Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Squeezing Citrus: Montessori-inspired Food Preparation for Toddlers

When our little girl turned 1 and was allowed by her pediatrician to drink fresh fruit juices, "juice" quickly became one of the words she could understand and say (though her "juice" and "shoes" sometimes sound the same). We've done pouring work with water and juice--pouring from a small pitcher to her drinking glass--so I thought I'd already introduce a simple food preparation activity.

We started with calamondin, locally called calamansi, halved.
I would have used oranges--and we did try--but they were still too big for our young toddler to handle and squeezing the juice out requires more effort.
We have a small strainer that fits onto a small bowl that has a handle and a beak, perfect for pouring later on.
We also have another bowl where she can put the squeezed calamansi.

This work helps foster independence and build confidence.

It's also perfect fine motor practice.

 She enjoyed squeezing the fruit, picking the seeds, and looking at the juice that goes to the bowl under the strainer.

When she was done squeezing, I put the strainer aside and set her drinking glass down.
She already knew what to do and started pouring the juice into the glass that I had to quickly grab my camera to take a photo--thus, the finger on the side (haha).

Freshly squeezed juice!

Which she tasted right away! It was too sour, of course, but she thought that was funny!
We mixed the juice concentrate with her water and she enjoyed the juice she made herself.
I get to have some, too!

Of course packing away and cleaning up is part of the fun.

I hope you get to try this activity with your own child. For more of our Montessori, do follow Montessori on Mars on Facebook and Instagram and add me to your circles on Google Plus. And go ahead, wander around her some more. Or you can also watch this video of our then 14-month old drinking juice from an open glass cup.

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