Ode to our Learning Tower

With Christmas fast approaching, I felt this was an appropriate time to publish my "Ode to a Learning Tower" for those Mommies and Grammies out there looking for an amazing gift for the little one.  We purchased ours after Evie's first Thanksgiving when day one of cooking looked like this:

Hey guys! What are you doing? Can I help?
I began my schooling in Montessori.  My mother is a Montessori certified teacher.  Montessori promotes child's sense of self and independence.  Not independence from rules or parents, but ability to care for themselves, to experiment and join in the family life.  Any way that we could and can encorporate this into Evie's life, we do.  We even have her attending a great little school: East Shore Montessori School (can't recommend them enough either).  So, when I first saw a learning tower I knew I HAD to have one for my little girl.  Mark took a little convincing due to the price tag ($199 when we purchased it).  There was a cheaper "version", but trust me, the original Learning Tower is the way to go.  We're heading into Evie's 4th Thanksgiving, and it has been used every year for that holiday plus much more.  I never did get any of the add-ons (easel, puppet theater), but there's still time for that.  There is some wisdom too to the sayings that food a child helps to prepare, she'll eat.  Or, as in our rules here at the house, at least taste.  Miss Evie has been involved with a lot of our cooking/kitchen projects and it has really paid off in knowledge, her eating habits, and just general family time together.  What follows is a photo-journalistic timeline of Evie and her Learning Tower to date.  In just over two weeks we'll be really putting it to good use again as the yearly Mommy/Grandma two-day cooking extravaganza begins.  Only now, there's another lady in the mix, Evie joined the tradition in 2009 and shows no sign of wanting out! I am still trying to figure out how we're going to break it to her that this year, there will be no canned mushroom soup or canned green beans.  Mark recently found a recipe for homemade, from scratch, mushroom soup and then fresh green bean casserole from that.  YUM!

The Learning Tower Arrives

Seriously. Look at that little button nose.  Does it get any cuter?

Thanksgiving 2009

Thanksgiving 2010

Putting together her own lunch

Joining in the party prep
I'd like to note the soda was just for the party punch.  Usually it is not found in this house.

Learning new uses for snack items (as ingredients for dinner)
I think those are walnuts she's helping to crush
Cutting grapes for same recipe

From Small Garden to Table
Making sauce with the tomatoes she harvested from our garden

The following pictures are all from our Real Simple 4-weeks Meal Plan
Mommy and Evie learned together how you deal with butternut squash

I feel like there should be tons more pictures, but I think you can get the point from these.  It isn't always in use, but it's been used enough to make it more than worthwhile.  Just the fact that she can say that she'd "rather have couscous with her salmon than rice" or "mushroom stemming is my job Daddy!" or "I'm doing lemons, taking the leaves off (the thyme) takes too long" makes my heart sing.


Bryden78 said…
I went to Montessori school too!

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