The Kitchen Basket

Oh the joy of things of your own.  Namely things that the big people use that are just for you.

 

If you haven’t noticed we’re rather big fans of the Montessori ideas of childhood education around here – while I’m no expert and it’s not an all encompassing part of our lives I do enjoy taking the bits and pieces that inspire me to create a more stimulating home environment.

Right now Henry is just entering into the stage of development when Montessori-ans really start pushing “Practical Life” – which in a nutshell is teaching children to develop skills and habits that will serve them in becoming independent children and adults.  “Practical Life” can be anything from pour water into a glass, to picking out your clothes and helping in the kitchen.

Henry has been getting increasingly interested in what’s going on in the kitchen, particularly what I’m doing over the counter-tops.  To help encourage curiosity, but limit run-ins with hot or sharp items (until his understanding of key words is a little more developed) I made him his own “Kitchen Basket”.

 

Thanks to an amazing thrifting score I got everything here in one swoop.

Montessori principle encourages children to use real materials from a young age – to help learn care and other good behaviors.  I went with this idea while picking out his materials.  The basket includes wood, enamelware and various type of real dishware (it has some heft to it and makes quite a bit of noise when dropped).  Honestly I kid of want the salt shakers and the enamel bowls for myself

All and all I think I spent the same on everything (basket included) for about what it would have cost to get this lovely set from NovaNaturals (oh so lovely though).  The run down of the basket is 3 enamel mixing bowls, 2 wooden bowls, 2 china bowls, 2 china plates, 2 china cups, a mix of smaller kitchen utensils and a set of wooden salt and pepper shakers.

 
 

On first use they bowls and things were mainly used like a new set of blocks, but we did have a chance to share a little bit of make believe – getting him to stir the bowl and eat some imaginary food.  However it’s the future fun that we’re sure to have that is what’s most important.

Do you do anything like this?  Big on play kitchens and pretend? //assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

6 thoughts on “The Kitchen Basket

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  1. Real materials elicit such a high level of inquiry…so interesting to watch little ones grow quiet and awed by the real “grown-up” tools. 🙂

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  2. What a great idea, Molly! We haven't done much play kitchen yet, but Miriam loves to be in there watching and I've tried to let her help stir and stuff. I can't wait for her to be big enough to stand on a chair – then the fun will really begin! We also let her go through the cabinets and play with the pots and pans and strainers and tupperware. We actually didn't want her to do that initially, but my husband is somewhat anti-child-proofing and so we stopped her every time she tried to explore them. But then we discovered she knew how to put things away – so now I let her have free reign, and just insist that she puts things away when she's done. It's working out well so far!

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  3. My own children spent many happy hours playing with these things- their imaginations running riot as they busily concocted banquet after banquet;-) Thank you very much for sharing this with us on Seasonal Celebration Sunday! Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network x

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  4. I love your kitchen basket! We have play kitchen things set out right by our kitchen that my kids can play with at any time. We also regularly bring our kitchen work over to our little school table so that the little ones can help easily. My oldest daughter is great at including her little siblings in her baking and cooking activities and I love having little helpers along side me as well. I love seeing that through these things they know where things belong, what ingredients we will need and even what steps need to be done as we go along in our project.

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