In the Cooking and Gardening Studio Program, children learn food preparation skills at an early age. Pre-Primary, Primary, and Elementary students prepare their own snacks on a daily basis inside the classroom, learn to appreciate diversity through cooking opportunities, and learn math and science skills through hands on cooking activities. They also learn proper table manners, sequencing skills and how to manipulate food preparation and serving tools.
The cooking studio class contains single recipes where each child makes an individual serving. Children learn to be independent and self-sufficient following directions (graphically or literally). With the individual servings the children get to have a turn to experience every step of the recipe, thus developing more skills and understanding how it all fits together.
Each site has vegetable and fruit gardens. Children learn environmental science through work in the gardens. Lesson include research on soil, composting, preparation of soil, crop rotation, hardiness and heat zones, sowing, transplanting, growing, and harvesting. They tend a fall, spring, and summer garden. The gardens provide opportunities to learn environmental science through hands-on opportunities. Garden beds are also a great way for children to learn about insects and their contribution. The outdoor classroom through gardening activities is both rich and rewarding.
We connect the garden to the cooking and then connect it to the Full Day Montessori Classroom, where the children participate in planting, caring for and harvesting the garden, as well as prepare special food dishes for all to share.
The Kindergarten/1st grade children in the Cooking and Gardening Studio are responsible for the shopping, planning and set up of the lunchtime salad and other special “dishes” for all of the children. The concept of “seed to table” is used by MSOSV to teach the value of nutrition and trying new foods. The children will participate in “growing” as many foods as possible to share in the classroom. When children participate in the entire process of growing, harvesting and preparing their food, they will generally try new foods, food that is nutritious. With such heavy emphasis on food for children currently, we have chosen this method of teaching nutrition, rather than using food as a threat, discipline or other ways which promote a negative relationship with food for the young child.
Please see “Lunchtime” at MSOSV