Cooking with Kids #31days #createwkids5:30:00 PM
I know that for many, cooking is not a creative outlet. It is a means of survival, where at the extreme, one uses a recipe, but the preferred mode of sustenance is the quickest pre-made meal possible.
As for me, I believe that no recipe is set in stone, and I will change out ingredients out of boredom, necessity, or sheer whim on a weekly (or more, ahem) basis. It is definitely a creative outlet for me and for my kids.
I am also a firm believer that my children should have the opportunity to experience the fun of cooking at a very early age. We have 3 stepstools in our kitchen right now, so that everyone can observe what is going on in the kitchen.
What can children do in the kitchen? It all depends on the age and skill set of the child. My oldest has been making up “recipes” for over a year now, arranging items on her bread, trying out combinations of different items on her plate. I love to hear her ideas on what will make a good recipe. Some are definitely not on the docket for the blog, but we each learn by doing, right?
Some simple ways that a child (remember, my oldest is 5) can help in the kitchen are:
-selecting and washing the fruit and vegetables for a meal
-measuring (with help, if needed)
-suggesting ingredients that might go into a new recipe
-taste testing (a favorite task in most kitchens)
We also have set up some hard and fast rules:
-no one under the age of 8 is allowed to be in the kitchen when the oven is open
-no one under the age of 8 is to even think about touching a sharp knife
-no toys are allowed in the kitchen (I’m too much of a klutz to want the additional hazard)
What are the benefits of a child learning and creating in the kitchen?
-a basic survival skill mastered
-math skills (measuring, addition, weighing)
-observation (what happens when we do this…)
-applied science (physical and chemical changes)
-the benefit to the parents when the child can cook and clean for them (yes, there are ulterior motives to which I freely admit!)
So the next time you’re getting creative in the kitchen, invite your child along. He or she may surprise you (my oldest is now begging to wash dishes—I know it’s not creative, but this mom feels like she’s hit the jackpot.)
P.S. Want to see more of this 31 Days Challenge? Check out all the 31 Days of Creating with Kids!