My big thing right now is to push myself to increase accessibility in our home for our kids. Maria Montessori believed that kids are frustrated in a grown-up sized world which leads to more tantrums and the like. We decided to start in the kitchen and give the kids more control over meal and snack times. I also wanted them to begin to pack their own lunches for school. This was actually hard for me to give up because I can pack a lunch in about 2 minutes flat and I had become quite proud of my efficiency. My kids’ independence trumped my pride…this time.
It has only been about two weeks since we made minor changes to where we put things in our kitchen and one minor purchase, but the functionality of the kitchen for the kids has totally changed. They are now able to get all the utensils needed for a meal, pack their own lunches, and access a snack and a drink without any help. This includes my 2-year-old!
So here is a step by step of how we achieved this:
#1 Take all the kids’ stuff and put it in one cabinet in our island. It is low to the ground and both kids and open it and close it. Tim Seldon recommends that you use breakable plates and cups to teach kids more responsibility. If it breaks they will understand they must be careful and learn how to clean up the broken plate. I totally get the philosophy, but seriously? To quote Sweet Brown “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
#2 Dedicate a space on the lowest shelf of the pantry for kids’ dry snacks and other essentials. In our pantry this shelf is still a little too high for my son to look into the snack basket so we also have a small stool nearby.
#3 Dedicate the lowest shelf of the fridge for kids’ snacks and lunchbox stuff.
#4 Buy a small pitcher for the kids to pour their own milk and juice. We bought the one we have from Lakeshore Learning. They are for a science classroom, but they are fabulous even for the little one. He does still spill some almost daily, which drives me crazy, but I try to keep my type A frustration under wraps. There is no use
getting a tension headache crying over spilled milk.