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Preparing a Snack

Purpose

Direct: To allow the child to prepare his own snack.
 
Indirect: To allow the child to become independent and to develop concentration through order and sequence.

Points of Interests
The sawing motion of cutting a slice and the different cutting movements needed for the different fruits and vegetables.

Age
3 1/2  4 years

Material

- A Mat (oil cloth)
- Napkin Ring
- A Small Trash Bin
- A Dish
- A Sponge
- A Paper Cloth
- A Container for the Small Knife and (optional) a Peeler
- A Small Knife
- A Small Plate
- One Cutting Board
- A Fruit or Vegetable to cut

Presentation

Introduction

Prepare a table to do the activity on and place a small stool next to the table. Core the apple and cut it in half so it will not slide during your cutting. Invite a child to come by telling them you have something to show them. Have the child bring the tray for preparing a snack. Place it on the stool next to the table. Tell the child that you will show him how to prepare a snack (an apple in this case). Slowly take off the napkin ring by sliding it up the rolled mat and place the ring in the top left corner of the table. Place the flap of the mat on the right side of the table and roll out the mat in a horizontal way. Turn the mat over so the oilcloth side is facing up. Tell the child that because we are preparing a snack, we must do so with clean hands. Then you and the student wash your hands. Choose a fruit or vegetable to cut. (All foods should be cut in half by the teacher so that it does not slide around while you cut.) Come back to the table and place the food onto the plate. Have the child sit down first and then you sit down.

Preparation

  1. Begin by taking each object out of the basket starting with the trash bin, the sponge on the dish, the paper towel, and the container with the knife.
  2. Place these objects in the lefttoright order at the top of your board.
  3. Then take out the cutting board and place it in the center of the mat in front of you.
  4. Then take out the small plate and place it to the right of the cutting board.
  5. As you take each of the objects out one by one, name them or have the child name them if you feel he may know the answer.
  6. Then stand up and take the plate to where the food is stored.    Place the apple half onto the plate and bring it back to its spot on the table.
  7. Sit down and place the apple in the center of the cutting board.

Presentation

  1. Pick up the container with your right hand and place it into the palm of your left hand.
  2. Slowly pinch the tab with your right thumb and index finger and lift the top open.
  3. Carefully pick up the knife by pinching the handle near the teeth of the knife with your right thumb and index finger.
  4. Place the knife on the cutting board and with your right hand, close the container and replace it on its spot at the top of the mat.
  5. Pick up the knife by pinching the lower part of the handle near the teeth with your right thumb and index finger. Bring the knife a little into the air and wrap your three right fingers around the handle. Position your index finger so it is on the top part of the knife.
  6. Bring the child’s attention to the sharp part of the knife.
  7. Place your left hand on the apple by placing all of your fingertips on the top part of the apple in almost a line, a little ways away from where you will cut.
  8. Place the front part of the teeth of the knife into the part of the apple you want to cut. (Enough away from the right edge to make a slice.)
  9. Bring the teeth of the knife into a horizontal position and in a slow sawing motion of forward and back, start to cut the slice of apple.
  10. Continue this sawing motion until a slice has been cut off.
  11. Leave your knife at the base of the sliced part.
  12. Lift your left fingers and move them a little ways away from where you had just cut.
  13. Replace them in this new location as you had before.
  14. Lift your knife from the slice and cut another slice in the same way as the first.
  15. Continue this until the apple has been cut into slices.
  16. Place the knife carefully onto the side of the cutting board.
  17. Take piece by piece of the cut apple with your right hand and place it onto the plate.
  18. Pick up any pieces of apple or apple skin that may have come off during the cutting and place it into the small bin.
  19. Stand up with the child and carry the plate over to the snack table.
  20. Place the apple slices into the snack recipient and bring the now empty plate back to the table. 

Completion

  1. Empty what is in the small bin into the classroom bin and then bring the small bin back to the table and to its spot.
  2. Both you and the child sit back down.
  3. Pick up the knife by pinching the handle near the teeth with your right index finger and thumb.
  4. Wrap your three fingers around the handle to get a good grip.
  5. Pick up the sponge with your left hand and bring it over to the knife.
  6. Place the sponge flat in the air next to the dull side knife.
  7. Place the dull side of the knife flat onto the right half of the sponge.
  8. Using your left thumb, fold the left half of the sponge over the knife and press together tightly.
  9. Slowly slide the knife towards your body until the teeth are out from inside of the sponge.
  10. Show the child that the knife is now clean.
  11. Place the knife onto the mat to the right of the cutting board.
  12. Place the sponge back onto the sponge dish.
  13. Pick up the container with your right hand and place it onto the palm of your left hand.
  14. Move your hand so it is not on the left side of the cutting board but down low.  Pinch the tab with your right thumb and index finger and open the container.
  15. Let go of the tab and pick up the knife by pinching the handle near the teeth of the knife.
  16. Carefully place the knife into the container.
  17. Using your right thumb and index finger close the top using the tab.
  18. Replace the container in its spot on the mat.
  19. Pick up the sponge and clean the cutting board in small circular movements from left to right, top to bottom.
  20. Clean the plate with the sponge in long stroke from top to bottom, left to right.
  21. Place the sponge back onto the sponge dish.
  22. Pick up the towel and dry the cutting board in the same way you had with the sponge.
  23. Then dry the plate in the same way you had with the sponge,
  24. Dry the small bin if it is needed.
  25. Replace the sponge back onto the dish.

Offer the child the opportunity to prepare a snack. Tell that child that he can now prepare a snack and once he is done, you will show him how to put everything away.

Once the child is done, show him how to rinse the sponge at the sink and how to put everything back onto the tray correctly. (In the same way as when you had begun.)

Extensions
Cutting pears, peeling and cutting a carrot, cutting peppers, peeling tangerines, and peeling and cutting bananas.

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