Jun 15, 2017
There is nothing better with breakfast than a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
Even a child as young as 18 months can enjoy this refreshing drink and make it for themselves.
It’s easy to set it up at home. Here is what you’ll need:
A small juicer
A small juice glass with a wide mouth
A small bowl
A tray with raised sides
Optional: child sized apron
Look for a juicer that has a stable base for little hands to work with.
For the younger child, you can have on the tray a pre-cut half of an orange. Before preparing this activity for your child – it’s nice to soften the orange for juicing by rolling it on a counter a few times before slicing it. This allows more juice to be released when the youngest hands are still developing their strength.
As your child gets older, you can show him or her how to roll the orange by themselves and even how to cut the orange in half using a child safe knife.
Once the child is finished, help them complete the work by showing them where to put the used fruit, how to wash their dishes and clean their space. This is an important element of the Montessori approach, to model to the child the full cycle of a given activity.
For a young child, when they are finished with their juice you can show them where to put the used dishes in your kitchen and work together to clean any spills.
As you child gets older, you can extend the steps of clean up to include washing the dishes, wiping tables or cleaning floors independently.
Having your child involved in as many steps of the beginning, middle and end of a given activity provides them with a deeper connection to how the world works and aids in the development of their sense of order and growing coordination.
I love this activity because a child can feel the satisfaction of taking care of their own needs and it also opens the doors to growing vocabulary and exploration.
You can talk to your youngest child about the color, smell and flavor of the fruit. You can conduct a juice tasting experiment. How does a blood orange taste compared to a Valencia?
If the orange came from oversees – you and your young child can use an atlas to find the country where the fruit came from. They could collect the orange seeds and plant them.
Your older children can save the used orange peels and make their own DIY cleaner by infusing vinegar with the rinds and adding hot water.
The possibilities are endless! Oh how sweet it is…
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