Today, we’re moving on to our next theme for the fall: Fun on the Farm! I am a Montessori lover. I don’t work in a Montessori school, but the therapist in me jumps for joy whenever I see posts about Practical Life Activities for kids on awesome Montessori-inspired blogs like Twodaloo (one of our favorites…check out her post about Building Language In the Kitchen – so great!). Practical Life Activities are designed “to help the child gain control in the coordination of his movement, and help the child to gain independence and adapt to his society.”* Sounds like OT to me! My kids at home and at work are thrilled when they get to do anything that is typically reserved for grown-ups (especially when it comes to cooking). So I developed this fun hands-on activity for kids to explore food from the farm and I’ve found that it covers a lot of bases. It gives you a chance to talk to kids about where food comes from (hint: not the grocery store:), it’s a great way to target fine motor skills, and it’s full of messy sensory fun!
*Montessori Primary Guide
WHAT TO DO: Set up stations with cutting boards, trays or bowls, and let the kids explore some of the foods that come from the farm. Choose foods that provide the best opportunities for functional fine motor work and sensory exploration:
apples for slicing, cheese for grating, corn for husking, eggs for cracking, boiled eggs for slicing, potatoes for peeling, squash/pumpkin for scooping, and beans for snapping.
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Make a farm feast! Assign each child to a station and have them complete the action for that food (peel, husk, crack, etc.). Then, help turn the food into a finished product (french fries, scrambled eggs) and make a meal of it.
-Make this a day-long activity, including preparing the food, setting the table, cleaning up, doing dishes, and…the fun part, eating!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Corn, potatoes, eggs, apples, green beans, pumpkins, cheese, peeler, egg slicer, apple corer/slicer, cheese grater, bowls, trays, cutting boards
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: bilateral coordination, fine motor skills development, grasp, midline crossing, motor control, sensory integration, visual motor integration
Want to take a closer look at the skills kids are using in this activity? Check out our Clinical Closeup page, where we break down the skills listed below in terms everyone can understand.