Five Minute Montessori - DIY Mystery Box
Montessori Nocturnal Diurnal Activity

Making Gyoza - Child Made Dumplings

Demonstrating to Otis, folding wrapper

I am always on the lookout for new foods to make with my children. Always looking for new experiences to  share with them. Dumplings have to be one of the easiest foods to make. Anything that requires wrapping (think spring rolls, dumplings) attract my children. It's kind of like wrapping a present and a little like origami. 

Otis folding wrapper

We tried a new Japanese Gyoza recipe but could only find dumpling wrappers (not specifically Gyoza) locally (I only thought after that we totally could have made the wrappers too!). We used ground meat, ginger, garlic and cabbage which tasted really fresh. 

Otis folding dumpling at How we Montessori

Both children spent some time wrapping their dumplings. I demonstrated to both the way Gyoza is wrapped however as soon as I turned away both made up their own folding methods! Otis folded his a bit like an envelope. It reminded me about Maria Montessori writing about how using her (sensorial) materials helps to refine the senses, in this case the sense of touch. How refining the sense of touch can help further in life as a doctor, as a chef. Yes, I can see how important the sense of touch is in making dumplings and making those gentle folds. 

Caspar (7yrs) folding dumplings at How we Montessori

Above is Caspar folding his dumplings in different ways, it's so important I mention him too. It's easy for us to think about cooking with toddlers, with young children. But we don't stop once they turn a certain age. These are activities we carry through for life. My seven year old needs to participate as much as my four year old. My seven year old is out of the sensitive period for practical life but is well and truly in the sensitive period for culture (Japanese dumplings are different to Chinese dumplings, what does Gyoza mean, excitement in using chopsticks!). 

Child made dumplings (Gyoza) at How we Montessori

The end result. Granted it doesn't look very beautiful. Consistent wrapping would have helped appearances but wouldn't change the taste - they still tasted good and are children friendly. An easy cultural and practical life activity!

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