Grab that Garlic and Peel Away!
Maria Montessori understood the kitchen was more than just a place for making great food — she saw it as a laboratory for a child’s senses.
Encourage your child to participate in the kitchen by setting up the simple activity of peeling cloves of garlic for a recipe you might be making. Their involvement will enable them to take pride in the final dish when the family comes together to eat it, building their self-esteem.
Even as adults, most of us know the process of peeling garlic can sometimes be tricky; attention to detail and concentration is required as each piece of the skin is removed from the pristine and aromatic clove lying beneath. Your child will exercise their focus and practice their dexterity while working toward this task, feeling satisfied to ultimately discover the hard-earned fruit of their labor.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of the experience is for your child to learn about garlic itself and to develop a new vocabulary along the way. This a natural time to discuss garlic’s health benefits and origins in nature, its relation to similar root vegetables such as onions and shallots, as well as its unique properties of smell and taste. If your child gets an urge to bite into a clove, don’t feel like you have to stop them — the taste will give them a useful reference point and is a part of the discovery they won’t soon forget!
More advanced children may use this activity as a stepping stone toward working with a garlic press.
Did you know, garlic can also play a fundamental role in your child’s growing independence, language development, concentration and overall self-esteem? Find out how the simple activity of peeling garlic can lead the way toward new discoveries.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.