Baking With Children – Toaster Oven Muffins

Baking With Children – Toaster Oven Muffins

Baking is a wonderful activity for children, even at school. There are so many opportunities for learning practical life skills, math, and social graces when baking! When you first start baking with children it is best to find recipes that aren’t too complicated so that the children can participate in all of the steps.
Like all activities in a Montessori environment, you should always run through the process step by step to make sure you have it worked out – before you introduce it to the children.
If you’re baking in a school setting always check for food allergies for all the students. As well, make sure the parents have given their consent for their children to eat the food they will be preparing.

Baking in a toaster oven means you don’t need a regular oven in your classroom! Most toaster ovens will accommodate 6 regular size muffins, or 12 mini ones. Regardless of the size of oven (regular or toaster) adult supervision is required. Be
sure to talk to the children about what you are doing with the oven and how to be safe
doing it.

Here are a few things that will help to make the process more enjoyable for the children when they’re baking (using a regular oven, or toaster oven):
1. Use smaller bowls, utensils, and bake ware. Montessori Services has a good variety.

2. Cut the recipe in half. If using a standard recipe divide it in half so the children can manage
to mix it themselves. Try this fantastic Zuchinni, Banana and Flaxseed Muffins. Or use a basic small batch recipe
: Easy Toaster Oven Muffins


3. Set the directions out using words and pictures for children who are not yet reading fluently.

4. Have everything on hand and accessible to the children.
5. Make sure you have an adequate space for clean-up: water, sink or wash basin, soap, drying rack, tea towels etc.

Bon Appetit!



Additions to Practical Life

If you’re familiar with Montessori then you understand the theory behind the Practical Life Activities. We wrote about all the wonderful things that Practical Life lessons lead to in this article, and how Practical Life is the foundation of Montessori. If you’ve used Montessori in your home or school, you’ll understand the need to switch out and add in Practical Life activities. Sometimes it’s the season that calls for it, other times it is the children and their interests that call for a new activity.The Practical Life activities on your shelf are only limited by your own imagination. You can make… Read full article.

Washing Clothes the Montessori Way

Washing Clothes the Montessori Way

How many times have you thought about adding a proper washing clothes lesson to your Practical Life area, but have lacked the funds to purchase all the required items?  It’s usually the table/basin set up that is so incredibly expensive, or it’s the shipping costs associated with purchasing this item online that make it cost prohibitive.As Montessori teachers and parents, we’ve all spent time surfing the net trying to find an affordable alternative to the washing station that we’ve all dreamed of (but can’t afford)…

Montessori Clothes laundering stationPhoto from Montessori Services

This morning, much to my delight, I stumbled across a Montessori blog that I never knew existed – How We Montessori.  I love finding new Montessori blogs – it’s like discovering a mouth-watering treat you never knew existed.

Low and behold, the most recent post was about a clothes washing station that was repurposed/homemade!! If you’re wanting to add hand washing clothing to your Practical Life activities, you most definitely want to read this post.

Photo from How We Montessori

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a child engaged in purposeful Practical Life activities. Here are 12 reasons to include P.L activities in your home/school.

Practical Life activities lead to…

1.  Construction and integration of the child’s personality through their freedom of choice, and through the variety of their choices. Freedom of choice is necessary for the healthy development of the will.

2.  Spontaneous purposeful activity that is only possible when children are allowed to exercise their curiosity through repetition. It is only through repetition that abstraction is possible. This abstraction brings about a feeling of completion for the growing child.

3.  Development of co-ordination of movement. The child thinks of the activity, wills himself to the activity, and then does the activity.

4.  Development of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the child.

5.  Purposeful movement that helps the development of the mind, and a sense of achievement. The development of the child’s mind, movement, and senses will in turn, develop the will.

6.  Concentration: The child will concentrate on completing an activity as perfectly as
possible; all activities are intelligible, logical, sequential, and
exact. Children will internalize this and try to repeat the exercises as
perfectly as possible; all exercises have a motive for perfection.

7.  Orderly work habits. The children need to internalize presentations in an orderly manner in order to reproduce it in an orderly manner.

8.  The practical life exercises develop logical thought through the definite logic in the exercises. There is a beginning, middle, and end to each exercise.

9.  The exercises give the children a sense of responsibility from the result of freedom (freedom which is a result of co-ordination of movement and awareness of the
environment). Children have the freedom and ability to exercise their will within their environment.

10. Social development. All of the practical life exercises teach the children grace, courtesy, patience, and respect. These elements of social development are re-enforced through the actions of the other children and through the actions of the teacher.

11. Establish a sense of reality, rooted in real activities (nothing is make-believe). Exercises are lucid, logical, and realistic. This helps the children pursue reality. If an activity is not meaningful and purposeful than the mind cannot develop or construct itself.

12. Emotional stability helps the children become familiar with the real world and their environment. It builds self-esteem, and through that, their dignity will flourish. Materials and activities are therapeutic, meaning the mind and body work together.

We wrote a full post on Montessori Practical Life Scope and Sequence on website to assist those who are not familiar with the Montessori Practical Life area.


Practical Life is the foundation of Montessori

It can be a challenge to explain to parents the importance of the Practical Life lessons. There are so many facets of this area that are often overlooked or under valued. It’s not until a child struggles in the other areas of the Montessori environment that the origins of the struggle can often be traced back to the lack of experience in Practical Life.
We wrote about the Practical Life area here and how it responds to the needs of the young child.
It’s helpful to review the theory behind the Practical Life lessons so that you can … Read full article.

Montessori Practical Life Materials: Scope and Sequence

Overview of the Primary Montessori Practical Life Program

We are providing you with an overview of the Primary Montessori Practical Life Program so that you have a better overall picture of the progression of materials and lessons.

Most children are passionately interested in practical life activities because the activities respond to all the sensitive periods (important periods of childhood development). Practical life activities build a foundation on which the children will grow and carry over into the other areas of the classroom. The Montessori Practical Life exercises respond to the need for:

  • Order of activities (sequences, routine, hierarchy, a cycle or full rotation of an activity)
  • Movement. All practical life activities involve great movements that are varied and attractive. The variety of movements help the child’s self-awareness within the environment and increase the child’s acquisition of intelligent movement.
  • Sensorial exploration (sights, sounds, smells, and eventually language).
  • Needs and tendencies are responded to, to help the children adapt so that they can actively participate and grown within their environment.
  • A child’s love of work. Practical life activities feed their natural desire to work and play an active role in their environment.

Montessori Practical Life Scope and Sequence

Practical Life Materials Lead To:

1.  Construction and integration of the child’s personality through their freedom of choice, and through the variety of their choices. Freedom of choice is necessary for the healthy development of the will.

2.  Spontaneous purposeful activity … Read the entire article.

Pin Poking – What is the Point?

Pin Poking – What is the Point?

To the average person it might look like Montessori pin poking is a mindless activity – but it’s very far from mindless! Pin poking helps children develop their pincer grip, co-ordination, and concentration. A child must be able to sit and focus, be ready to handle a sharp object without hurting themselves or others, and show interest in the activity. Pin Poking can be used to create a variety of arts and crafts and extension lessons in culture.

It’s helpful to offer young children (3-4yrs) the shapes for them to pin poke as they may not be ready to trace their own. Older children (5-6yrs – those who have the ability to carefully trace around shapes) can prepare their own shapes using the… Read the full article.


Our black-line masters for Cutting and Pin Poking will save you time! Four shapes print on each 8½” x 11″ sheet of paper (print on white or a variety of colored paper). Children with high cutting skills can use them for both pin poking and cutting practice.

Basic Shapes – Pin Poking and CuttingBasic Shapes: Cutting and Pin Poking by Montessori Print Shop