1. Soap Grating at My Montessori Journey, 2. Carrot Grating Tray at How we Montessori, 3. Cheese Grating Tray at How we Montessori, 4. Nutmeg Grating at Trillium Montessori, 5. Grating Activity at Montessori Design by Nuccia, 6. Bread Grating at Itty Bitty Love, 7. Cinnamon Grating at Itty Bitty Love, 8. Soap Grating at Montessori Teachings, 9. Cheese Grating at The Wonder Years, 10. Grating Zucchini at Wee Cooking Class, 11. Carrot and Apple Grating at Montessori Nature, 12. Soap Grating at How we Montessori, 13. Cheese Grating at How we Montessori, 14. Grating Soap at Chasing Cheerios, 15. Source unknown.
Grating is one of those activities that I see in most Montessori toddler classrooms but when I talk to parents they find it too hard to do at home. Grating requires a little more effort than mashing or stirring but it's really worth pursuing with your child.
I love that grating is a little more difficult, the child can put in the effort and see the results, get the reward. Grating also takes longer than many other activities meaning I can get a lot of work done in the kitchen while Otis is grating.
A few ideas for grating with children include;
- potato/sweet potato
Cinnamon and nutmeg can put into biscuits, gingerbread or even banana bread and they smell divine. I read in one Montessori activity they put nutmeg into mashed potatoes. Vegetables such as potato, carrots and zucchini can make a fritter or go into a frittata. We love grating carrot, zucchini and cheese to go into a carrot and zucchini slice. Grated apple and celery can make a nice salad or side dish. Grated cheese can be used in so many ways (my kids love to eat it by itself). The types of cheese can vary too from cheddar to parmesan. Older children can grate ginger or garlic. Grated cucumber can be used to make Tzatziki and beetroot (although messy) can be used to make beetroot dip.
Grated soap can be used for hand washing, it can be whisked to make bubbles or used to make soap balls. Bread which is dry or stale can be grated to make breadcrumbs.
I highly recommend cutting up the vegetables or cheese into a smaller blocks or pieces so that it fits into the child's hand. Don't give a child a huge block of cheese and then wonder why they find it so difficult to grate.
Grating can be messy and it takes effort. I find a small or mini grater works well, we currently use a pyramid grater with a silicone base and handle (same dimensions as this one). All in one graters (pictured in images 6 and 14) are also popular in Montessori communities. I've also seen this Ikea grater used by children (which is similar if not exact to image number 15).
I'd love to hear your recommendations, what do your children love to grate, what grater do you use?