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?