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Montessori Activities to Try 12-18 months

14 Kitchen Skills For Children To Learn!!

Kitchen skills for children to learn at How we Montessori at three years

Today I want to share some skills that children can learn in the kitchen. Some of these are simple like mashing that children can begin at around 18 months, and some are more complex like grating which we would try at around 3 years+. 

These are fantastic practical life skills to have, they also help the child to develop confidence, concentration, fine motor skills, and coordination. Many of these skills require hand and arm strength and require the hands to work together in a coordinated way. 

There isn't a need to rush to teach our children these skills, hopefully, they can be introduced naturally while cooking, baking, or preparing food together. Some children thrive on 'doing' in the kitchen and others are more reluctant. Follow the child. 

Let's get started!

Kitchen skills cutting at how we montessor

1. Sifting. Here Otto (3yrs) is using a small crank sifter to sift flour. 

Mashing at how we montessori

2. Mashing. Mash avocado for spreading on bread or mash bananas for muffins. We can also mash steamed potatoes or cooked pumpkin.

Kitchen skill spreading at How we Montessori at three years

3. Spreading. Spread jam, hummus, or dips on crackers, or bread. 

Cuting fruit at How we Montessori kids kitchen skills

4. Slicing. Using a children's kitchen knife (AU here). Slice and chop for making snack, fruit salad, soups, or vegetables for dinner.

Learning to crack an egg at How we Montessori (1)

5. Cracking an egg. We always crack the egg into a small bowl first so we can remove any shell. Most children like this but Otto doesn't do this often and he doesn't like it. There will be activities like this that our children may not like or want to do, and that's completely ok. 

Learning to whisk at How we Montessori

6. Whisking. We mostly whisk pancake batter or eggs for scrambled eggs. We can also practice whisking by using a whisk with water and dishwashing detergent in water play, to make bubbles.

Grating cheese a how we montessori kitchen skills

7. Grating. We use a small pyramid type grater. Otto is grating cheddar cheese, I take it out of the fridge 10 minutes before we use it which softens it a little. We can also grate carrots and cucumbers for sandwiches, carrots and zucchini for muffins, or chocolate to put on top of desserts. Otto has done this many times and knows how to grate, but keep in mind the child may need a lot of practice grating before they are really successful at it. 

Montessori peeling an egg at How we Montessori

8. Peeling a boiled egg. 

Egg slicer at How we Montessori

9. Slicing an egg. Using an egg slicer.

Kneading bread at How we Montessori

10. Kneading dough. It takes a while before children can truly knead. Otto folds and then pushes with the base of his palm.

Using a vegetable peeler at how we montessori

11. Peeling. Peel zucchini or carrot and make strips for stir fry, or simply peel things like potato. Children's Peeler (UK link). 

Mortar and pestle grinding at How we Montessori (1)

12. Use a mortar and pestle. Grind whole spices or fresh herbs to make pesto.

Juicing oranges at How we Montessori three year old

13. Juicing citrus. We use a glass manual hand juicer.

Juicing at How we Montessori

14. Pouring!!

Please note that having child-size tools is useful but not essential. We can do most of these activities using kitchen items found in most home kitchens.

Resources: Whisk (9inch) Egg Slicer, Children's Kitchen Knife, Kitchen Helper, Children's Peeler (UK link).

AU Links: Whisk (23cms), Egg Slicer, Children's Kitchen Knife

Montessori Services also has a good range of children's kitchen materials including crank sifter, glass juicer, spreaders, mini masher, peeler.

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