As I said in one of my previous posts, I'm trying to incorporate more "Montessori" concepts and activities for the kids in our daily life as well as in our schooling. To start us off, the kids were THRILLED to be my shopping helpers during a recent grocery run. The store we were at even had a few child-sized carts. They shared one (we took turns between who sat in the big cart with me, and who drove the little cart), and did surprisingly well at "driving" it. :)
Our cooking activity for this week was to make Carrot Soup (see previous "The Carrot Seed" post for links). Both of them got the chance to help with the "grown up" work of it, rather than just sit and watch. Again, they LOVED it, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much opportunity for discussion, on everything from cutting safety to counting, to colors/smells/textures and more, there was! It was a completely valuable learning experience. :)
At first I gave them each a "toddler" knife to cut the veggies with, but since it had no real cutting edge on it we decided to try regular plastic knives. Those worked much better. I was glad I had some on hand from the recent party we had- usually I don't have that kind of thing readily available, so I'm really looking forward to purchasing some more materials and real "tools" for them both from here.
Through trial and error the kids discovered that carrots are very hard to cut- I had to use my "big, sharp, grown up knife"! Xander was the first to "solve" the problem on his own- just break it! That did make the carrots smaller, but not quite small enough. So, we decided I would cut them and they would help add them to the pot. :)
They even experienced cutting onions by themselves! We discovered that they smell pretty "strong", and make our eyes water a little- AND that they don't really taste very good before being cooked. ;)
While the kids waited for me to sautee the celery and onions, they decided they'd do a little cooking too.
Once the soup had cooked down enough we put it in the blender and they got to help add the rest of the chicken broth to finish it off.
All in all, we decided it was very yummy, especially with our Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad sandwiches (we made ours with mild guacamole since that's all the avocado we had on hand).
After naptime on Friday (since we didn't get to it earlier in the week), we did our Carrot Painting!
I'd say our latest Tot School "unit", even though it was short, was definitely a success. :)