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Montessori Curriculum for Toddlers - Lessons with Fruit, Week 2

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


PEELING AN ORANGE

What you'll need:

3 identical bowls

tray (large enough to carry the 3 bowls)

orange

 

How to do it:

Place the 3 bowls on the tray. Place an orange in the bowl farthest to the left. This will help to reinforce that we start on the left and work to the right (in the same manner that we would read.) 

The other two bowls should be empty for now.

Show your child how to pierce one end of the orange to get started then slowly peel the orange one piece at a time. A younger child may need help making the first peel. 

As your child peels the orange, have them place peels into one bowl and the slices of orange into another. Some children will choose to eat as they go :). 

Tips: As you do this activity take the time to smell the peel.  Talk about the shape, color and how the orange tastes.


FEELING TEXTURES

What you'll need:

dried seeds, beans, pits or rinds

long trays or large bowls

 

How to do it:

Dry out a variety of seeds/rinds with different textures. Some examples would be a dried mango seed, a watermelon rind, dried corn kernels, uncooked garbanzo beans, the outside of a pineapple or a lemon peel.  

Fill large bowls with one variety. One bowl of dried corn kernels and one bowl of garbanzo beans. Use the long trays to hold 2-3 pits or rinds. For example, a mango seed and the outside of a pineapple. 

Pick up the mango seed and talk about how it feels and smells. Repeat with the mango seed. Run your hand through the bowl of corn kernels and describe what you see and feel. Repeat with the garbanzo beans.   

Use language such as rough, smooth, fuzzy, hard, soft to describe the textures and increase your child's vocabulary. 

Tip: Use larger pieces for younger children such as mango pits and large peels -to avoid a choking hazard. Try smaller pieces with older children that are no longer placing items in their mouth.


FRUIT PUZZLE

What you'll need: puzzles with 1-4 larger pieces, knobbed puzzles

How to do it:

Remove each piece from the puzzle one at a time. Pick up the first piece to put back. Carefully examine the piece using using both your eyes and your fingers.  You'll want to be extremely obvious as you do this.  Run your fingers around the puzzle piece and in the space it belongs in.  Gently place the puzzle piece in and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Tip: Whole hand puzzles and knobbed puzzles are the first step in developing the form for handwriting. They also develop language and use visual discrimination to match the picture and spatial recognition to fit the piece exactly in the right place. 


PLANTING A SEED 

What you'll need: seeds, a small pot with drainage, soil, child-sized shovel, child-sized watering can

How to do it: Show your child how to scoop up soil and dump it in the pot. Have them fill the pot about 3/4 full of soil.  Have your child place a handful of seeds in the pot then cover with more soil. 

Have your child water the seeds. Making this a part of their daily morning routine is a great introduction to care of the environment.

Tip: To teach your child where the fruit on our table comes from, you can save a seed from a lemon or apple that your child ate and plant it together. Water it and watch it grow into a beautiful tree.

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