Amelie's Montessori inspired bedroom
Some links and my big news!

No you can't. Oh, yes you can!

Otis juicing 29 months
If anyone had asked me about the right time to introduce grating or juicing I would have said to wait to at least until the child is three. I've heard a Montessori guide comment that juicing in a toddler class is almost 'tokenistic', that most children cannot (don't have the hand strength) to do it. From what I have seen this is true, it's usually the children closest to three that can productively juice. 
.
Grating and juicing are two activities I thought Otis would not be able to do and as I felt he wasn't ready and would only face frustration I haven't introduced them to him. However Otis watches every (week)day as Caspar grates his carrot and cheese (for a carrot and cheese sandwich!). Then earlier this week as Caspar put down the carrot Otis just picked it up and started grating. He was grating productively! No you can't Otis. Oh, yes you can!
.
Otis pouring juice #1
.
Yesterday at school (Montessori Parent-Toddler Program) Otis was attracted for the first time to the juicing tray. Yes, I was caught out. Yes, he could do it. Today as I prepared oranges for my smoothie Otis asked to make orange juice. Of course, it's still front in his memory from only just yesterday how much fun juicing is and how much satisfaction he derived from the activity. 

Otis pouring juice #2
,
Today he juiced six oranges, until we ran out. 

Otis pouring juice #3
.
For anyone reading this at home with a toddler Otis (at 29 months) doesn't so much twist to juice the orange, he mostly just squishes it to get the juice out. Then he will move the orange and squish it again. He has the hand strength to squish but not the wrist strength to squish and twist at the same time. It's actually quite a complex movement to master. 
.
Otis pouring juice #4
.
I apologise for the picture overload, I just love to photograph a child at work, being challenged as Otis is here pouring the juice. He spills a little but the main thing is he gets enough in the glass to drink and to feel satisfied. To feel accomplished. To make the activity successful. 

Otis drinking juice he squeezed himself!
.
This post isn't really about juicing or grating. It's about children doing things we think they can't. It's about how children observe and want to do things because they see others doing it. It's about realising that we (as parents) don't always get it right, sometimes it takes an external trigger for us to realise what children are really capable of. It's also about how satisfying a simple practical life activity can be!
.
I also hear criticism of parents encouraging their children (toddlers) to use real glass. Oh, my gosh, even from Montessori parents. If your child is already using real glasses and real plates and bowls, please don't give into temptation to use a plastic juicer. The glass juicer is heavy but I can see Otis's concentration and care because it is glass, because it is breakable. Let's be authentic. 
.

Comments