A mortar and pestle is an old-school tool with plenty of modern applications!
In addition to being a handy tool for herbs or crushing spices, using a mortar and pestle is also a great way for your child to practice fine motor control and improve hand strength. Here are a few ideas to get started.
Where to find a mortal and pestle?
Your local kitchen or department store should stock small mortar and pestles. Look for one that isn’t too heavy, and fits in with your child’s other kitchen supplies. Here’s a recommendation from the Montessorium Shop.
What to use?
Next, decide on something your child can grind that you can actually use in the kitchen. This practical application of tools and labor helps children feel ownership and pride in their work!
Here are a few ideas for things to grind:
– Peppercorns, then fill up your shakers!
– Cinnamon sticks to top off apple cider
– Whole cloves for pumpkin pie
– Any spices you might need for your holiday meal!
Introduce the activity.
Introduce the mortar and pestle to your child, working together the first time to get the hang of things. This is a great opportunity to learn new vocabulary as well. The mortar is the bowl that holds your materials and the pestle is the hand tool that does all the work!
Have a bowl or container ready to deposit your crushed spices when you’re finished. If you have a plan for your spices or herbs, use them right away together so your child can see the fruits of their labor.
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