Juicing is one of the most popular Practical Life activity in my own Montessori classroom. This gorgeous and high-quality juicer makes the activity even more enjoyable and effective.
The Glass Juicer is simply so beautiful that it invites and inspires activity. It is like handling a special treasure!
The small handle on one side provides a point of interest to remind children to pour towards the 'lip' on the opposing side. I have noticed that when using other juicers children will often fail to make this distinction and will pour in any direction, resulting in lots of spills and disappointment. The Glass Juicer helps to reduce this through the use of the handle.
Introducing juicing as an activity is a great way to promote healthy habits. I have noticed that a child will often claim "I don't like oranges" or "I don't drink orange juice"...but then after juicing an orange that same child will eagerly drink every drop!
Juicing is also a wonderful exercise for motor control and concentration. It takes a surprising amount of strength and bi-lateral coordination to successfully juice an orange or lemon. The child must learn to hold the juicer steady with the non-dominant hand while using the dominant hand to grip and twist the citrus half. We also promote 'attention to detail' and self-correction by encouraging each child to carefully inspect the orange or lemon half to check whether the rind is empty. If flesh is still present we encourage them to keep on juicing!
As with any activity it is ideal to allow a child to complete the entire experience independently - from preparation through to pack up. We offer other tools to help with the stages of setting up and cleaning up. In my Montessori classroom we use our Kiddie Kutter Knife so that each child can cut his/her fruit in half prior to juicing. At the conclusion of the task our children use the Wooden Dish Brush to scrub the juicer and glass clean.
Please be aware that the juicer is made of glass. One of the principles of the Montessori method is that the children are exposed to beautiful, quality, breakable materials. In our modern world many children interact primarily with plastic - and so it is no wonder that they start to believe that they can be rough or irresponsible without consequence! When a child handles a breakable material (such as this glass juicer) he or she is able to feel a sense of responsibility for this fragile, beautiful object. If cracks or breakages occur then it is time to discard the object - and you can invite the child to be part of this process (for instance by observing you wrapping it in newspaper before placing it in the bin) to demonstrate the real, natural consequence of misuse. Please remember that it is not appropriate to shame or scold a child for a breakage - it is an expected part of the learning process. Instead please just be calm and factual about assessing the situation (ie. "The juicer is now broken, so it's no longer safe to use, we will need to wrap it up so we can safely throw away the pieces") so the child can self-correct.
For more information about how to supervise and scaffold experiences to protect the safety of the child please read our Safety Advice.