning?