Encourage healthy eating & gross motor coordination with this Apple Peeler!
Tried and tested in my own Montessori classroom this is a consistent hit with the children! Not a day goes by without a few children spontaneously taking an apple from the shelf and placing it on the peeler. As a child turns the handle the 'corkscrew' motion takes the apple closer and closer to the blades and then swiftly peels off the skin before slicing the fruit into a unique spiral that is often described by children as a "slinky" or a "spring"!
The process of peeling is active and engaging for the child. It also promotes positive attitudes towards healthy eating. When we first introduced this peeler to our classroom we heard many children announcing "I don't like apples!"...but after they saw the fun, and had a turn, these same children were happily munching away! Now these children celebrate their love of apples and use the peeler almost daily!
The peeler can also be used for potatoes or small pears - we have even used it to peel carrots when we found that our supply of apples had run out but we still had lots of eager children wanting to use the peeler!
The base features a suction cup that can be attached to a flat surface to help hold the peeler in place. We find that it works best on a metal or tiled surface. We also use ours on a wooden surface but this is slightly less secure than on metal. We recommend always placing one hand flat over the top of the circular base in order to hold it steady while the peeler is in use.
The blades are adjustable so your child can keep the skin on and just slice the fruit or to peel the skin but leave the flesh whole. For safety reasons please ensure that an adult is responsible for adjusting the blades and we recommend that an adult is also responsible for removing the core once the peeling is finished (although a child who has been taught to use the peeler can usually complete all the other steps independently under adult supervision).
AGE GUIDE: I have personally used the Peeler successfully with Pre-school age children (3 to 6 years old) under the supervision and scaffolding of an adult educator. This, however, is a personal testimony and not a recommended age range. Educators/parents may find that the Peeler is better suited to older children (and should always be used under adult supervision). We suggest that parents/educators always err on the side of caution when introducing any resource with sharp features.
SAFETY WARNING: The blades are extremely sharp. This is what makes the tool so effective for cutting apples or potatoes but it can also present a risk to children. We advise that the following safety steps be taken into account:
- The Apple Peeler should always be used under direct adult supervision.
- Adults should ensure that the child places his/her non-dominant hand flat over the round base (this also helps hold the peeler in place while it is in motion) so that the child is not tempted to grasp the blades.
- The Apple Peeler should be kept out of the child's reach when not in use.
Please note: We recommend using small apples with a reasonably firm flesh. Large apples can be harder to successfully slice and softer flesh will not hold the delightful spiral shape that the children find so delightful.