While doing a deep clean of the kitchen this past week, there was a lot of shifting of things. Silas, always quick to pick up on anything that's changed in his environment, was suddenly seeing a whole host of kitchen gadgets that were uncovered and relocated in the cleaning. One new discovery was the mortar and pestle.
I had never used it in front of him before, so the novelty factor was very high. I explained to him that it was for grinding up spices and he was immediately interested in giving it a go. I threw in a small handful of spices, demonstrated how to use the pestle, and let him have a chance at it.
This was a really multi-faceted activity. Not only was he making a useful and valuable contribution in the kitchen by doing real work, he was also engaging all of his senses: the feel of the cool stoneware in his hands, the sound of the crunchy dried leaves, the smells being released from the spices, the sight of their transformation, and of course, their taste.