Safe Cooking Considerations

In her earliest children’s houses Dr. Montessori gave children access to both real tools and pretend toys to undertake practical tasks. Through her work she found that children were not interested in pretend play when they could undertake a real practical task instead. This led to the removal of the pretend toys in prepared environments in favor of child sized tools.

This is especially true in the kitchen where children are invited to participate in preparing, cooking, eating, and cleaning real meals. In Montessori 101, we support children, from a young age, working in the kitchen. This includes the use of glassware, knives, and cooking with heat. It is up to each family to determine what tools their children are prepared to use.

However, members should not be shamed for allowing their children to take risks in the kitchen. Within the right prepared environment, and with the right modeling, children can very safely work in the kitchen.

Here are some resources to consider:

Risky play prepares kids for life
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/aug/06/children.play

Where is the risk? Why children should use knives (and other dangerous things).
http://www.howwemontessori.com/how-we-montessori/2015/12/why-kids-should-use-knives.html

Our Progression of Knives from 1 until 3-years-old http://www.thekavanaughreport.com/2017/04/our-progression-of-knives-from-1-until.html

Charlotte’s knives at nearly 4
http://midwestmontessori.tumblr.com/post/159196032541/charlottes-knives-at-nearly-4

The Garlic Peeling Work: A Lesson In Mindset
https://www.childoftheredwoods.com/articles/how-to-do-montessori-at-home

Go Ahead, Give Your Toddler A Kitchen Knife
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/09/15/440277209/go-ahead-give-your-toddler-a-kitchen-knife

Charlotte had a knife incident http://midwestmontessori.tumblr.com/post/157324795566/charlotte-had-a-knife-incident-today-i-recently

CommunityDavid Hargis