The Beauty of Children Peeling Clementines
If clementines don’t immediately make you think of the old song, “Oh my darling,” you may at least find yourself gleefully singing the tune after teaching your child how to peel them.
This juicy citrus fruit offers a wealth of natural learning opportunities in the kitchen, primarily allowing the child to practice their dexterity and concentration skills as they model after you to peel one.
Demonstrating a sequence of removing and throwing away the peel as well as taking apart the wedges of the fruit helps the child develop their rational mind; the experience is stimulating to the senses as they work diligently to enjoy the literal fruit of their labor.
But the experience is also rewarding for the parent. You are not your child’s servant, but rather their guide. After setting clementines out in an accessible place within the kitchen, let your child know they can reach for one whenever they wish to enjoy one. This gives the child a new opportunity to do things on their own pace and frees you up not to have to get things for them when the whim arises.
For some extra learning, spark a conversation about the importance of choosing seasonal, locally-grown and organic foods. You can inform your child about the trees where the fruit originated or teach them about the vitamins they’ll get to keep them growing healthy and strong.
Find out about the many fruitful rewards that come from teaching your child to peel a clementine on their own.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.