Tag Archives: montesorri

Sharp Knife Practice

Sharp Knife Cutting Practice | Mama Papa BubbaI’m well aware that many people may think I’m crazy, but recently, I’ve been helping Gracen learn how to safely use sharp knives while cooking.  She’s been helping in the kitchen since shortly after her first birthday, and is becoming an expert pourer, mixer, peeler, and grater, so this felt like a natural next step.  I fully subscribe to the notion that children, even wee ones, are very capable little human beings… More so than we often give them credit for.  So, given her kitchen experience, her ability to follow instructions, and her generally cautious nature, I felt like she was ready.  Plus, I sort of feel that being handed a cucumber to cut and a butter knife to do the job must feel a little insulting.  

IMG 9761Wouldn’t you trust this innocent little face? ☺

IMG 9762When she’s practicing her cutting skills, I like to give Grae my favourite tomato knife.  It’s quite sharp, but it doesn’t have a pointed tip and it doesn’t seem to easily puncture the skin – perhaps because it’s serrated?   I also make sure to give her soft foods that have at least one flat side (no rolling) and are long and thinnish (more space for holding).

IMG 9763So far, we’ve been focusing on holding the food at the far end and really being aware of where the knife is in relation to her little fingers.

IMG 9767This morning, while we were at the grocery store, I let Grae pick out what she wanted to cut.  First on her list was cantaloupe.

IMG 9769She also selected a dragon fruit and a couple of kiwi fruits…

IMG 9777Perfect for a fruit salad!  Overall, she’s doing really well with it.  I still always stay close to her and monitor her chopping carefully, and I did ask her to slow down a little bit today, but for the most part, she can safely use a sharp knife on her own.

IMG 9778The best part is how proud she is of herself.  Chopping up all the fruit for a big bowl of fruit salad while using a sharp knife = official big girl status.  


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Winter Nature Shelf

Winter Nature ShelfToday Gracen’s autumn nature shelf got a much needed makeover…

IMG 3387Gone are the crunchy leaves, dried out sunflowers, mini pumpkins, new apples, and shedding cattails…

IMG 3398And in are the bare branches, pinecones, evergreen limbs, and dried red berries.

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IMG 3400If we’re striving for accuracy, the title ‘Christmas shelf’ would probably be more appropriate at this point, but we’re sticking with ‘nature shelf’ because soon enough all of the little Christmas extras (many of which were mine when I was little) Miss G carefully selected and added will be tucked away until next year and we’ll be back to having shelves filled with plain ol’ nature things.
IMG 3393And because we don’t have quite as many wintery things as we did autumn-y things, we decided to use the bottom shelves for seasonal books, which Gracen loves having on display.
Here’s a look at our mini transformation…

Autumn to Winter

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Autumn Nature Shelf

Autumn Nature ShelfOver the course of the last week, Gracen has been very into collecting “autumn sings (things)”.  At first, I thought we’d use the items to make a couple of art projects and a sensory bin (which we did), but the collection grew so quickly and became so diverse that I decided a special area to display and admire her beautiful nature items was needed.

IMG 0349So this morning, we started out by taking down Grae’s beloved {pretend play} frozen yogurt shop and making room for a new nature display.  At first, I thought we’d use the same little table we had used for the shop, but just as I was thinking it would be nice to have something more like a long skinny coffee table, these vintage apple crates came to mind (they are actually the very boxes Grandma Charlotte’s family received apples in when she was a little girl!) They couldn’t have fit the space better and not only does their rustic charm suit a nature table perfectly, but when stacked on their sides, they provide extra storage space by turning into shelves.

IMG 0354Grae and I started emptying our bags and filling up the shelves (being the little organizer she is, she of course wanted all similar items together, so I was very lucky to be granted permission to split up the apples/corn/pinecones into a couple of different areas).  As she started to try and stand her tree branches upright along the wall, I realized that Great Great Grandma Amy’s vintage mason jars would display them beautifully.

IMG 0378IMG 0377IMG 0379Our items came from a variety of spots… Most of the leaves, branches, and twigs were found while walking around visiting parks in our neighbourhood in Vancouver.  The baby pumpkin and dried corn were found on our most recent trip to Davison Orchards. The pinecones were picked in Grandma Charlotte and Poppop’s front yard, and the dried flowers and berry bunches were found in the back.  Grandma Charlotte and Grae retrieved the cat tails and birch bark while out on a walk, and the new apples were snagged from a big box in GC and Poppop’s garage. ☺

IMG 0374When we were all done emptying and arranging, the end result was a cute little autumn-inspired corner in G’s room where she is free to explore nature at any time.

IMG 0363IMG 0366So far, she seems to enjoy rearranging her items and reading in front of the shelf most.

Knowing our little nature lover, I’m thinking this collection will continue to grow as the season progresses.  And we just may have to start fresh and create a new one come winter…

I know not everyone would feel comfortable having glass jars and/or inedible berries within their little one(s) reach.  Please only do what you are comfortable with.

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