As you get ready to prepare a pumpkin pie or bake a batch of snickerdoodle cookies, consider enlisting your child’s help with the important task of grating cinnamon bark into a useable spice for the kitchen.
Working with this aromatic ingredient allows the child to build a foundation of a new language through their senses. Their brain will begin to form new connections as you explain how the tree bark in its original form will be made into a powder to flavor delicious foods; the smell, touch, color, and taste will bring tangible memories and new descriptive words into their vocabulary as you each share impressions.
Maria Montessori advocated for as much hands-on learning as possible: a young child benefits by understanding the concrete world around them before they begin to understand abstract concepts. Cinnamon offers a sensory reference point to a world of new discoveries for your child.
In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was considered more valuable than gold. To the Chinese, it was among the earliest forms of medicine, due to its various healthful properties. And did you know, it is one of the few spices that is used in both sweet and savory cooking?
These are just a few of the mind-expanding conversations you can also enjoy with your child while working together with cinnamon. Lessons of geography, botany, and culture may become an illuminating part of the process.
Whether you decide to stock the grated cinnamon for later or use it right away, you can take great satisfaction in the amount of knowledge your child will gain from this simple but enriching activity.
For more tips on how to introduce Montessori activities, read The Nine Key Points to Sharing a New Activity with Your Child.
P.S. Would you like my support and guidance setting-up your Montessori home? If, yes then go ahead and schedule a ‘Discovery Session’ with me. It’s free and you’ll know if we are a good fit. 😉