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Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen

kitchen area
I often get asked what kind of food preparation activities we could get our toddlers to help with during mealtime preparation. Good question! So I thought I would break it down by age group a little.
Children around 1 year (walking)
1. Pour water for drinking – you could have a dispenser down low or a small jug on a low table. Have a sponge or cloth nearby for spills.
2. Helping to set the table – have dishes down low in the cupboard so your child can reach them.
3. Washing vegetables and fruit
4. Scrubbing potatoes
5. Buttering bread – give your child a small amount of butter in a dish with a small spreader
6. Asking your child to help get different things out of the cupboards as you need them (again you’ll need to move things down low for this to work)
Children around 2 years
1. Grating cheese
2. Making fruit salad
3. Making lemon water to drink – squeeze lemon slices and place them in a jug of water
4. Make egg slices – peel hard boiled eggs and use an egg slicer to cut
5. Peeling vegetables or pulling them into small pieces
6. Cutting softer vegetables, eg, mushrooms
7. Mixing and stirring
8. Preparing cereal for breakfast – have a scoop in the cereal box; have a small jug with a little milk in it
9. Spinning salad
10. Shelling peas
11. Tearing lettuce for salad
12. Peeling onions and garlic
Children around 3 years
1. Peeling and cutting apples
2. Cutting cucumber slices and tomatoes for salad
3. Following simple recipes with you
4. Pretty much anything you can think of, but simplified!
You can see some pictures and other ideas on our Food Preparation board on Pinterest
Other notes
1. Once they are standing steadily you could use a step ladder (ours was from the local hardware shop) or a fun pod or learning tower – then they can see what is happening in the kitchen.
2. Always stand between your child and the stove.
3. Alternatively you can take the chopping to the dining table and work together there.
4. Lower your expectations – expect that the vegetables may not be perfect sticks, some may fall on the ground, there will be spills, and that it may take longer. This is all part of scaffolding skills with our children.
5. Have a small broom and dustpan and child-sized aprons stored with your adult sized equipment/aprons.
6. Have sponges for cleaning and spills in easy reach.
We have been enjoying cooking with our children since they were very small and now enjoy cooking more elaborate things together. Here is a recent meal made with help from the kids – homemade sushi and homemade vegetable tempura. Yum.
We would love to hear what activities you enjoy doing with your kids in the kitchen. Share them here!
Simone Davies
Simone Davies loves helping parents put Montessori principles into practice at home. Simone has set up The Montessori Notebook to give tips, answer questions, and provide e-courses for parents. She also runs parent-child Montessori classes in Amsterdam at Jacaranda Tree Montessori.
Simone Davies

@jactreemont

Simone started a revolution of kindness; she’s built The Montessori Notebook; and she is changing families at Jacaranda Tree Montessori, one family at a time.
I liked a @YouTube video https://t.co/eterzUiffS A tour through our Montessori home - 1 week ago
Simone Davies
Simone Davies

About Simone Davies

Simone Davies loves helping parents put Montessori principles into practice at home. Simone has set up The Montessori Notebook to give tips, answer questions, and provide e-courses for parents. She also runs parent-child Montessori classes in Amsterdam at Jacaranda Tree Montessori.

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