practical life for the toddler – spreading

This is an activity that happened all by itself one morning, after I received the set of spreaders from Michael Olaf.  And since then, it is part of E’s breakfast ritual to spread his own toast with whatever he wants.  There is no way we are going to be able to sneak this one past him, he demands it very strongly whether times permits or not.  The joy of the Montessori children!

I think it is a very easy activity to set up, and also very rewarding for the child.
Here is how we are doing it:

E sets his place with his plate and spreader.

Then he helps me put *just* the right amount of the spreadable item (here is organic peanut butter) in a separate bowl.  I think this is the key step in organizing this activity.
We are still only using things that are easily spreadable, organic peanut butter is more runny then regular one, so E has no problem with it.

He brings the bowl at the table and spread his toast (remember, the important part is not the result but the process!)

This part takes the longest.  I give him all the time he wants  to spread as he wishes (and trust me it was hard at first not to help him spread evenly!) as long as he is doing this purposefully.

And when he decides that he is done, he gives the spreading bowl back

I told you, the process, not the result :)

These spreaders from Michael Olaf are really well made.  The size is perfect.  But they MUST NOT remain in water, and they do need a bit of maintenance for the wooden part (of course, which can be done by the child )

they are stored here:

always readily available for E to use.

(sorry about the glass just in front of the pitcher, E must have put his glass back behind my back without me realizing!  I just caught this right now!)

The spreaders are in the 2nd stainless steal container.  As you can see, they are really tiny. (the big fork at the left is an IKEA fork for children, and the smaller ones are from Michael Olaf too)

E a commencé à beurrer ses rôties depuis quelques jours déjà.  L’activité s’est proposée de elle même, après que nous ayons reçu les couteaux à tartiner de chez M.Olaf.  Depuis ce temps là, tartiner sa propre rôtie est un rituel qu’il n’oublie pas, qu’on ait le temps ou pas!


Je crois que c’est une activité très facile à organiser, mais également très enrichissante pour l’enfant.
Voici notre façon de fonctionner.


E met sa place avec son assiette et son couteau.
Ensuite nous préparons le bol de la tartinade, en y mettant la quantité à peu près exacte pour une rôtie.  Je crois que ceci est le point tournant du succès de l’activité.
Il apporte le bol à table et se met au travail.
Je le laisse aller, tant et aussi longtemps qu’il tartine avec concentration (et parfois c’est dur de ne pas intervenir pour tartiner plus uniformément!!!)
Lorsqu’il a terminé, il le signal en me donnant le bol à tartinade.


Les couteaux qu’il utilisent sont géniaux! Ils sont juste de la bonne grandeur et facile à manipuler.  Ils ont besoin d’entretien particulier par contre, rien que l’enfant ne peut pas faire seul.
Ils sont rangé dans ses tablettes de cuisine (voir image plus haut), et donc toujours à sa portée.
(je suis désolée, sur cette dernière photos E a rang son verre sur la tablette devant son pichet juste avant que je prenne la photo à mon insu.  Je viens tout juste de m’en rendre compte, dans un éclat de rire :)  )



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3 thoughts on “practical life for the toddler – spreading

  1. HIhow old is your son? i do not think i will be able to get my hands on one of those spreaders this side of the world…do u think a 15cm butter knife (not sharp at all) will be okthanks for a very lovely inviting charming blog!

  2. Hello and welcome :)They are between 10-11cm long.I don't think they are made for children. I think they are spreaders used for tea time. (you know, along with tiny spoons and other tiny material for an english tea time setting).So do check around. If you are in Europe, you might be able to find something that suites your need. I think you'll need to try. It is not only the length that is important, but also the weight, how easy it is to manipulate and so on… so give it a try, and you'll see. Good luck! Let me know how it worked for you!

  3. thanks for your reply…im not in europe…i think i'll have to look real hard where i stay…if weight and lentgh is factor what would you say about a plastic butter knife as a last resort (lentgh and weight is better)…i know it sounds awful coz plastic is not really recommended by mont. but rather than him completely missin out settle for something close.

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