Tuesday, 12 July 2011

organizing the kitchen part 4 - the snack preparing drawer

Version française disponible sous peu - merci de votre comprehension!

This is my last post for our kitchen area. Have you might have seen, I have turned these posts into a series and added a link in the right hand side bar of my blog.

I'll be continuing this series with the other rooms of our house that we are organizing for the children, and posting along as the changes are completed.

So onto the snack drawer.

The drawer we had dedicated to our children was the bottom one. But as I was saying earlier on, for security reasons, we had to temporarily change that so that E could not have free access to it.

ON the left hand side, you see a cutting board with a compost bowl on top of it. My kids are strongly encouraged to use the compost bowl every time they cut out something, so no peels or other composting material is left on the table, and it makes cleaning a lot easier. Behind that is the utility caddy, I'll get back to it in a minute.

Then in the middle row, we have the tiny sieve for washing berries. I realized that they often forgot to rinse berries before eating them, and after looking at them do it, I understood that it was because they had trouble doing it. THis is when the idea of the small sieve came to mind, and indeed, it does help. Behind that we have the apple slicer, and the peeler (well, this green one pretty much does anything to apples... (and potatoes, and pears...ask X he tried...) I think the only thing it does not is eat them!)

Finally on the right hand side we have the see through containers for snacks. I love those, because the lid closes easily with a snap system. I bought them last year, and I am now having a hard time finding more. They are currently empty, because they are washed once a week by the kids (today) and filled after our grocery shopping (later today). In the back is our rice cakes containers (during summer, because these are the sandwich boxes for school lunch)

The caddy:

This is my favourite part of the drawer. This caddy contains everything my kids currently need to cook, help us cook, and prepare snacks. At first, all those things were in a little container, but everything was always on top of each other, and I disliked the clutter that it was making in there (plus the kids never used the utensils, they never had the patience to find what they wanted).

With this caddy everything is in sight.

It contains; Child size wooden spoon and a spatula used mainly when they cook with us, beside, the cup you see is like a set of measuring spoons.
On the second row we have tongs, and a cheese cutter, and finally, on the third row a knife and a carrot peeler. Those are located in the back because the drawer cannot open entirely, making them hard to reach, and so they are out of reach for E, even if he managed to open the drawer.

I didn't want to add to much to the drawer, because it would be overwhelming. These are the things they use commonly either when preparing a snack, or when they are cooking with me, including the little mesure cup as X is learning how to mesure. I am sure this is something that will evolve with time though

I hope you have enjoyed this kitchen tour!


  1. I love these prepared spaces for your kids. Very well thought out and as usual, beautiful. That is what sets you and a couple other Montessori bloggers apart, in my humble opinion. Oh and with my clutter mounting as we speak I am thoroughly envious but I know we will get there some day. Hopefully before I have grandkids. :) By the way http://www.ourmontessorihome.com/ is looking for blogs just like yours this week, that highlight the prepared environment at home for children. On Friday's she does Link Love, it's similar to what The Montessori Goldmine does. This week she'll be linking on this topic.

  2. I have enjoyed the kitchen tour and cannot wait to see the other rooms. You always have the most perfect caddies!

  3. Charissa

    Thank you very much for you comment! I feel very honoured. Thank you for the link, I have started to follow her blog, it is fun to see other inspirations!
    As for the clutter, have you checked out Tsh's book (organized simplicity)? It is very well made and a good ressource to tackle the job. I am so happy to have dealt with clutter, big weight off me! Good luck!

    Kylie, thanks!
    I am a caddy lover lol!

  4. Oh how funny :) Someone else must have recommended that book to me recently. After reading your comment I went to my library page to put a hold on it and I'm already on the list. Organized Simplicity looks beautiful. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I actually have many years of organizing successes, it's kind of a hobby. My dear darling husband however, doesn't share that hobby. I was managing to even keep that issue decluttered though and allow for his space to dump and go. I was also doing well once Eva arrived but ever since she's been able to stand it's been a downward spiral for the clutter issue. A few other key factors that have collided at the same time, bringing my inertia to a complete halt, have been: Asher's return to college and my return to working outside of the home. So our ability to get appropriate shelves for example (used and cheap or even free), which is one of the only solutions I can see for our problem, is gone. No money, no time. So, it's a very trying time for all of us, even the 2 cats. Very confusing and frustrating but I feel like I'm uncovering a very real side of how to Montessori at home. One thing I can say for sure, to all families who want to practice Montessori living at home: If you can ~ begin with setting up the entire home with a toddler in mind. I knew it was ideal but we could just barely get done what we did when Eva was on the way (her room and to set up infant spaces in the dinning room). Thank you for collaborating with me. :) Oh and side note ~ Today, I came this close to buying 5 dark wood bookshelves that had doors on the bottom section and were as tall as the ceiling. They would have been THE solution for our kitchen/dinning room/sewing nook/craft area. $25 each!!!!! It wasn't really in our budget but we were willing to take a leap of faith and we also hoped that a friend would let us use his truck to get them home. When I returned to the Garage Sale with the cash though, another woman had just bought all of them. :| God has a very specific plan for us. :) I believe that He's going to use this mess of ours to shine a much needed light into the world for others who also don't see a way between what they desire and what they have.