Toddler Practical Life: Food Preparation

snackprepI want to give Sixtine as much independence as possible. At almost two, doing things for herself is something she craves for. She absolutely loves to watch me cook, and help whenever possible. And so today, I decided to let her use her child-sized knife to make her own snack. She was very excited to spread cream cheese on a piece of bread, and pour water in her glass. She hasn’t mastered spreading in one session but it will come! She has been a wonderful help in the kitchen, making cakes, muffins, and breads, husking corn, and brushing potatoes and carrots! I hope that these will be memories that will last! How proud she was to serve me a snack that she had made herself!

Toddler Practical Life: Window Cleaning

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My daughter loves to engage in water play and I was looking for a new activity for her to do that would differ from transferring and require more gross motor skills. I decided to set up a window cleaning activity which was very easy to organize.

I put a towel to define her work space and prevent slippery floor at the bottom of the window, a bowl filled with warm water and natural dish soap, and two dish cloths on her right hand side.

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As always, Sixtine impressed me with her concentration, but even more so by how clean the window was once she was done! I don’t think I clean them that well.

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She really enjoyed this activity, and stayed concentrated for quite a long time…until she put her foot into the bowl which marked the end of the activity.

Toddler Practical Life: Clothespins

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Sixtine had the opportunity to experience clothespins a few days ago. It is part of Practical Life in the Montessori curriculum and it helps develop pincer grip (which will later be helpful for writing). I used a small basket filled with clothespins and a plastic bowl. This activity wasn’t a success – Sixtine pinched her finger and was a little nervous at the thought of trying again. She quickly realized that the clothespins could stay on the edge of the bowl without pinching. And she seemed happy with herself. I tried to show her again the mechanism: squeeze, line up, relax grip in vain. She quickly showed lack of interest. I will try again another time but with a different bowl – I wonder if the edge was too thick and therefore, harder to work with?

Toddler Practical Life Activity: Flower Arranging

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Nature Walk. Sixtine, Victoire and myself went for a nice nature walk this afternoon. I thought we could all benefit from the “fresh” air and that it would be a great way of introducing flowers in our “curriculum” if we have such a thing.  Yes, Sixtine has been showing a lot of interest in flowers lately; first by blowing dandelions, then picking up every living flowers possible.

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Material. A basket, a pair of scissors (although I barely used them – I had to put them away for obvious reason. Silly Mama.), hat and water and we were all set. I let Sixtine wandered around and try not to lead the way too much, letting her explore her own way. I gave her the basket and told her to store her findings in it. I like the rock in there.

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Set up our flower workshop. I used a cutting board (the only tray in this house is very – too? – colorful aka distracting and plastic. I plan to get some wooden trays when I can). A vase (tall glass in this case), and a pitcher (measuring jug – can you tell I am on a budget?) is all she needed to make a beautiful bouquet.

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Pouring water into the vase. Proved to be the most challenging of the activity. Practice makes perfect! I love the concentration look on her face and the movement of her hand. She tried really hard to pour without spilling. Love it.

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Gently place flowers into vase. A couple of flowers she picked got tired from the trip and the heat so they didn’t have an obvious top and bottom. So she misplaced them and eventually got rid of them.

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So proud of my little florist! Call us if you have any flower arrangements needs for your events.

Clean up.

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Display and enjoy.

Toddler Practical Life Activities

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Sixtine showed a lot of interest in all these activities this week. She absolutely loves playing with water but more importantly, she likes the independence they provided. She expressed so much happiness and excitement while doing them.

I love observing her as she concentrates to reach “perfection” and tries and tries again. I did not have to ask her to clean after herself. I simply made a cloth available for her and she naturally used it to sponge the water.

As you can see, I used various objects with their own particularities and challenges. She did unbelievably well with the black spoon. I felt that it may not be the best object as I thought it would probably be too difficult but she actually did great. We used styrofoam balls (they are great little floating machines 😉 and ice cubes (she loved them so much that she ate a couple – however, I felt that it proved a little challenging for her to scoop – they would slide off the spoon and she eventually had to use her hands.)

Inspiration: Books. Internet. Pinterest. Yoghurt container idea: Racheous. I am also an unconditional “fan” of howwemontessori.

I am always looking for new activities to try with her – so feel free to link any related blog post in your comment and I will be happy to check it out! Thank you.