I love a good sensory tub but I know there are more authentic sensory experiences for toddlers. Cooking can be a wonderful authentic sensory experience. Is there another activity where the child can use all of their senses? Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch?
The thing about cooking is the child can experience heat - the sound, smell and feel of the food cooking. They can contribute to a family snack or meal. You know that toddlers can cook safely? Toddlers have been doing it for years in Montessori schools and communities. It is the Montessori approach that has inspired me to cook at home with my toddler.
Otto (2.5yrs) loves the spiraliser so today we made and cooked zoodles. Actually carrot and zucchini noodles with basil pesto. With a bit of preparation and verbal instruction, there isn't a step that Otto can't do.
Put all the carrot and zucchini noodles into the pan. The pan is on the lowest setting, it feels warm (and may startle the child if they touch it) but it will not burn (check with your hand first, all pans & settings will be different). Supervise the child so that they don't alter the settings (which Otto loves to do!). All of the transferring and work with tongs is great for the developing hand muscles.
Pour in a little oil.
Add the pesto (we are using Rana Basil Pesto).
Listen and feel (can you see the steam?).
Then serve and eat! It tastes delicious!
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