June 28, 2019
By Bérénice Saint-Saëns from the Monti Kids Learning Team, article originally posted in This Toddler Life .
I discovered Montessori, received my International Montessori teacher certification (AMI), and became an Infant/Toddler teacher. I eventually transitioned out of the classroom to join a company I love, Monti Kids, where I help families to bring education into their homes starting at birth.
While I am no longer in the classroom, one of my favorite things in my Montessori Toddler classroom was observing the children prepare their own snack everyday. Food preparation activities for children, especially between the ages of 0-3 years, are not only fun to do and observe, but they are also so important for a young child’s development.
Such activities allow a child to:
- Feel a sense of belonging to their community
- Support the development of their coordinated movements
- Learn to care for themselves.
Often, I see many children playing at home or in other classroom environments using kitchen sets and fake food. While this may be fun, it removes so many of the important aspects that cooking with real food offers. Giving a child the opportunity to understand and engage in the process of preparing a meal is so beneficial.
Cooking with real food allows a child to understand where food comes from. For instance, when a child squeezes oranges to make juice, they not only feel the different textures of the fruit, smell the orange, and see the juice come out, but they also get to reap the benefits of their hard work, as they enjoy a fresh glass of orange juice!
Sensorial education helps a child understand food and where it comes from. Additionally, these activities are opportunities for language development (names of the food, explanation about the different parts of the food, colors, smells, and the instruments we use to work with the food, etc.), and mathematics can also be incorporated!
10 Montessori Food Prep Activities for Toddlers
- Spreading cheese on crackers/English muffins/bagels
- Baking bread/muffins/scones
- Slicing fruit (apples, bananas, melon)
- Peeling & slicing hard-boiled eggs
- Squeezing citrus to make juice or flavored water
- Making guacamole
- Sorting fruit
- Slicing cheese
- Making mini-pizza
- Peeling & slicing carrots
Easy Banana Muffin Recipe
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
3 pre-mashed bananas
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Add the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir the batter. Transfer the batter to a small muffin tin.
Bake 350 to 15 to 20 minutes
About Bérénice: We were able to lure Bérénice away directly from her Montessori toddler classroom, where she was everyone’s favorite teacher. Her kind, warm demeanor puts us all at ease. She uses her Doula experience, Masters in Education and Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) certification to help coach Monti Kids families when they need extra guidance, and to lead our parent/baby classes to support child development.
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