I am interested in setting my dd up with the tools she needs to prepare some of her favorite snacks. The one I'm having trouble with is cheese -- one of my daughter's favorite snacks. Many of the knives I see recommended for Montessori activities are for cutting fruit and vegetables, not necessarily cheese. Does anyone know of any appropriate ones for a 4yo to use to slice up cheese?
Laura , mom to Savannah (born 10/2008) and Indy (born 01/2011), and Cheyenne (born 11/2012)
It's not a knife but my three year old son uses a cheese slicer like this one here, without any issues. Well, he sometimes mangles the cheese a little but he's never hurt himself with it. You do need a reasonably big block of cheese though as it gets a bit tricky at the end...
That's assuming you want slices... if you just want cubes, maybe you could pre-cut rectangular blocks and she could cut them crosswise into smaller pieces. I'm pretty sure a fruit/vegetable knife would be fine for this.
Agreed - the cheese slicer with a taut wire between two supports is safe. Also, and this is where I differ from my daughter's father. Since probably when she was 3, I let her carry knives and scissors, POINT DOWN whether to the table or from dishwasher to drawer. She's so proud to be able to carry a knife or scissors.
That said, for us - any use of a knife is carefully monitored, and always with sharp side down and her hand on TOP of the knife. I guess best way I can explain, holding handle as anyone would, sharp side on cheese, and then using other hand to help press down into the food. We're definitely not ready for slicing where fingers are below the sharp part, but you can cut a lot of things, including cheese and veggies with a sharp knife gently placed on fruit, veggie or cheese, and use the top hand to help press down against the food, rather than a sawing motion.
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