Montessori materials and wooden toys can be quite expensive. Therefore, shopping in charity shops and…
“Never help a child at a task he feels he can succeed”
To help a child become independent, we must provide them with the right tools. This is even more true for practical life activities.
Many parents are surprised when they come to my playgroup that the children will prepare their own snacks. However, they are soon amazed to see the dexterity of their young toddlers at work!
One of their fears is to see their child using a knife.
The first knife that I introduce to young toddlers is the crinkle cutter. Children can cut soft vegetables and fruits with this one, such as cucumber, banana, celery, tomatoes etc. And it’s totally safe!
You can give your child a butter knife or a child-sized knife to spread butter or to cut soft food (such as banana, cheese etc.)
When your child has some experience with these first knives, you can give them some more grown-up knives that will cut more challenging food, such as carrots.
We currently use the Ikea Smabit knife.
The knife comes with a vegetable peeler. It is recommended for children 8+. It’s sharp but with a rounded edge. Our 5-year-old uses it but under close supervision.
In fact, we have replaced all our knives that have sharp blades with these children’s knives.
Below is the selection of knives that a child can use after the crinkle cutter and before the Ikea one. (I haven’t used any of these personally but they were recommended to me on the Montessori for families UK FB group)
There is a space to teach correct finger placement, as well as a handy finger guard.
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Carine Robin is a a mother of 2 children. She raises them the Montessori way. Originally from Belgium where she worked as a child psychologist for several years, Carine spent 6 years in Ireland before settling in in the UK. She qualified as a Montessori teacher 10 years ago and has since worked as Montessori teacher and preschool manager. She founded Montessori-family in 2011 to provide opportunities for parents to discover Montessori. She believes that it’s truly possible to implement the Montessori ideas at home to make your house and family life welcoming to your child, her needs and her thrive for independence. She offers parents & babies classes, toddlers playgroups; Montessori home designs, one to one support, parenting classes and online courses.
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