One of the most popular aspects of a Montessori private kindergarten is that children learn the skills and self-esteem necessary to take more control over their individual lives. One way they can do that is by practicing practical life skills such as measuring, cutting, cleaning up behind themselves, and maintaining an orderly food environment.
- Fancy PB&J
This is a popular way to serve peanut butter and jelly, and kindergarten children are able to prepare the snack without adult assistance. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread, jelly, jam, or preserves on a second slice, and place the peanut butter slice upside down on the jelly. The fancy part comes now and refers to cutting the crust from around the edges and then cutting the sandwich diagonally.
- Sliced Fruit
Learning to slice fruit is a typical Montessori activity that imparts practical life skills in the process of making an easy snack. Some fruits may require a little assistance in peeling, but children learn by observing and then by doing, so this is a wonderful way to become more self-reliant.
- Cheese Bites
This is basically the same idea as slicing fruit but involves a variety of cheese flavors that can be cut into child-sized bites. You can even “cheat” on this one, and let your kids use grated cheese and press them into balls or other shapes before eating.
- Popsicles with a Twist
This activity teaches practical experience to slice fruit, measure ingredients, and use a blender. Cut fruit into chunks and measure ¼ cup into a blender, then add ½ cup of fruit juice such as apple, pear, or pineapple. Blend, and pour into small paper cups. Cover with plastic wrap, and stick a popsicle stick through the plastic. Freeze and enjoy.
- Veggie Sticks and Slices
This “snacktivity” involves preparing a veggie tray. Cut or slice some favorite vegetables, pour ranch or other sauces into small cups or bowls, and you have a healthy, exciting snack. For a more elaborate snack, combine veggies, fruits, and cheese chunks or balls.
By the time they reach kindergarten age, children are developing independent abilities that give them more involvement in their class, home, and community. Practical life experiences such as preparing their own snacks teach them to do that as well as build self-esteem and personal responsibility.