If you have been thinking about setting up a Montessori kitchen, you might be unsure where to get started with this project. While there are some items you might need to buy to enhance your kitchen, you can use other items and tools you already have around your home to set up this type of kitchen.
A Montessori kitchen can help to make learning how to cook more fun and interactive for your child, and by following the steps below, you’ll create a safe space for them to learn and play.
A Stool to Boost Your Child’s Height
As a child, it can be incredibly frustrating not to see what’s going on in the kitchen due to your height. For that reason, find a child-friendly step stool or chair which they can use in order to be at the right level with your counters.
You’ll find they are able to use the sink with no issues as well and be safe and secure when working at this height. Just make sure the step stool is safe and secure at all times, so there’s no risk of your child falling off or hurting themselves.
Kitchen Utensils for Your Child
One of the first things to add after a stool for your child is small kitchen utensils. Our set of child-sized cooking supplies and utensils will make cooking an absolute joy for your little one. They are designed for the smaller hands of a child, and you’ll find that they can chop food, roll out the dough, and whisk up mixtures without any issues. They are designed with safety in mind, so they don’t have the sharp ends we associate with most regular kitchen tools.
This is one of the first investments you should make when setting up a Montessori kitchen to avoid any accidents. Your child will feel so special with their own set of tools, and they’ll love using them and cleaning them after each kitchen session.
A key part of the cooking process is learning to clean up after. You’ll find that having the right tools to hand for your child to use will make cooking and cleaning so much easier. Offer your child towels, a dustpan, and a trash bin nearby, so that they learn to clean up their own mess after cooking.
You’ll find that most children are very willing to tidy up when they are cooking, but you need to give them a head start to ensure they have everything they need for this task.
Standard Plates and Bowls
A huge surprise for adults when it comes to setting up a Montessori kitchen is finding out that you should use breakable dishes. While this might seem like a poor choice for a child, this type of learning encourages you to show children how to care for items from a young age.
When they drop a plate or bowl on the floor, they’ll soon learn that this means they no longer have an item that’s critical for their cooking. Make sure you supervise very small children when using dishes and plates though, as an accident is bound to happen at some point in time.
Snacks and Water
Montessori encourages children to help themselves when they need a snack or glass of water, so make sure you have an area set up for them to assist with this. They shouldn’t need to ask to get a drink, so encourage them to show their independence and help themselves to whatever they need. Place some healthy snacks there to avoid them snacking on junk food, such as fruit or vegetable sticks.
A huge source of frustration for children when they are cooking is that they can’t find the tools and supplies they need. Make sure you have a storage cupboard that is suitable for your child’s height, where you’ll place all of the items they need to use during your cooking session. If your kitchen doesn’t have any suitable built-in cupboards, consider adding a separate stand-alone cupboard for their needs.
A Table and Chair
There’s no denying that cooking can be tiring for even the most energetic children. Once they’ve finished preparing their food, give them somewhere they can sit and snack on their finished goods. You can add a small table and chair in the corner of your kitchen, which should be at the appropriate height for your toddler or child.
This can also come in handy when they are taking a break, as they’ll have somewhere out of your way to sit down and relax for a short while.
At What Age Can Children Start Working in a Montessori Kitchen?
A common question we receive from parents is at what age their child can start helping out in the kitchen. Montessori teaching methods encourage toddlers to get involved in the kitchen, and they even suggest babies under the age of one are immersed in this environment. As they get older, they can start to try out different tasks, and by the age of two to three years old, you can start teaching them basic kitchen skills.
When they reach about three years old, it’s time to introduce them to child-friendly kitchen tools and really start building on their basic kitchen skills. That being said, only you know your child and how they are progressing at their current age. For that reason, make sure you choose activities that will be safe and fun for your child to avoid accidents in the kitchen.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to working in the kitchen with a young child. Montessori learning methods are some of the best ways of teaching your child how to work in the kitchen. By setting up a Montessori kitchen using the above tools, you’ll offer your little one everything they need to succeed in the kitchen.
They’ll find that learning to cook and prepare food is so much fun. When you offer them our child-sized kitchen tools, you’ll have a safe and fun experience each and every time you cook together.