Toddlers are active learners, readily absorbing, engaging and learning in their environment. Most parents notice that children love to participate in activities that have to do with looking after ourselves and our environment. Dr. Montessori quickly discovered that children in her school wanted to help care for the classrooms, themselves, their classmates and the environment, so she introduced child-sized tools to help them succeed.
Anika’s favourite practical life work is making her own snack in her Montessori kitchen.
We have repurposed an old spare shelf as our toddler kitchen. All modifications are straight forward including- attaching a water dispenser with 3mm tape and keeping a bowl underneath, which acts as a sink. We also have a cleaning set, bibs, apron, hand towel, rubbish bin, table and chair, cutlery and glass tray and a large thick towel to be laid under the bowl before washing hands in this area. Many families also use the IKEA Duktig kitchen and there are several hacks online on repurposing it the Montessori way but this simple setup works well too.
This area serves as our permanent handwashing, juicing station and snacking station. Here are some of our favourite “food preparation” tray’s that are displayed on a daily basis so Anika can help herself to a self-serve snack at any time of the day.
Tray 1- Pouring tea
Tray 2- Peeling and slicing eggs
Tray 3- Spreading nut butter on cracker
Tray 4- Peeling and cutting banana
Tray 5- Pouring milk on muesli
Tray 6-Cutting and scooping kiwi fruit
Tray 7- Fruit skewers
Tray 8- Slicing strawberries
Tray 9- Scooping passionfruit
Tray 10- Slicing cucumber
Benefits of Setting up a Toddler Food Preparation Area
Children love preparing their own food for the simple pleasure of it but this corner is valuable in more ways than one…
• The child is learning to look after themselves. These activities promote independence.
• The child is learning to take responsibility at home and they love to know that they are valuable contributors in the family.
• These activities involve a lot of movement, which is great for gross and fine motor development.
• The child is learning new skills, learning to use kitchen tools, cleaning while building their vocabulary and knowledge of the world.
• All the above activities need specific set of sequences to be followed. For example- wear an apron, get the tray to the table, sit, prepare, eat, put rubbish in bin…….this develops concentration.
Find it here…
Most of our wooden cutlery and tea set is from op shops or flea markets in Bali. Here are some items, we have sourced locally…
Water Dispenser- Storage Box
Egg cutter- Stevens
Food Preparation Tray’s- Daiso (Japanese dollar shop)
Cleaning set- Melissa and Doug