Have you ever seen a Montessori classroom in action? It’s beautiful, with children working calmly and efficiently on individual tasks. Interestingly, the key to this calm and orderly atmosphere is the way that food is prepared.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the Montessori food preparation sequence and see how it helps to foster independence in young students. Stay tuned!
Would you hand a three-year-old a knife?
Okay, to be fair, we’re talking about a blunt knife, not a sharp one, to prepare food.
Montessori Sequence of Food Preparation Activities
#1 – Slicing
Children learn to slice bananas (with a blunt knife), cucumbers, strawberries, apples (with corer), celery, hard-boiled eggs, and carrots (peeling & slicing)
#2 – Spreading
Children spread warm butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter onto toast, raw bread, crackers, and vegetables using a child-sized spreader.
#3 – Make food that doesn’t require heat
Butter in a bag, bread, peanut butter with a food grinder, cracking peanuts, hammering nuts, vegetable dip, cheese & meat snack, slicing hard-boiled eggs or making deviled eggs, making a smoothie, drying foods, making salads, using a melon baller to prepare a melon snack, grate cheese, squeeze lemon, crush herbs with mortar & pestle.
#4 – Making food that does require heat
Apple sauce, bread, vegetable soup, pizza, sweet treats like brownies or cookies, scones, and foods from other countries such as dumplings, tea, and pasta
#5 – Re-create recipes using measurement
Use step-by-step visual recipe cards to allow children to complete a recipe work cycle. This work is excellent pre-math work!
#6 – Create new recipes
This last part of the sequence requires some preparation of mindset and environment. Allow the children to create recipes, observe, and experience the results. Ask inquiry questions along the way. Document the recipe to complete the work cycle. This work is a beautiful pre-science activity!
Bringing kids into the kitchen is fun and simple to do. Being patient with experience is critical. Your mindset needs to embrace the fact that there might be a bigger mess, and the prep may take a bit longer. That is the name of the game. Think about the long term rather than the short term.