Cooking with a Toddler - The Ultimate Sensory Experience!


Toddler making noodles at How we Montessori cooking with electric skillet

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.

Toddler making noodles at How we Montessori cooking with electric skillet

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.

Toddler making noodles at How we Montessori cooking with electric skillet

Pour in a little oil. 

Montessori toddler cooking at How we Montessori cooking sensory experience

Add the pesto (we are using Rana Basil Pesto).

Toddler making noodles at How we Montessori cooking with electric skillet

Stir. 

Toddler making noodles at How we Montessori cooking with electric skillet

Look.

Cooking as a sensory experience at How we Montessori toddler cooking with electric pan

Listen and feel (can you see the steam?).

Montessori toddler cooking at How we Montessori cooking sensory experience

Smell.

Cooking as a sensory experience at How we Montessori toddler cooking with electric pan

Then serve and eat! It tastes delicious!

Resources we use: OXO Spiralizer, Electric Skillet (AU link), Children's Wooden Spoon  (c/o Manine Montessori), Mini Tongs, Toddler Apron (Otto is wearing size 1-2years), Sprout Toddler Tower.

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