Since Ryann has been able to walk I’ve dabbled in creating spaces for her in the kitchen. At one point she had a cupboard for her snacks and dishes but I wasn’t very good about keeping her snacks stocked and she rarely used it.
We moved into a new house in July and I’m just now getting a handle on how to approach her space in the kitchen.
I bought cheap, clear plastic bins to hold her snack foods. She still has access to the entire refrigerator and pantry, I don’t think keeping something as basic as food off-limits is very Montessori, but this gives her some ownership of “her” food and helps her choose what she wants to eat for snack. She has two boxes in the refrigerator, one with food and the other with drinks. And another box in the pantry for dry goods. I may add another pantry box, but it might get too overwhelming for her.
Currently, her snack boxes look like this:
Drinks: Vanilla milk, Tropical Punch Capri Sun
Refrigerated snacks: Cottage cheese cups, sliced apples, string cheese
Pantry snacks: Pringles, applesauce, pineapple fruit cups, fruit rollups
These are the normal choices she has for her lunches as well. So the snack boxes organize the sides for her lunch so she is less overwhelmed by what to choose. Usually when I ask her to help me pack her lunch she quickly asks me to pick for her. But tonight she could easily pick a couple sides to go with her macaroni and cheese.
Next I need to find a way to put her dishes down where she can reach. I will update when I piece the rest of the kitchen organization together. For now, how do you help your child’s independence in the kitchen? Add your experiences in the comments.