Our presentation for parents this week was on involving young children cooking and gardening.
Cooking and gardening teach children to care for themselves and the environment around them. They also link directly to areas of the curriculum such as botany and science. The ‘Practical Life’ curriculum in Montessori has the purpose of allowing students to gain independence and self-discipline.
Food preparation & cooking for children
Food preparation and cooking activities help children develop self care, life skills and independence. Children are also able to practice grace and courtesy when they offer food they have prepared to others or share a meal together at the table.
By participating in food preparation young children learn about;
- Science concepts
- Sensory exploration (taste, smell, textures)
- Measurement, shapes, fractions
- Following directions
- Fine motor skills
- Cooperation and self help skills
Cooking can be a wonderful bonding activity for the family. Children enjoy meaningful, purposeful work where they can contribute to the family with what they are able to do and it can be quite rewarding for both parents and child to engage in preparing meals together.
Some food preparation/cooking activities children can attempt at home;
- Hand washing and cleaning up
- Egg peeling
- Cutting banana, cucumber, apple etc
- Grating and juicing
- Scooping kiwi fruit, avocado
- Bread making
- Potato scrubbing
Allow them some time. If you're busy getting dinner for example, give them a simple task from above so that they are contributing. Resist the temptation to offer too much instruction or worry about a little mess.