Montessori in the kitchen – 40 ideas for toddlers

What kind of activities can a child do in the kitchen?

You may have observed that your little one is keen to participate while you cook or prepare food. But what is he able to do?

My children have always been keen to help us.

So here a non-exhaustive list of what a toddler from around 15 months to 3 years old can do in the kitchen. In no particular order, just observe your child, welcome him in whatever you do and see what he is able to do.

  • empty cutlery basket from the dishwasher (remove sharp knives first)

  • help to empty the dishwasher: plastic containers and cups first then more fragile dishes
  • set up the table: bring her own dishes and cutlery to the table then learn to set up the table with the help of a setting mat.
  • Pour her own drink
  • Cut soft vegetables and fruits. Our favourite tool is the crinkle cutter. Buy it here.

  • Peel banana and easy to peel fruits such as satsumas
  • Peel onions and garlic

  • Chop onions
  • Shred peppers and salad leaves
  • Wash vegetables
  • Scrub potatoes and carrots
  • Peel carrots 
  • Snap ends of french beans

  • Oil a baking tray with a brush or with paper towel imbibed with oil

  • Prick the dough with a fork

  • Cut apple with an apple corer

  • Mix the dough

  • Whisk eggs with a hand whisk

  • Break an egg into the bowl


  • Roll the dough

  • Cut shapes in the dough to make cookies

  • Shake spices over meals, sprinkle sugar over cake
  • Peel a boiled egg

  • Use a mortar and pestle


  • Sieve the flour

  • Spread butter, jam, nut spread or hummus on bread and crackers. It works best on toasted bread and thick crackers.

  • Add a toothpick to olives or to cherry tomatoes
  • Make a fruit salad by mixing up already cut fruits
  • Press an orange to make juice

  • Add cut fruits or vegetables in a blender and push on the button to make a smoothie
  • Add the filter and the coffee in the coffee machine or the pod in the coffee machine.
  • Grind the coffee with a coffee grinder

  • Scrape the leftovers from the plates to the bin
  • Wipe the table with a cloth
  • Wash and dry the dishes.
  • Pick up some fresh herbs from the garden
  • Make some pesto
  • Make hummus
  • Wear an apron
  • Wash hands before and after cooking

Does your child help you in the kitchen? What does he like to do?

Are you going to try one of these activities?

Let me know!

Read more about Montessori in the kitchen here with our snack area and here with what knives to choose.

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About the Author Carine Robin

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.