I gave Teona the idea of making a salad on her own, to surprise her daddy. I also said that at the end she can give a name to her salad, because it would be her recipe. She took her little chair, open the fridge and selected the vegetables for the salad. 

She chose: tomatoes, letucce, cucumbers, green onions and carrots (I don't usually put carrots in a salad, so it was something new). I suggested her to take also radishes, but she refused! :-) She does not like radishes.

I helped her wash and clean the vegetables. She took her little knife, the one she usually use when she helps me in the kitchen and starts to cut the carrots.

Me: So, you started to cut the carrots in this way (slices).
Why is that? Can you cut it differently?

T: I don't know. This is the way that you do it.

Me: Let's try differently.

T: Let me do it this way now.

She does the same thing with the tomatoes (diced), cucumbers (slices), green onion (also slices). She does not want to try it differently. She does the way she saw me doing it.

Regarding lettuce, she put her little knife down and started to tear lettuce by hand. Also the way I do it all the time.

Me: Why do you think I don't use a knife?

T: I don't know.

I explained to her why I tear the lettuce with my hands.

Me: What should you do next?

T: I don't know.

It was clearly that she was not in a mood for thinking or talking. Even though she was excited at the biginning.

Me: Let's look again in the fridge. What else can be mixed with the vegetables?

T: Cheese and olives.

Me: Ok. Perfect. Let's try.

Teona cuts the cheese (diced) and puts the olives in her salad.

Me: The next part?

T: (again) I don't know.

Me: What else do you have to put in your salad to be more tastier?

T: You can put some salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon, mommy. I am tired!

I said that if she wont finish her salad, it won't be her recipe and she can not give a name to this salad. She did not finished.

I was a little bit disappointed because I did not expected her to give up. I thought that making a surprise to her daddy and giving the salad a name would motivate her. But I am sure that it was no challenge for her. And the way she cut the vegetables, the way I do it, she did not want to try another way. Should I show her different ways to cut vegetables or try another time? 

22 Июль 2013, 12:49
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Well, we don't always succeed, do we? Situations like this is also a good learning experience. It's like a teacher planning the lesson in one way and things develop absolutely differently.

It's always difficult to judge why something didn't work. There can be plenty of reasons. So, just take it as an opinion.

I've got a feeling that there was too few play elements in making the salad. Plays can be different: who will make the salad faster? Who will make the most unusual salad? Who will put most secret ingredients? (the father will have to guess), etc. You chose what's more attractive for Teona and the choice itself can be a part of the process. For example, there can be different toys making the salad - Teona playing for some of them and you for some other toys. Then there are several salads as a result and the father chooses the one he likes best / with most 'secret' ingredients, etc.

I'd first ensure that Teona likes the process and then you can pay more attention to skills (like cutting, etc.).