Have you tried any new practical life activities lately? Here are five new practical life activities that we've been enjoying!
Picking dried lavender. We have a lavender bush in our front yard that we can use but lavender is also available in small bunches in the flower section of our local supermarket. I've found this easiest if the lavender is dried, we cut lavender from the bush and leave it in the sun or in a window sill for a couple of days to let it dry.
The child can pull the fragrant flowers off from the stem. It smells so beautiful. This pinching and picking are fantastic for working the child's fingers and developing the pincer grasp.
Grating ginger. I'm excited to share this with you as it works SO well!! This ceramic style ginger grater is the best thing I've found for grating ginger, it's super easy to use. Our ginger grater is from a Japanese homeware store but I've seen many beautiful handmade ginger graters on Etsy and there are more affordable options available.
The child can move the ginger forwards and backwards over the grater or in a circular motion. Otto did this easily and he's just turned four, I would recommend this from three to three and a half years. Once the child has grated the ginger they can scoop it with the spoon and put it in the dish.
Squeezing lemon. There are lots of different ways children can juice lemons. We have this cute bird lemon squeezer (similar here and here)(similar here AU) that you can use at the table for squeezing lemon onto a salad or onto fish. Otto really wanted to use it so this gives him the opportunity to practice using it before he uses it at the dining table and squirts lemon everywhere!
First, the child places the lemon piece into the juicer.
Then the child squeezes for the juice to come out.
The child needs to make sure they are tipping the bird's beak over the food or into the pitcher so the juice runs down.
Picking pomegranate seeds. Are they actually seeds or should we call them the fruit or arils? I presented this with the pomegranate cut open. The child can take the seeds out and put them in the small dish to eat later. The dish on the left is for peel and the white membrane part of the pomegranate.
It's easier to get the seeds out if you cut the pomegranate into segments rather than cut it in half.
Otto started using the mini tongs but soon realised it was easier to use his fingers. I've also seen this presented in Montessori classrooms with a small spoon for scooping the seeds out. I printed out the 'pomegranate' label as Otto is a prereader but knows many letters, I thought pomegranate was a fun word and a word that is new to him.
This gets a little messy as the juice can splatter. I wiped or table down while Otto was doing this and it might be a good idea to keep a towel or small cloth nearby for the child to wipe their hands. This is another activity that is good for strengthening the fingers and practising the pincer grasp!
For more practical life food prep ideas you might also like:
- Filling a Pepper Mill
- Fruit Kebabs, Celery Boats, Toppings on Rice Cake, Trio of Dips, Jam on Crakers, Sliced Egg, Sliced Strawberries, Nut Butter on Apple
- Juicing Lime, Shelling Walnuts, Zesting Lemon, Peeling and Crushing Garlic
- Spice Grinding, Making Bread Crumbs, Coffee Grinding, Pitting Olives
- Picking Sunflower Seeds
- Independent Snack Making Christmas Edition
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