What we do every day in the kitchen may seem common and redundant to us, but it’s new and exciting to your two-year-old 🙂 The idea of setting up a toddler-friendly Montessori kitchen might feel overwhelming: Do I need new furniture? Do I need to reorganize my kitchen?
Keep in mind that these are only suggestions and are meant to help your child, not make your life harder. You can decide to implement all of these or only a few.
Here’s how to set up your kitchen for your toddler the Montessori way:
- A tall, safe step stool: Sometimes called a learning tower, this stool can provide the necessary boost your child needs to work safely while prepping food at tall counters. It also enables them to reach the sink for washing hands or doing dishes. A chair or step stool (with supervision, of course) can serve as an alternative.
- Cleaning supplies: Designate a few kitchen towels, a dustpan and brush, and a small trash bin for your child to help clean up spills. Small children love wiping up spills and sweeping crumbs off the floor.
- Child-sized utensils: Small kitchen utensils and tools fit nicely into your child’s hands and are easier to use than the ones designed for adults. Small eating utensils, pitchers, scoops, child-safe choppers, whisks, and rolling pins are all great options.
- Yes, breakable dishware: Pure Montessori encourages using breakable dishware, which helps your child understand natural consequences and teaches them to care for fragile items. Breakable dishware also shows your child you trust them with the responsibility of using real plates.
- Low storage: Store items your child uses regularly—like plates, cups, silverware, cleaning rags, and kitchen tools—in a drawer or on a shelf, they can reach.
- Water station and snack area: A small snack “station” will allow your child to independently serve their own snack or get a glass of water throughout the day.
- Functional toddler kitchen: Converted play kitchens are a functional (and adorable) way to address many of these ideas in one compact space. They provide a low counter top for food prep, low shelves for storage, and some even have a water source that allows for dish and handwashing.
- Seating: Instead of a high chair, consider setting up a small table and chair just for your child. Here, they can have a snack, practice napkin folding, and maybe even prepare food. A space-saving alternative is a high chair (without a tray) that can be pulled right up to the family dining table.
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How to Montessori your kitchen, by @BringingUpBabe
The idea of setting up a toddler-friendly Montessori kitchen might seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Go at your own pace with these simple tips.