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February 19, 2021

In the Kitchen with Toddlers - Sprinkling

There are so many amazing things that children can do in the kitchen! Practical life work really is the center of a Montessori home. At 17-months, Teddy is just starting to get to the point of being interested in kitchen work. Mostly, he still just wants to eat everything that we are using (which totally normal and fine!) 

One kitchen task that he has been super interested in and engaged with has been sprinkling! It all started when Gus came home from school asking for bananas with cinnamon - a common snack in his classroom. Well, Teddy loves bananas so he was all over Gus' snack. So, I was trying to think of a way that Teddy could also get involved in making the snack for himself and it hit me - sprinkling. He could use his fingers (where Gus just uses the bottle) to put cinnamon on for himself. Eventually, I added chia seeds to this snack for a little protein and healthy fat. And, ever since then it's been a favorite snack here for all my kids. 

Anyway, this simple snack has gotten me thinking about what a great work sprinkling is for small children! It's a great natural sensory experience, it requires a lot of fine motor control, and it's a quick and fun way for toddlers to get involved in a variety of cooking/baking work. In addition to this simple snack, toddlers could sprinkle: 
  • a pre-portioned amount of flakey salt/pepper onto avocado toast (or similar savory snack or meal)
  • herbs/spices into soup or across chicken or veggies 
  • Parmesan cheese on pasta
  • diced nuts into salad 
  • actual sprinkles onto cupcakes or a sweet treat
  • brown sugar/cinnamon/chia seed/flax seed into oatmeal 

I'm sure there are so many other ways that people can incorporate a little sprinkling into their child's work in the kitchen! Just remember with 1-year-olds to keep your own expectations in check! They will just eat the intended stuff to sprinkle, they may dump it out, they may just dip their snack into it. Be flexible. Offer small amounts in a place that is easily cleaned. Then, invite them to participate in the clean up process! 

What kind of kitchen work does your 1-year-old like to do? 

This simple Montessori kitchen activity is perfect for 1-year-olds. Here is one easy way to help your Montessori toddler get into practical life work!

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