Montessori learning touts many benefits, both in a school setting and beyond. If you’re hoping to integrate Montessori-style learning into your child’s home life, there are plenty of simple ways to do so to support their personal and educational development. One of the most convenient ways to implement this into your family’s lives is to encourage your child’s help in the kitchen! First and foremost, you need to make sure that you find a hands-on way to engage them while respecting how they feel and trying to view the activities from their perspective. No matter what age your child is, we’ve found some great methods to get them feeling comfortable and confident in the kitchen.
1-2 Years Old
Even if your child is still very young, there are plenty of ways to get them involved! Some of our favorite ways to encourage hands-on help are asking them to add and mix (premeasured) ingredients, peeling/shelling fruits and vegetables, and placing dishes on the table. Make sure to supervise all of these tasks and set them up so your child is safe from potential injury.
2-3 Years Old
As your child develops, you can begin to introduce more challenging tasks. These can include tearing up lettuce, using safe kitchen tools (such as a whisk, butter knife, etc.), peeling smaller fruits and vegetables, and even pouring drinks into cups (with supervision).
3-4 Years Old (and Beyond)
When you feel comfortable doing so, gradually integrate more complex activities that will help your child develop even stronger skills in the kitchen. Some examples of these are learning to use measurements, helping follow recipes alongside you, becoming familiar with using various kitchen tools, and much more.
Assess your child’s comfort level and adjust their tasks accordingly; if they love being in the kitchen and really want to try something new, even if it’s better suited for an older child, feel free to move at your (and their) own pace. Helping your child to learn new things, many of which are essential that they know as they grow older, will greatly improve their confidence. While you’ll be supervising any time spent in the kitchen, knowing that they’re capable of performing tasks by themselves will encourage them to tackle new, unfamiliar things that they encounter. Both personally and academically, autonomy and self-esteem will be paramount to your child.
One of our personal favorite ways to combine Montessori learning with cooking is BumoBrain’s Chef Math class! This is a live class where your little one will engage with their peers and BumoTeacher while learning how to chop, mix, add, and practice math and cooking skills all-in-one! The best part? They’ll get to make their very own delicious treat to enjoy afterward! If you’re in search of other learning opportunities, BumoBrain also offers 100+ live classes that are all Montessori-centered. From STEM to Reading, Music, Dance, and much more, each of these classes will be integral to your child’s development; plus, they’ll get to make friends and have tons of fun along the way.