Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers

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Food Preparation Area (Photo from How We Montessori)

Food Preparation Area (Photo from How We Montessori)

Practical life activities make up one of the most important areas of Montessori education, helping with order, concentration, coordination, and independence. And most preschoolers LOVE practical life activities that involve food preparation!

Here are some Montessori-inspired food preparation ideas found online:

Food Prep Activities from Montessori Writer. This link is to a number of articles by Andrea Coventry with some helpful introductory words:

“Food prep is a great practical life activity. The children learn self care as they wash their hands. They develop independence as they learn to prepare food. They improve fine motor skills as they prepare the food. They practice grace and courtesy as they offer the food to share with their friends.”

Cutting Vegetables (Photo from How We Montessori)

Cutting Vegetables (Photo from How We Montessori)

Food Preparation Area (photo at top of this post) from How We Montessori. How We Montessori has many other food preparation posts in the practical life category (this photo from Kids Cutting post).

“Toddler Day Care -Montessori influenced -pretty food” Video from Monarch Montessori Ministry

Montessori Activities for Toddlers: Food Preparation from Daily Montessori

Toddler Knife Skills from The Montessori Motherload

Independent Food Preparation: My Toddler Can Do That? from Montessori Moments

Food Preparation using a Child-Sized Rolling Pin (Photo from Vibrant Wanderings)

Food Preparation using a Child-Sized Rolling Pin (Photo from Vibrant Wanderings)

Practical Life with a Toddler: Naturally! (photo) and Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools from Vibrant Wanderings

Montessori at Home: Toddlers in the Kitchen from Bluebirdkisses

Favorite Recipes for Preschoolers are Often the Easiest (my post)

Activity of the Week – Homemade Ice Cream Right Now! No Machine Required! (my post linking to a post from Simply Montessori)

Introducing Food Preparation Curriculum: The Savory Side of Practical Life by Debra Gorman Cagle at CBS Business Library

Learning to Share from MariaMontessori.com

Food: Preparation and Serving from Joyful Child Montessori Company via Montessori Education (UK) LTD

Serve-Yourself Snack Gives You More Freedom from Awake Parent Perspectives

Montessori in the Kitchen from Life in a Pink House

Cherry Pitting Activity (Photo from Counting Coconuts)

Cherry Pitting Activity (Photo from Counting Coconuts)

Carrot Peeling, Egg Slicing, Cherry Pitting, Whisking Eggs and Sorting Grapes, Our Snack Break – Food and Set-Up, Snack Time, Watermelon Snack, and Daily Food Chart from Counting Coconuts

Snack Time (snack table) from Little Red Farm

Food Chart from Noor Janan Homeschool.

Montessori-inspired making-applesauce activity (above video) from O’ Boy Organic Blog.

Peeling Tangerines (Photo from Leptir)

Peeling Tangerines (Photo from Leptir)

Squeezing lemons and oranges, peeling tangerines and fruit cutting from Leptir

Peeling Carrots (Photo from The Moveable Alphabet)

Peeling Carrots (Photo from The Moveable Alphabet)

Slicing Bananas and Grinding Spices, Carrot Work – Washing, Peeling, Cutting and Serving, Potato Mashing and Serving Others – A New Lesson in Grace and Courtesy via Pickle Work from The Moveable Alphabet

Making Pizza (Photo by Julie at The Adventures of Bear)

Making Pizza (Photo by Julie at The Adventures of Bear)

Making zucchini carrot muffins, Montessori Toddler Activities (including preparing snack and making pizza – photo), Slicing and peeling hard-boiled eggs, baking with a toddler,  squeezing oranges and making honeydew melon “ice cream,”  and making granola for snack time from The Adventures of Bear

Making Yeast Pancakes from Early Education with Antek and Kuba (use Google Translate from the blog’s right sidebar)

Baking with children – Toaster Oven Muffins  from Montessori Print Shop

For Small Hands has many inexpensive child-size tools to use at home.

Kids’ Food Fun Pinterest Board

Pinterest - Kids' Food Fun
I have many links to fun food ideas for kids that can often be used to create Montessori-oriented food preparation activities in my Kids’ Food Fun Pinterest board.

What are your child’s favorite food preparation activities?



Linked to AfterSchool Linky Party, Living Life Intentionally Linky Party, The Mommy Club Resources and Solutions at Milk and Cuddles and Crystal & Co. , Pinterest Tuesday, Show-and-Share Saturday, Link & Learn, The Sunday Showcase at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas and Classified: Mom, Love of Learning, Discover and Explore: Cooking with Kids

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This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting with the theme Kids in the Kitchen. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon November 8 with all the carnival links.)

  • Baking & letting go — Cooking with kids can be a mess. Nadia at Red White & GREEN Mom is learning to relax, be patient, and have fun with the process.
  • Family feeding in Child of Mine — Lauren at Hobo Mama reviews Ellyn Satter’s suggestions for appropriate feeding and points out where her family has problems following through.
  • Children with Knives! (And other Kitchen Tools) — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy teaches her children how to safely use knives.
  • “Mommy, Can I Help?” — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment writes about how she lets her kiddos help out with cooking, despite her {sometimes} lack of patience!
  • Solids the Second Time Around — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts her experiences introducing solids to her second child.
  • The Adventure of Toddler TastebudsThe Accidental Natural Mama shares a few things that helped her daughter develop an adventurous palate.
  • A Tradition of Love — Kelly at Becoming Crunchy looks forward to sharing the kitchen traditions passed on from her mom and has already found several ways to involve baby in the kitchen.
  • The Very Best Classroom — Alicia C. at McCrenshaw’s Newest Thoughts reveals how her kitchen is more than a place to make food – it’s a classroom!
  • Raising Little Chefs — Chef Mike guest posts on Natural Parents Network about how he went from a guy who couldn’t cook to a chef who wanted to teach his boys to know how the food we love is made.
  • In the Kitchen with my kids — Isil at Smiling like Sunshine shares a delicious soup recipe that her kids love.
  • Papa, the Pancake Artist — Papa’s making an incredible breakfast over at Our Mindful Life.
  • Kids won’t eat salad? Try this one! — Tat at Mum in Search is sharing her children’s favourite salad recipe.
  • Recipe For a Great Relationship — Cooking with kids is about feeding hearts as well as bellies, writes Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • The Ritual of Mealtimes — Syenna at Gently Parenting Twins writes about the significance of mealtimes in her family’s daily rhythm.
  • Kid, Meet Food. Food, Kid. — Alburnet at What’s Next? panicks about passing on her food “issues” to her offspring.
  • Growing Up in the Kitchen — Cassie at There’s a Pickle in My Life shares how her son is growing up in the kitchen.
  • Harvesting Corn and History — From Kenna at School Garden Year: The kids in the school garden harvest their corn and learn how much history grows in their food.
  • My Guiding Principles for Teaching my Child about Food — Tree at Mom Grooves uses these guiding principles to give her daughter a love of good food and an understanding of nutrition as well as to empower her to make the best choices for her body.
  • Kitchen Control — Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro writes about her struggles to relinquish control in the kitchen to her children.
  • Food — Emma at Your Fonder Heart lets her seven month old teach her how to feed a baby.
  • Kitchen Fun? — Adrienne at Mommying My Way questions how much fun she can have in a non-functional kitchen, while trying to remain positive about the blessings of cooking for her family.
  • Kitchen Adventures — Erica at ChildOrganics shares fun ways to connect with your kids in the kitchen.
  • Kids in the Kitchen: Finding the Right Tools — Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares some of her favorite child-sized kitchen gadgets and where to find them.
  • The Kitchen Classroom — Laura at Authentic Parenting knows that everything your kids want to learn is at the end of the ladle.
  • Kids in the Kitchen — Luschka from Diary of a First Child talks about the role of the kitchen in family communication and shares fun kitchen activities for the under two.
  • Our Kitchen is an Unschooling Classroom. — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle explores the many ways her kitchen has become a rich environment for learning.
  • Montessori-Inspired Food Preparation for Preschoolers — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares lots of resources for using Montessori food preparation activities for young children in the kitchen.
  • My Little Healthy Eater — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her research on what is the best first food for babies, and includes a healthy and yummy breakfast recipe.
  • Two Boys and Papa in the Kitchen: Recipe for Disaster?MudpieMama shares all about her fears, joys and discoveries when the boys and handsome hubby took over the kitchen.
  • Food choices, Food treats — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea shares her family’s relationship with food.
  • learning to eat — Catherine at learner mummy reflects on little M’s first adventures with food.


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