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and CUT!

Presentation:  Food Cutting.

What's up with kids and wanting to cut things up?
It fascinates them, fully occupies them, and seems highly satisfying to them.
Guess that's why it's one of the most basic of practical skills in Montessori: Cutting.
Teach them to do properly what they want to do naturally.
No need for uphill battles, right?

I dunno.
Sounds dangerous.
Toddler + Knife = Worried Mom.

It's ok, let's ease into it.
The set up is really simple and you can get started right away.

The Goal
Learning how to cut using a knife

The Set Up
1)  Small cutting board
2)  Butter knife or dull table knife
3)  Soft fruit:  Melon, bananas...
4)  2 Small plates (one with fruit, one to serve with)
5)  Small apron 

The Presentation
1)  Have the child put on the apron and come to the table
2)  Be sure to have all parts of the Set Up ready
3)  Peel the fruit or have it in wedges already (melon)
4)  Hold the fruit with one hand, knife in the other
5)  Come down firmly with the knife from the top
6)  Do a gentle "see-saw" motion till it clicks with the board
7)  Lift knife and repeat until all cut up
8)  Scrap all loose fruit onto the serving plate
9)  I have Zo put toothpicks (animal ones) in the fruit to serve.

chopping at 2.5.

We first introduced this skill to Zozie at 2.5 yrs old, nearly a year ago. It's been quite the life saver actually at dinner prep time.  If they get fussy, just bust out a banana and have them go at it.  Totally keeps them occupied and content.  So you might waste a banana, but so what?  That 19 cents bought you some quiet cooking time, yes!  He's still at it a year later, doesn't get old I guess. 

Preparing an afternoon snack at 3.5yrs old:

Some age reference if you have a younger one...

Working on some melon at 2 yrs 11 months:

Working on a Banana at 2.5yrs old:
*Difficult to capture since he was aware of the camera*

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