My niece Hannah and nephew Graham love to cook. Since they were little, they have been building elaborate sand cakes at the beach and creating their own kitchen masterpieces at home—birthday cakes, cupcakes, and even freshly-made pasta. Not surprisingly, their favorite TV shows are on Food Network.
Applying Montessori principles of child education in your home’s kitchen provides a limitless, healthy environment for experimentation, learning, creativity, persistence, and achievement.
Recipe for Success
At an early age, children can successfully participate in cooking at home with your guidance and support. Like the Montessori teachers, you can create a fun, safe environment that allows your child to pursue their interests and creativity at their own pace in a disciplined manner. Working in your kitchen helps teach children to read and follow recipe directions, measure ingredients, learn and experiment with different techniques and timing, develop organizational skills, and collaborate with family and friends for successful meals and desserts–all while having fun doing it.
“I can do it myself.”
Graham feels very confident in the kitchen. Whether he’s making his own lunch or competing with his sister in a “Cupcake Challenge,” he likes to do things himself: measuring and assembling ingredients; baking and decorating for the perfect “presentation”; and even cleaning up. Although he’s very confident, he knows when there’s an opportunity to learn from his older sister Hannah and doesn’t hesitate to ask for help when he thinks he needs it. In turn, Hannah is glad to assist and takes the time patiently and collaboratively to help Graham get it right.
Listening to the Needs of Others and Taking Direction
Over the summer, Hannah made birthday cakes for her teacher’s son. The teacher explained that her son wanted a Ninja-themed party, provided the number of people attending her son’s birthday party, and the event date. Hannah took the time to make and decorate the Ninja cakes by herself, and then deliver the baked goods on time, exceeding the teacher’s expectations. Hannah was very proud of herself and her accomplishments.
The Montessori philosophy empowers children to be curious, take responsibility, and create with purpose and joy. The academic, social and emotional benefits can last a lifetime.