Thursday, January 7

Making Snack

What I really love about both Montessori and Waldorf education, is the value placed on children participating in daily tasks, like food preparation and cooking. I try to find ways for my children to help in the making of meals and snacks. Sometimes they ask to help, sometimes I ask them to help. Some of the ways they participate are: setting the table, spooning food onto plates, counting out food for each person, cutting, spreading, measuring, washing and cleaning up. At this age we give them the responsibility of clearing their things (plate, utensil, cup, napkin) from the table and bringing it to the kitchen counter after eating. The rest is encouraged and appreciated but not required.

I just snapped this picture today of my daughter slicing apples into tiny pieces for a young toddler visiting in our home during snack time. She had gotten out her board and knife on her own and started to cut up the apples to give our visitor before eating her own snack. It never ceases to amaze me that when I take the time to teach these skills they will so eagerly use them. It is moments like these that validate the time spent introducing the skills, providing the materials, and creating a pace slow enough to allow for these opportunities.

This is the knife my daughter uses for food preparation. It was found at our local food store and comes with a small cutting board. It is safe enough for her to use independently. There are a lot of child friendly utensils out there (with adult supervision of course). I really want to get one of these soon.


Evenspor said...

Yesterday I asked my son if he wanted to make his own sandwich, and he lit right up. Boring PB&J became the most exciting thing in the world, because he had made it himself.

My Child's Diary said...

Our son participates in almost everything we do. Or should I say, we participate in his tasks...:)
At the beginning I was also a bit worried about the safety and purchased a few cutters from Montessori N-Such. My son got to use only one of them, and then after months of practicing he insisted on cutting with one of our knives. I was terrified at the beginning, but then decided to trust him (after our supervision). I was simply amazed by his skills. You can see him cutting at 26 months here
I still have these special cutters waiting for our next child...:)

Becky said...

I was wondering where you are getting the poetry you are doing with water coloring.

Amy said...

Yes, I have found they eat better when they are involved making it.. I am one of those nervous parents, I was very nervous even teaching my daughter to use scissors.. Right now I am using some from the book Painting With Children, Brunhild Muller. I will try to post it as we go. Also, I am working on a download for poetry and fingerplays, should be done soon.

hikingmama said...

I agree your with your statement about children participating in cooking and other chores. So much learning takes place during this time we spend together. I amazed each day as his concentration and skill.