Practical Life:The kitchen tools we love for toddlers and preschoolers

  
Practical Life, the heartbeat of the home. If I had to start all over these 6 are the ones I would rush out and buy. And, as an added bonus, each of them is under $10. 

For anyone just starting out, these 6 favourites will completely transform your child’s role in the kitchen. Your child will now (after a little guidance) be able to make their own snack and help prep family meals. Such an amazing feeling of independence for the child. 

  1. Multi use kitchen tool (our absolute favourite on this list)
  2. Glass Pitcher with lid (we use this for water at Quentin’s drinking station)
  3. Crinkle Cutter knife (Quentin has used this since he was 17 months)
  4. Vegetable peeler (ours is from Kylie’s gorgeous shop
  5.  Egg/Mushroom/Strawberry Slicer (Quentin has used this since he was 17 months)
  6. Strawberry Colander (our newest addition and already a favourite) 

Do you have favourite child sized kitchen tools? Have you found something you can’t live without at your house or classroom? Leave a comment. We are always looking for products to review. 

    Changing seasons: Materials and Exploring

      
    I love tying what we have on the shelf with our bigger picture. Montessori is about immersing a child in rich, holistic experiences. 

    So, when we want to explore the changing seasons, it only makes sense for us to find some beautiful Montessori friendly materials. 

    And then, go outside. 

      

    There is so much for a child to take in when walking in the forest. We purposely seek out quiet, peaceful spots where we can really take in our surroundings. This doesn’t have to happen in the middle of nowhere. A quiet corner of the park will do. We stop, practise some mindful breathing and really listen. Even at 3, Quentin has been able to master this with practice. 

      
    There is just something about sitting beside a stream. The water starts rushing with the heavy Autumn rains where we live. We could just sit all day. 

    In Autumn our favourite shelf activities include: leaf garland sewing, crayon/charcoal rubbings of leaves, and using Autumn themed free printables a like this one and this one

    Materials collected from nature walks also make great counters to go with number cards. 

      
      
    This is a beautiful new multi level puzzle we were gifted from Mind Set Learning Tools. Such perfect timing. 

    Our Autumn activities 

      
    The air has become crisp. It’s such a cosy time of year. Here are some of the things we have been doing to welcome Autumn. 

      
    Some absolutely gorgeous 3 part cards by Puzzleheads. These cards are perfect for Quentin. Great detail, and lots of other complimentary products such as matching wooden puzzles and colouring PDF’s. He can easily match the picture to picture and is learning to match the words. This is yet another way we observe and provide materials for his sensitive period for language. He is now able to sound and then make an educated guess about what larger words may be. 

      
    Quentin’s love of geography continues. He uses his Little Passports subscription almost everyday. We explore what is happening around the planet in terms of seasons. He knows our friends south of the equator are opposite to us and therefore just coming into spring. We look up how other cultures and countries celebrate Autumn. 

      
     
    Finally as always, there is Practical Life. The right sized tools make it fun for him. Raking leaves is such a fantastic activity because it incorporates so many parts. Gross motor, fine motor and sensorial. It also expends a lot of energy which at 3.5 years old, Quentin really needs. 

      
    Finally one of our favourite activities is making applesauce using our peeler. Quentin loves using this because he can do it but it isn’t easy. It takes lots of coordination, and concentration. The apples come out as peeled and in spirals which he also loves. 

    Our recipe is simple: 

      
    We hope you are enjoy whatever season you find yourself in. 

    If you’d like to share some ideas for Autumn activities don’t hesitate to leave a comment. 

    Life Unexpected: My interview with Baan Dek

      
    It’s funny how life happens sometimes. For me there are weeks even months of predictably, and then I find myself unexpectedly sitting in the Edmonton airport waiting for my flight home and I check my email. 

    Baan Dek Montessori the makers of the world renowned Montessorium apps and the Montessori Work books approached me to do an interview. 

    The last weeks have been a collaboration between us on top of the busy start to the school year.

    I’m extremely honoured to have been asked by them. Their kind words and the words of other schools and families who have spoken out about how much the blog or our consultations have made a difference to them reminded me that you never really know how many lives you touch. 

    It’s a good lesson for us all. 

    Here’s the link if you’re curious:

    Baan Dek Montessori

    Summer: An Update 

    The other day, we had our first morning where the wind definitely had an Autumn chill. It was light but it was there. And so, with school just over a week away I thought I’d share some of my favourite Summer moments we’ve had. 
     
    Creating under the big Maple tree in our front yard. I think of all the mornings we’ve spent there drawing painting and reading will be my favourite memories of this Summer. 
      
    Nature Journaling. We pack his bag and go. He collects small samples to bring back for our Nature Tray and records the rest. This has been a good way to channel his writing practice. 

      
    Practical Life. It never really stops. He will sit and sew and we’ll talk. Sometimes about everything and sometimes about nothing. 

      Bike riding together. Their bond has strengthened while they’ve been off together. This was Anthony’s Birthday.  

     

    And finally, because within every Montessori child lies a teacher, there was work. He would pull something off his shelves, set it up carefully and then call the cat over. 

    Here Huxley, see a nineteen is really just a 10 plus a 9. 

    His new school bag hangs from his dressing chair and his new school shoes should arrive tomorrow. And we are ready. Ready to get back to it. He asks daily if it’s a school day. It will be good to start the next school year and watch him grow, but it has been a very nice summer.