Preparing your home environment in a Montessori kitchen fashion includes lots of little practical life stations. Creating a child-sized Montessori play kitchen for your toddler is one of the best additions you can make to your home.
Most children begin to show their interest in the Montessori kitchen around 16 to 18 months old. Continue reading to find out exactly what you need to create your child’s play kitchen!
One of the best things about having a child-sized functional kitchen is that your child can learn to get their own glass of water.
Promoting independence and confidence while learning how to pour and drink from a glass. *As your child gets older the glassware should change accordingly.*
Storing only one place setting rather than multiple in the kitchen is important (unless you have more than one child using the kitchen).
This will help in the early stages when your child is just learning how to set the table. Your child will feel a sense of community being able to help set the table at meal times.
With any water activities, there are bound to be spilled. A towel or sponge will allow the child to have control of the error. You’d be surprised how often your child wants a clean and orderly space all thanks to that sensitive period for order!
As I mentioned above, the water doesn’t always make it into the glass. Any water left in the “sink” can then be dumped into a bucket and transferred outside or otherwise disposed of.
Self serves snack stations are the perfect ideas to add to your child’s Montessori kitchen. Giving your child freedom of choice will help their independence soar. Not to mention you can keep yourself from hearing “SNACK!” all day long because now, they can just get their own.
A fantastic addition to your toddler’s Montessori kitchen. My personal favorite is the child-sized broom and brush. This one takes time to master but you can make it a fun game by taping a square on the floor for them to brush into. The concentration level is strong with this one!
A learning tower is a perfect way to bring children up to the counter making it easy to work alongside you through meal time prep! My 3.5-year-old is able to use a step stool now but only for the last few months so the learning tower really helped us fill a gap when we needed just a bit more safety.
We store a cutting board in our daughter’s kitchen so she can easily use her butter knife to cut soft fruit anytime she likes. After working with butter knives and the wavy knife we allowed her to start chopping using a child-friendly paring knife, always with supervision and never stored in her kitchen. We introduce real utensils, glass cups, and dishes with her food.
Some other fun additions are:
Teaching practical life skills is important with the Montessori Method and having a functional toddler kitchen is the perfect way to introduce many life skills such as washing hands, pouring water, prepping food, cutting, and more.
We’ve rounded up some inspiring kitchen set-ups to share ideas on ways that young children can participate in meal preparation.
A place for everything and everything in its place Offering a low cabinet where your child can reach items will boost their self-esteem when you entrust them with tasks such as: Putting dishes away Placing items from the dishwasher into their special shelf Setting a place for themselves at their own weaning table Filling a cup with water This snack station enables access to dishes, silverware, and even cereal with this dispenser.
Montessori Kitchen Ideas from Around the Web These are not “play kitchens”. The Montessori approach encourages children to use real household materials and practice real-life skills. Ideas for things to put in a Montessori kitchen area for kids: Table, Water in a small bowl, cups, plates for food, silverware, dishes, cloth napkins, and dishtowel many families suggest having only one of each item. This way, cooking, serving, washing, drying, and putting them away become part of routine use and enjoy their activities. Monti Kids Tip: Offer a sponge and a dishtowel in a kitchen setting to normalize the idea of spills. They will happen and we can model calmly wiping them up. The Montessori approach guides us to praise the child’s effort to pour water, so it is not important for them to do it perfectly.
I’d love to hear what you plan to have or already have in your toddler’s Montessori kitchen. What ideas you are implementing to help your child in learning? Leave comments below and let me know what’s in store! You can also sign up for our newsletter for more details.
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