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Montessori Curriculum for Toddlers - Lessons with Fruit, Week 1

Chances are, fruit is already in your kitchen! Grab some fruit, snap some pictures of it or throw it in a basket for a variety of lessons and create an instant week of lessons for the toddler. The possibilities for food prep with fruit is endless and allows the child to help in the kitchen while working on independence and fine motor skills. The child is also increasing vocabulary that they can use daily during eating, learning about where their food comes from, and learning about making healthy food choices at a young age


WHOLE HAND TRANSFER

 

What you'll need:

2 identical bowls

2-5 pieces of fruit

1 small sized grocery bag with a handle

How to do it:

Place a variety of fruits inside a bowl or basket. Show your child how to use their whole hand to grasp the fruits one at a time and transfer to the second bowl.

Have your child to repeat the exercise and place the fruits back into the original bowl. This will teach your toddler to put things back as they found them.

 As a variation, have your child transfer the fruit from a basket or bowl into grocery bag. They may choose to carry the groceries around for a maximum effort exercise.

Tip:

When possible use items that are made of natural materials.


SMELLING BOTTLES: 

What you'll need:

empty salt shakers

cotton balls

fruit essential oils or zest of a fruit

How to do it:

Place a cotton ball that's been dipped in a fruit essential oil in to a salt shakers. Alternatively you may use zest of a fruit as the scent. Have your child smell the difference between the scents. Some examples you might use are lemon, orange, grapefruit.

Tip:

As an introduction to cooking you can also pair a spice along with a fruit such as chili and a lime, nutmeg and an orange, or cinnamon and an apple.  


EXPLORATION BASKET: 

What you'll need: 

a basket, shovel, rake, a packet of fruit seeds, gloves

How to do it:

An exploration basket in the toddler classroom is the first hands-on job on the language shelf. It is a basket of objects that go together used for exploring, naming, and creating the association of the objects. 

For this theme, the exploration basket could be tools for planting fruit such as a shovel, a rake, a packet of fruit seeds, gardener gloves, etc. Give your child the names of each object.  Your child can choose to put the gloves on and explore the tools.   This could also be done with tools to cook or prepare the fruit instead.

Tip:

All tools should be child-sized when possible.


FRUIT AROUND THE WORLD: 

What you'll need: 

full color print outs of different fruits, 2 copies

How to do it:

Take this chance to teach about a variety of fruits from around the world. Print 2 pictures of each fruit.  Hold the picture of the fruit in your hand as you say the name of the fruit.  Have your child match the pictures. 

This activity allows for visual discrimination in an abstract way and increases your child’s vocabulary.


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