Food Preparation Activities
Food preparation activities are wonderfully rich experiences for toddlers. To prepare an environment:
1. Put food preparation activities on a tray to contain mess and define a work space.
2. Demonstrate isolated, precise movements without speaking, then let your child explore without interrupting.
3. Label the foods and materials by name.
Juicing an OrangeWe found it was easier to juice the orange after scoring the peel with a paring knife before putting on the tray. In a toddler community, the children juice only one orange, and save the other oranges for the next person. Glasses are used during snack time, but the green plastic cup is personalized with an image for each child. The discarded oranges are fed to the guinea pigs or placed in the compost.
Cutting Carrot Tops with Scissors
Scissors in a basket and a bowl for the trimmings are placed on a tray. After trimming the tops, this child offers them to a guinea pig. These scissors are kept in the food preparation area and are only used for food or food packaging. Other scissors are on the shelf, "only for paper."
After plucking the grapes the children place them in a colander and rinse with cold water. The stems are placed in the compost pail. The grapes are returned to the bowl and placed in the refrigerator and the tray is returned to the shelf.
After placing her knife in position, this child will press her palm on the top of the knife to cut. This safe cutting method is demonstrated during a presentation. The tongs are available to transfer the pieces to the bowl.