Sunday, April 14, 2013

Montessori Works ::: Peanut Shelling

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

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When small hands are restless, let your children go nuts! Young children can learn to snack on nuts and fiddle with little things!  A fairly inexpensive practical skill activity for children that is popular from young children and even adults!

We decided to experiment with the simplest method first when we first did this "work"---> putting the peanuts in a kitchen towel and rolling over it with a rolling pin. This technique did a good job of cracking the shells (deleting the painful fingers problem). I figured the rolling pin method would be a good way to shell peanuts if you're eating as you shell and aren't trying to process enough for later. After the children got the hang of it, the children decided to crack the peanuts by hand. It worked out machallah wonderfully as a fine motor skill, preliminary movements and practical life skills in food preparation "work" !

 practical life skill: Shelling peanuts 

age: 3 ½  years and up. 

materials: Bowl with peanuts, clean kitchen towel, small bowl for the waste, one small silicone cupcake mold or bowl for the shelled peanuts, small dust pan and brush, , and a tray. And optional a rolling pin or nutcracker.
  1. Bring tray with materials to table. Sit down. Take the bowl with nuts and place on left. Take two other bowls (or silicon cupcake mold as I did) and place on right. Place dust pan and brush near the work area.
  2. Place the folded clean kitchen towel on the tray. Place a few peanuts on the towel and fold over. Roll the rolling pin gently over the towel. Uncover the nuts. And sort the nut from the waste.
  3. Place the waste in the 'waste bowl' and the nut in the 'shelled peanut bowl'.
  4. Repeat. 
  5.  Sweep up remaining pieces from tray with small dust pan and brush. Empty into
  6.  Empty shell pieces bowls into a near by wastebasket.
  7.  Bring bowl back to table. Put materials back on tray
  8.  Taste the nut. Talk about the experience. Once finished tasting, return all the materials in their proper place on the tray. 
  9. Return the tray to the shelf.
  10. Invite child to repeat.
direct aim: Coordination, concentration, order, independence, developing positive self image.

indirect aim:  Learning to use a nutcracker, learning parts of nut to ear or use.  

control of error: 

1. Not cracking the shell.
2. Not being able to remove nut from shell.
3. Not placing shells and nut in different bowls.
4. Not using dust pan and brush to clean up.
5. Materials not restored to original state.
points of interest:1. Using a rolling pin to crack the nuts. 2. Hearing shell crack. 3. Feeling of nuts in a bowl  4. Separating shell and meat. 5. Using small dust pan and brush. 6. Appearance of materials. 7. The taste of the peanuts.

vocabulary: Nut, (type of nut used) nut cracker, basket, dust pan brush, tray, meat, bowl, turn.

variations: 1. Instead of peanuts have your children crack walnuts or hazelnuts.  2. Using different nut cracking tools such as this one. 3. Use a nut pick to remove small pieces of meat. 4. Crack nuts from different countries ore regions of the world. 5. After the lesson, continue to a lesson of making homemade peanut butter with your children. 6. Trying varying the peanut by having roasted and unroasted peanuts.

notes: Remember very young children have difficulty chewing small pieces like nuts. Use these nuts for a group food activity, not to be passed or eaten individually.

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