Because Montessori scaffolds our parenting (we would be this way inclined anyway), we put a high value on independence and allowing our children the freedom to complete tasks and activities themselves.
One activity that Joseph showed an interest in was squeezing fruit to make juice. He had taken a big bowl and asked if he could cut a lemon, lime and satsuma and squeeze them to make juice. Unfortunately, our plastic squeezer we had had been attacked by the dog and rendered it useless due to the large holes in it. In the end Joseph squeezed the juice out of the fruit by hand. We decided this was quite hard so we promptly ordered a new squeezer that was glass and therefore the dog couldn’t chew it…
When it arrived he was very excited to get juicing. We had bought a bag of oranges in preparation. He cut each orange in half with the knife and then squeezed the juice out and then poured it into the jug. He concentrated so hard and worked diligently. I made sure his sister stayed away so as not to distract him. This was his work.
Then I heard the sound of the jug clattering on the table. I looked up and saw the jug on its side, the juice of all the oranges slowly making its way to the corners and then dripping on to the floor. His face, his little face, was so full of disappointment. I wrapped my arms round him and he sobbed. It was ok, we cleaned it up together, I asked if he wanted to try again, he said he did. Later that morning we went to the shop and bought another bag of oranges and that afternoon he repeated the activity saying, “This time I’m going to be super careful not to spill it.”
So a very simple juicing activity taught many little things but I think also a life lesson; sometimes it doesn’t work out first time round but perseverance pays off and at the end you might just get yourself a full glass of orange juice.