Many Montessori families often start with peeling as a way to introduce their child to helping prepare meals. We attempted this, but the need to mouth made it a little difficult, so we waited and kept going back to it. So we did spreading and now are doing more peeling.
This a great way to learn about order. By slowly increasing the steps (as you will see below), we create a greater challenge, that’s not too challenging, and are getting closer to preparing a meal from start to finish.
Three common foods to peel are banana, mandarins, and hardboiled eggs. We begin with banana, as they are the easiest.
I always recommend washing the outside of all produce children handle as there’s a high possibility that it will end up in a mouth.
First, I cut the banana in slices. I then cut a little slit so that they may peel it easily (I will stop doing this once they have a hang of peeling and do it with ease). Using their small cutting board, I present them with two bowls and a plate of the sliced banana that is ready to be peeled.
Silently, I show them the step-by-step process. I pickup a banana slice and remove the peel which I then place in one bowl with the banana going in the other bowl. We don’t snack while we prepare our food. Once the banana is peeled, we take the bowl of bananas to our place setting at our table.
The girls have lately preferred to do this precess at their table, which has been working wonderfully. They first place a small bowl, for the peels, at their place-setting. They then bring the banana I have sliced, on a plate, to their place-setting. As with other activities, the bowl is placed to the right so that it is in order of the process, left to right; pick-up slice, peel, place peel in bowl, eat.
For mandarin peeling I peel just a little portion, which is a nice little start for them. Like with the banana, they place the peel in a bowl which we later place in compost.
Hardboiled egg peeling is introduced similar to how the banana is with two bowls, although there is an addictional step, slicing. Once our eggs are peeled, we then slice it using their slicer or, if helping with meal preparations for daddy, the wavy chopper.
Have you introduced peeling to your little one? If so, do they enjoy the independence of preparing their own snack?
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