Thursday, July 14, 2011

Independence in the Kitchen

If you've been a fan of ours for awhile then you know what fans we are of the Montessori method and its applications in the home. Montessori is all about empowering kids to make their own choices and do for themselves. By instilling a sense of confidence and independence, children are able to creative problem solve for themselves and studies have shown that most Montessori kids go on to become creative and successful adults. That's why we encourage X to be as hands on in the kitchen as is safe for his age and abilities.
This summer, X has been asserting his independence even more. He has an opinion on everything - from what he wears to what he eats (nothing new there!) to what order he wants to do things in. It's so great to see this kiddo taking charge in his life and as parents, the Dad and I feel like we're watching this little person blossom into a creative and engaged individual.
To help the Kid take more control of his environment, I decided to create a dedicated shelf for him in our pantry. Here, we store all his snacks that don't require refrigeration (the juice, milk, fruits, cheese, etc... are in the fridge) along with his plates, napkins and utensils so that he can help himself when he's hungry. With his plates, cups and cutlery on this lower shelf, he is also helping to set the table each night for dinner (he's been clearing his plate on his own for months but now he can help with dinner from the cooking, to setting the table to clearing up).
X gave me the cue that he was ready for this shelf in a very direct way - when snack time would roll around he would say, "Let's look in the pantry!" and open the door. It was just a matter now of putting the snacks where he could get them and he was off and running!
On X's snack shelf this month:
Homemade cheese crackers (here's the recipe we love from Oh Hey! What's Up?)
Honey wheat pretzel rods
Fruit leather (still trying to master making this from scratch so if you have a recipe you love, please share!)
abc button


Hailey's Butterfly Garden said...

love your organization and letting the kids be more independent

Emme said...

Thanks! He got to show off his shelf to one of his friends this morning - he was so proud!

Jamie @ hands on : as we grow said...

Its very liberating to create that independence for them. Kudos! We have a kitchen drawer for plates/bowls etc, but no food available. I should really rethink it so that it is. Thanks!

christa said...

Re: fruit leather...

Have you checked out this recipe?

I haven't yet, but it sounds good!

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