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I love how Montessori sets up a child for success and independence. Working in the kitchen brings such joy to their spirits and when their spirits are fulfilled, they are able to give freely.
Today, I’d like to share a video with you — Z (3 years 3 months old) preparing orange juice all by himself, from start to finish.
Some tips for success:
- Put everything he needs within his reach. You will see in the video that our adult-sized kitchens are not an issue for a young child as long as he has a safe step stool to work on. Z has been using his step stool since he was 18 months old. Click here to see our kitchen set up strategy, and here to see a round-up of Montessori kitchens.
- Give him child-sized tools. I’ll share with you a list of tools below.
- Supervise and help when needed. It goes without saying that supervision is always advised when kids are working in the kitchen. I also frequently step in to help (either completely or just by providing a booster) when I observe that a task is too difficult for his skill level. You will see in the video that cutting an orange from start is not easy for a 3 year old, but once I provide him with a “starter cut”, the job becomes a lot easier and safer. It’s also extremely hard work for a child to thoroughly juice the orange, so I step in to help when I see that he’s getting tired.
Child-sized tools we love for juicing oranges:
There are so many places you can curate quality child-sized tools in the US/Canada, so I thought I would create a handy info-graphic for you. (For those in Australia, How We Montessori Shop carries a lot of wonderful, child-tested tools.)
These are the tools we used for our orange juicing work, from start to finish.
- BEKVAM step stool
- SPRITTA citrus squeezer
- ALLSIDIG milk/cream pitcher
- POKAL Glass
- APTITLIG chopping board, bamboo
- SNITTA knife
- E-Z Foldz stool
- Small glass juicer
- Glass pitcher with lid
- Durable juice glass set
- Small bamboo cutting board
- Blunt-tipped serrated knife
- Rubbermaid 2-Step Molded Plastic Stool with Non-Slip Step Treads
- Norpro Multi Grater with Juicer
- Mini Glass Pitcher 5″ High. Child Sized
- Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar Stackable Juice Glasses
- OXO Good Grips Cutting Board
- Curious Chef Nylon Knife Set
I hope you are inspired, and I hope the list of child-sized tools helps!
If you’re looking for another simple meal a child can prepare all on his own, check out the egg salad sandwich that Z prepared for our lunch.
This post is part of the 31 days of Kids Kitchen Recipes and Activities series. Be sure to check it out for tons of wonderful ideas from how to set up your kitchen to be child-friendly, to kid-made recipes, to science experiments you can conduct in the kitchen.