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February 09, 2018

Peeling Bananas -- Montessori Young Toddler Week 10

At 14-months-old, Gus is becoming more and more interested in participating in every day tasks around the home. This often means throwing away a tissue (or something that isn't garbage at all!) or wiping up a spill. But, in the kitchen it has also meant starting to take steps to preparing his own food! These early experiences will set the foundation for his relationship with the kitchen for years to come. 

Peeling bananas is a great first way to involve your young Montessori toddler in the kitchen

It will be these early experiences that will give him the confidence he needs to participate more fully in the future! He will begin to understand that food comes from somewhere, and that it takes work to make it into a product that everyone can enjoy. Slowly we will introduce tools for him to use that will make his work easier and more efficient. 

Peeling bananas is a great place to begin this work! Not only does Gus love bananas, this is a simple step that even little fingers can work to complete. I'm by no means the first person to create this classic Montessori work -- I learned about it here -- and I can see why it is popular. It's just enough work to keep a young toddler engaged but not so much work that they won't be successful. 

To prepare, I simply sliced a banana into medallions and made a slice in the skin. This way Gus could easily peel the skin off and place into the bowl. As he gets older, he will get larger pieces and stop slicing the skin. To make this successful, make sure all your supplies are ready to go. Make sure there is somewhere to place the skin, and somewhere to keep the bananas. 

Also, keep your expectations in check. There will be exploration. Make sure to model how to do this activity, and know that exploration will occur. Peels will end up in the mouth, banana slices may be placed in the peel bowl. Keep your cool, model, and give your child time to explore! 

Has your child enjoyed peeling a banana? What kitchen work does your young toddler engage in? 

Peeling bananas is a great first way to involve your young Montessori toddler in the kitchen


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Anonymous said…
My daughter enjoys peeling bananas and [easy peel] oranges. What kitchen tool is safest to start a 15 month old on? Your son and my daughter are roughly a week apart, I believe.
Celeste said…
I let my 13-month-old reach into the bag of crackers to serve himself sometimes, rather than doling it out myself. He likes to unscrew lids, so I will occasionally put a few goldfish in a recycled spice container and leave it on his table for him to open when he wants a snack.