Fall flavours: A food tasting experience!

It should come as no surprise that I am already creating provocations for my son and documenting his learning experiences.  Though he is only 9 months old, and an infant, I still see his strong thirst to discover and make sense of the world! So I wondered, why should I wait to capture these inquiry moments?  

G is the first cousin of S and is three months younger than him!

Being a mom and off of work for a year did give me that slight worry that I might fall behind in my professional career....  Then I reflected and realized that I did not completely change my focus... It is not like I left a position in science, law, or business.  Caring for my baby and learning with him is giving me a better understanding of early childhood development.  This is so closely related to my PhD research interests and good information to have teaching Kindergarten!  Observing, documenting, interpreting, and planning for ways to support my infant has opened up my eyes to way more than I could have imagined!  So I blog tonight to share that this experience - maternity leave and motherhood -has allowed me to maintain and even improve my skills and developing understandings about young children/early learning. 

Last week (if you follow my Snapchat and Instagram stories), you might have noticed that I set out a provocation about Fall flavours.  Creating invitations for infants is actually more challenging than you might think!  For instance, I knew that my son was 9 months old and my nephew was 6 months old, which developmentally is a fairly big difference.  Therefore, I had to think about what would be safe and engaging for both of the babies! One can sit up without support, while the other is beginning to sit up.  Another significant difference is that even though they are both teething, my nephew explores his surroundings using his sense of taste and my son is beginning to use more of his sense of touch.  Offering a food tasting experience could appeal to both of these sensory needs without any fear of what they might consume!

The above provocation was laid out onto the floor.  I used a large mirror with a protective wood frame, blankets, and pillows underneath.  The baby food was all organic by Love Child and the containers were all plastic.  What I learned and hope to share with all of you, is that when you think outside of the box with the materials you already have, you can really create wonders!  I took a mirror off of the wall and reused many items that I had in my kitchen or creative studio space!  So many possibilities!! 

Here is a glimpse into our exploration together:


I really enjoyed documenting this experience! Since we ensured that the surfaces were clean, the food was safely eaten.  Both S and G fell asleep after their bath for three whole hours while their Mamas looked at and edited the photos.

It truly warms my heart to be able to share our learning with you on the blog!  My son is (without exaggeration!!!) inspiring me everyday to try and be a better mother, teacher, research, and partner in inquiry/learning!

Since I often get questions by email about my materials (which can also be used in other early childhood settings - not just limited to infants!) I will try and remember to create a list following each blog post for you!

It's all in the details:

Mirror and paintbrushes - @ikeacanada

Blanket and pillows - @BouClair

Organic baby food - @lovechildorganics

Tray with baby food - Tupperware lid and baby bottle lids @aventrd

White containers - reused from Bocconcini 

Ice cube trays, baby towels, baby bowls and spoons - @Walmartcanada

Scoops - from @enfa baby formula 

Foam brush set - @Michaelsstores 

Pumpkin pot - @Sobeys (from a flower arrangement)

Golf balls - @dollarama_ 

Provocation and photos - @joannebabalis (some photos also from my Sister in-law Laura Lorefice)

The senses,

being explorers of the world,

open the way to knowledge.

-Dr. Maria Montessori

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