Cooking provides a fantastic sensory activity for children of any age. Children learn from exploring the sight of the ingredients, feeling the textures, smelling the spices, hearing the clink-and-whirl of the utensils and, of course, tasting the results.
"The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world…"
In addition to being a feast for the senses, cooking is a great way for children to develop practical life skills, and even practice reading and math. According to Maria Montessori, practical life skills are one of the four avenues of learning in early childhood. When children participate in practical life activities, they gain in areas of coordination, motor skills, independence and more.
take part in the exercises of practical life . This has a truly educational, not utilitarian purpose. The reaction of the children may be described as a “burst of independence” of all unnecessary assistance that suppresses their activity and prevents them from demonstrating their own capacities. It is just these “independent” children of ours who learn to write at the age of four and a half years, who learn to read spontaneously, and who amaze everyone by their progress in arithmetic.
If you would like to learn more about practical life lessons and activities, please click here.
The Ingredients for Mother's Day Fresh Strawberry Muffins:
2 Cups of fresh Strawberries 1/2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Large Eggs 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1. Start with fresh strawberries. Let the children feel the texture of the fruit, smell the fragrant berries and note the vibrant colors. Using a butter knife, cut the berries into bite sized pieces. Set berries aside.
The child must possess within himself, from birth, a capacity – only a potential at first – of abstracting or taking off from particular things their essential qualities. If you watch carefully any small child, of one to two years old, you will see that he is not only interested in objects as a whole, but also in their qualities, such as roughness, smoothness, hardness, softness, colour, taste, texture, weight, pliability, and so on.
2. Stir the next 3 ingredients together. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs together. Children can help measure ingredients and observe the different textures, weights, and colors.
But an adult if he is to provide proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the child who is watching him can clearly see his actions in all their particulars. ~Maria Montessori
3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine with the egg mixture. Gently fold in the strawberries.
5. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until they spring back when lightly pressed on top.
6. Let cool for 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!
...and Happy Mother's Day!
“Children must grow not only in the body but in the spirit, and the mother longs to follow the mysterious spiritual journey of the beloved one who to-morrow will be the intelligent, divine creation, man.” ~Maria Montessori