I always find it interesting when a knife-related article comes from an unusual source. In this case, a friend of mine sent me a post from a Montessori and homeschooling blog from an Australian mom, How we Montessori.
The post titled, “Montessori and Knives“, details the progression of knives that the author went through with her children, now 7 and 4. She started with knife #1 from the above photo, a two-handed Wavy Chopper from ForSmallHands.com, when her second-child was just seventeen months old. My kids have some catching up to do.
“Otis was introduced to a knife in his first weaning set (as seen in this post), as soon as he could sit at the table he had correct cutlery. He has and still on occasion uses this knife to cut soft foods, it’s dull – there is no possible way he could cut himself and most of all it’s small – easy for him to hold and manipulate. A knife like this or a small butter knife is a great first knife and it’s a good idea to start cutting with soft foods such as the banana.
As he got older Otis wanted to help prepare harder foods like apple, carrot, celery, pumpkin and potato. At seventeen months he started using knife 1 and 2. Knife 1 is my absolute favourite, it works really well for those tiny hands and Otis got a lot of joy out of being able to use it at such a young age. Best of all both of these two knives require strength and if demonstrated and used with the pressure being applied at the top with both hands on the handle, there is no risk of injury to the child. With these harder foods I still cut them first so that they sit flat on the cutting board and won’t roll or move while being cut by the child. These knives are also great for making vegetable chips – at any age. You can also see Otis using knife 1 as he often does, to cut banana bread.
The author goes on to talk about the other knives she uses with her children. We have been on a bit of a “teach your children” kick lately, and this one fits in nicely with Jake’s post and my most recent one on the subject. It is nice to see people outside of the American Second Amendment movement to be spreading knife culture, doubly so since it is in hoplophobic Australia. Hopefully there won’t be a knife massacre followed by registration and confiscation of kitchen knives to de-tool a law-abiding Aussie populace.