The kitchen is an essential part of every home, and knowing how to do simple tasks is a valuable skill for any youngster. It teaches the child independence and prepares them for adulthood. It’s also a great approach to teach them to be responsible. As a result, you should include a cooking space in your Montessori setting for your children so that they may begin learning those essential skills at a young age.
The good news is that you can do this entirely at home. Allowing children to help in the kitchen can be a great approach to incorporating Montessori into your home because children have a natural interest in creating (and enjoying) food.
Placement in a Single Location
Maintaining only one place setting in the kitchen, rather than multiple, is essential (provided that you only have one kid to utilize the kitchen). This will assist your child in the early phases of the table-setting process. Allowing children to assist in setting the table during mealtimes will give them a sense of belonging.
Also, the child will need a comfortable work environment to pour their drinks, slice their fruit, and work! You might observe children conducting this activity on the floor in other homes, which is not ideal. If your child is doing this job on the floor, come up with a creative solution, such as finding a workstation for the child, even if it is very little.
Use tools That are Appropriate for Children
Giving your child utensils made exclusively for their tiny hands will help them feel safe and productive in the kitchen. All ideal starting points are a cutting board, chopper, spreading knife, vegetable scrub brush, a mixing bowl, and a tiny whisk.
When cooking food in Montessori classrooms, children must wear an apron in doing kitchen activities. A decent quality apron would make your children feel more at ease, and many are now accessible on online sites, such as My Happy Helpers. Wearing an apron helps keep their garments clean and aids in the job cycle from start to finish. They’ll put on an apron when they start working and keep it on until the job is finished.
Later on, your children will want to learn how to help in the kitchen and they will be willing to learn with a variety of culinary activities. They’re always up to something, whether it’s mixing cake batter or putting lettuce on their dinner plate.
It is strongly recommended that parents have a cabinet or closet where their children can reach and store their belongings. After all, giving youngsters their own space and equipment makes them feel meaningful and productive.
Authentic Glasses and Cutlery Should Be Used
Rather than using plastic containers, plates, or forks, child-sized versions of real things would be a better option. Sure, there’s a greater chance of breaking something, but this will also educate the child a sense of responsibility.
Wooden knives and steel cups are pretty okay for keeping them safe for younger children.
Make Room for Items on a Low Shelf or Drawer
In each Montessori environment, encouraging freedom and promoting order are essential elements. To put it another way, clear out a kitchen drawer or low shelf to provide kidsd access to the utensils and supplies they’ll need in a Montessori kitchen. They Can complete the entire procedure on their own by storing cooking equipment on a low shelf, from preparation to cleanup.
Some families set up a refrigerator compartment for their child or keep shelf-stable goods on the bottom shelf so they may get a snack as often as they want.
Preparation of Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning and clearing up, as well as putting away a piece of work, are just as significant as the task itself. Kids are supposed to return the kitchen items in the same condition that they found it. The same thing applies to food preparation—washing any used dishes or equipment, folding aprons, and putting everything back on the shelf where it belongs.
Youngsters must be shown how to clean up and have ready access to the cleaning items they are permitted to use.
Include Something Entertaining
There is no reason why you can’t include an entertaining feature in your kitchen to engage and entertain your kids (But do not put a television in one of the room’s corners). Instead, consider adding a blackboard wall to one of your kitchen’s corners. They’ll like doodling on the lower half of the chalkboard wall, which you may use for notes or your grocery lists as well.
If you don’t have a permanent art space for your kids, purchase some butcher paper, tape it to the countertop or the ground, and let them draw away.
Establishing Montessori solutions that work for your family may take some time, patience, and creativity. Although kitchens were not constructed with kids in mind most of the time, we can do a few things to encourage independence and allow them to learn in the kitchen.
When you’re initially starting, keep things simple. Introduce new skills as your youngster’s abilities develop. Keep an eye on the features of the kitchen that they enjoy the most. Do they like to make their snacks? Do they enjoy assisting you in the kitchen? Each child is exceptional, and you may tailor their space to their interests and preferences.