The Montessori subject that I love the most, at this time in my child's life, is practical life skills. It is a joy to see my child explore pouring activities, transfer activities, cutting his own banana, and setting the table with wonder. We both are enjoying this toddler stage in life so much. Below you will find listed 6 practical life skills kitchen activities that Little Bee practices almost every day in our home.
1. Setting the Table
Little Bee has identified the difference between a fork, knife, and spoon and he enjoys matching them to his placemat. I found this beautiful placemat on the Etsy shop called Lilorfan. I placed one bowl and cup on the kid sized shelf next to Little Bee's toddler table. Also, on the shelf is a basket with his silverware. On the bottom shelf is a small cutting board with toddler safe plastic knife. Placing these objects within reach allows Little Bee the independence of creating his own place setting and to also choose to cut up his fruit/bread for meals.
Kitchen Tools for Transfer Activities
One of Little Bee's favorite practical life activities is transferring objects. My husband jokes that since Little Bee learned how to transfer objects from one bowl to the next, that he wants to transfer everything! He wants to transfer his eggs at breakfast time from one bowl to another bowl and his drinking water from one cup to the next. 🙂 In the photo above, you can see some of the tools that we use for transfer activities. Many of our kitchen tools were found at the Goodwill, online from the Facebook group called - Montessori Material for Sale, Target, Amazon, IKEA, and other stores.
- Wooden Spoon
- Pouring container
- Various sized tongs
- Child sized glass pitcher
- Wooden scoop
For examples of how we have used some of these transferring tools, please visit:
Montessori Toddler in the Kitchen
Fall Harvest Recipes: Montessori Style
2. Pouring Water to Drink
Little Bee loves to pour his own water into a cup to drink. He also watches closely and has learned to use the water dispenser on the fridge. He is very resourceful! He then will transfer the water pitcher to the table where he pours it into his glass cup. Little Bee is 23 months old. (The chair you see him sitting in at the adult table is easily pulled out from the table by Little Bee and then he climbs up all by himself into the chair. He does need help with pushing the chair close to the table once he is sitting in it.)
Montessori Kid Kitchen Tools
Pictured above is our kid kitchen tools that we have collected so far. I still have several items on my wish list for our kitchen tools, such as an apple slicer, child sized rolling pin, and a wavy knife. All of these fun kid sized tools encourage a young (toddler/preschooler) child to enjoy helping in the kitchen. You would be surprised at what a two year old is able to accomplish! I will list the items in the photo above:
- Child sized cheese grater
- Banana slicer
- Child sized spatulas
- Butter knife
- Child safe plastic knife (these can be found on Amazon)
- Small child sized citrus juicer
- Safe vegetable peeler
3. Sectioning a Banana
Little Bee really enjoyed using his banana slicer to section his banana into bite sized pieces. He's not a huge fan of bananas, but slicing the banana by himself made it more fun to eat! He liked taking the pieces of the banana out of the slots and then trying to put them back in... like a puzzle. LOL!
4. Cutting Bread
This plastic knife easily cuts soft fruits, bread, and other soft foods. The bread did take a bit of back and forth force with the knife to cut a slice. Little Bee is not old enough to do this successfully yet. However, he did enjoy cutting (as well as breaking) off smaller pieces from the slice of bread that I cut for him. He also felt very grown up and privileged while holding the child safe knife.
5. Peeling a Carrot
Little Bee did a great job with managing the peeler and holding the carrot at the same time. After every few strokes of the peeler on the carrot, he would lift the carrot to his mouth and take a bite. Yum! 🙂
6. Cleaning Up
Little Bee loves to help clean up any messes in the kitchen, as long as it is a game of some sort. Managing the broom and dustpan while sweeping up dirt on the floor is a fun game to Little Bee. He knows where his broom and dustpan are located and will independently get them when a mess is made. He also enjoys using the various sponges and spray bottle in his cleaning kit.
Thank you so much for your visit! If you loved this blog post, please share it with your friends. Also, scroll down and visit NINE other amazing blogs who are all posting about practical life skills this month! Visit the 12 Months of Montessori Learning landing page for more information.
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This blog post is a part of the 12 Months of Montessori Learning hosted by the Natural Beach Living and The Natural Homeschool blogs. Please note that there are ten amazing blogs participating in this series. Make sure to visit each one to learn more ways of using practical life skills with your children.
Amazing blogs involved in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning
Natural Beach Living ~ The Natural Homeschool ~ Living Montessori Now ~ The Kavanaugh Report ~ Mama's Happy Hive ~ Study at Home Mama ~ Every Star Is Different ~ Child Led Life ~ Grace and Green Pastures ~ The Pinay Homeschooler
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What an inspirational post! I started Montessori with my older kiddos when they were all preschool age. This time around with my youngest, I have tried to do more toddler activities etc., but I always seem to get nervous about her helping in the kitchen like the big kids do. This post was great at showing just how much a little one can do, if we take the time to teach them and then LET them do it! Thank you!
Love this Vanessa! Will pin for my LO.
Wow! I LOVE your table setting setup. What a beautiful invitation! Thank you for always taking wonderful pictures of your little man. 🙂
Katie @ Cup of Tea says
Perfect Post Timing 🙂 I was just starting to research the kitchen helper type tools. I can tell my little one is about ready for those types of activities. She’s already loving her little cleaning kit (thank you for that inspiration from your original post!) and we’re ready for cooking 🙂
This is great! It is great to get the kids helping in the kitchen from a young age.
This is exactly what i need right now, My son is just at the perfect age for all these activities. Thanks so much for putting such a wealth of info into one post!
Mama's Happy Hive says
You are welcome Rachel! I am so glad to be of encouragement to you and your son. 🙂 We LOVE practical life activities in our home.
This is great! I’m thinking about making a place setting out of felt to resemble yours!
Mama's Happy Hive says
It’s a delightful place mat to use with a toddler. 🙂
What awesome inspiration! Great pictures too! Thank you so much for stopping by the Lean & Play Link Up. This post is featured on Christian Montessori Network this week!
Hi! at what age should i start this? thanks!
Mama's Happy Hive says
Depending on your child’s fine motor skills, I would suggest starting at around 2 or 2.5 years old. 🙂