Two notes on why we're in the kitchen a lot these days:
1. Meals didn't used to be the most anticipated of times in our home when we started weaning at 6 months, but I've found that as we spent more time working in the kitchen and as our now-15-month-old is more involved in food preparation, she has also developed a more adventurous appetite and healthier habits and has become a more eager eater.
2. So interested, and corollary to this, so concentrated is she on kitchen-related activities, spending a good 15 or so peaceful and purposeful minutes on her work, that I'm reminded of how Maria Montessori said, "The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy."
Among a few other things, these are why I try everyday to think of meals the preparation of which would involve our girl one way or the other, and eventually, entirely.
So just the other day, we had some visitors over, one of whom has creamy egg sandwich as a favorite; so I thought that we'd serve some for snacks and that would be a perfect chance to try peeling hard-boiled eggs with our 15-month-old.
Her point of interest were the egg shells, carefully examining them and curiously experimenting how they break off.
I remember how Maria Montessori recognized and marveled at the young child's sensitivity to tiny things.
She found it funny when I showed her how we crack an egg.
It was still a little challenging for her to peel off the shells without squishing the egg so it was perfect that we'd have to mash the eggs later on anyway.
When she saw the yellow yolk, it was like she made a discovery!
She suddenly just sat down and examined what she was holding.
Note on the egg shells on the floor: Concentration doesn't necessarily entail cleanliness at this point and I don't ask her to tidy up. That can wait after. I try to foster an uninterrupted work period as much as I can.
But we also say hooray for a chance to work with company.
If we weren't serving the spread to guests, I would probably have had C wash hands again and mash the eggs herself. But since we were, her aunt helped with a spoon.
C scoops some mayonnaise from the jar...
And mixes it into the bowl with the eggs.
When we were done, she got a slice of bread and we showed her how we can spread the creamy egg-mayo mix onto it.
More Montessori-inspired ideas are on Montessori on Mars' Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.