Involving your children in the kitchen can be a fun way to spend time with them while teaching them valuable skills that they can use as they grow older. Not only is cooking fun, it also helps kids read, learn math, organize things and become independent. When grown ups spend time with kids in the kitchen, it strengthens their bonds and fosters openness between the young ones and the young once.
Learning Kitchen and Food Essentials
You can teach your kids basic kitchen and cooking activities as early as the age of 3. Let them wash the fruits and vegetables under your supervision. This is one of the ways to turn your kids’ fascination into a learning experience by letting them discover different kinds of fruits and vegetables. They can also help pour and mix batter or shake milk. A 5- or 6-year-old child can help roll out dough, cut odd cookie shapes, make salads or sandwiches or clean kitchen surfaces before and after cooking. Dress them up with tiny aprons and cooking or cleaning gloves. Make them realize the joy of helping, the importance of cleanliness and the benefits of achieving simple tasks at a tender age. As they grow older, you can teach them how to read recipes, write shopping lists and set up the table. When they reach pre-teen stage, using the microwave, making easy-to-do recipes and cutting food with sharp knives will be a breeze.
Learning the Alphabet, Kitchen-Style
Fascinate your kids with edible letters. This fun activity needs slices of bread, butter and cheese. Let your child watch while you shred the cheese and cut bread into pairs of letters. Use two pieces of bread for each letter you choose. Let your kids scoop 1 to 2 tbsp. butter. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan or skillet using medium heat. Make your kids hand you the pieces of letter breads. Put one letter in the pan and sprinkle it with shredded cheese on top. Place the second letter of the pair on top of the fist letter, and then press both gently. Cover and let them cook for about two minutes or until the bottom part is light brown and the cheese a bit melted. Flip over and repeat the whole procedure. Present your grilled cheese alphabet to your kid for a delightful breakfast or snack time. For an easier version that will allow your kids more hands-on time, use a sandwich press that is not too hot or a portable toaster oven. Just make sure you keep a watchful eye.
Making Pudding with Critters
Kids are only too eager to get their hands dirty. So, before they start making a mess with mud pies, better let them experiment on real food. Add a touch of artistry to spark their interest. Start with pudding cupcakes and chocolate cookies that you buy. Then, let your kids help decorate clear glasses. Use small, kid-sized drinking glasses for better effect. Children place cookie crumbs in layers, starting at the bottom. Then, let your kids place gummy worms by pressing them against the clear glass. Let one or two gummy worms stick out at the rim, once the glass is full of crumbs.