02 Aug Kids in the Kitchen
Do your kids get involved in the cooking?
How great would it be if your kids could cook you dinner!? Or make you an afternoon snack?
The kitchen is such a hub of the home and a big part of family life. As a new mum I’m in the kitchen at least three times a day with my little boy, Myles. Even though he’s only 5 months old I’ve realized there are so many teaching opportunities in the kitchen.
I sit Myles up on the kitchen counter and let him play with his spoons while I unpack the dishwasher and tell him about all of the items, where they go and what category they are in, what they are used for and so on.
Here he is eating his spoon.
The kitchen is a great place to:
- extend vocabulary (naming items)
- build knowledge of categories (utensils, crockery, cutlery)
- expand verb use (rinse, wash, stack)
- develop concepts (in/out, empty/full, clean/dirty)
- teach sequencing (first slice it then add it)
No matter what your child’s age or level of ability they can contribute to the chores in the kitchen, assist with food preparation and eventually cook something yummy for you!
What an ultimate goal.
Tips for teaching kids in the kitchen
- Involve your child in a cooking process with built in natural rewards e.g. stir it then lick the spoon
- Use a timer or count together to help your child learn how long they need to stir
- Get a little step so they can stand up to the bench
- Choose kid friendly recipes that you will both enjoy eating
- Don’t expect too much – start out with small tasks and build on them slowly over time
Teach safety awareness
There are safety issues to be aware of in the kitchen and these can be identified using a Red Cross visual (see attached) to show the child that that space or item is not to be used eg knives, hot pots etc. Supervision is essential to ensure your child remains safe and learns the “rules” in your kitchen.
Teach cooking vocabulary
Teach your child cooking verbs by using the visuals attached. For example show the child the visual of grate and then assist them to grate an item (you may need to guide their hand and help them feel the action). Work on this verb by involving your child every time you need something grated in the kitchen. Eventually you should be able to fade out the visual and ask your child to grate the item for you.
Sequencing is an essential skill to be able to follow a recipe or process in the kitchen. Build your child’s sequencing skills by pairing two actions such as “wash then grate.” Make it easier by breaking down the task such as “hold the carrot” then “grate the carrot.” Increase the difficulty of the sequence by adding more steps e.g. “wash and grate the carrot then peel and cut the potato.” As your child becomes more confident with the steps fade out the visual reminders or link the visuals to a kid friendly recipe.
Free visuals for your kitchen
I’ve attached free visuals so you can support your kids in the kitchen.
Print them out and get cooking!
Check out this site for “21 Fun and Delicious Recipes You can Make with your kids”
I would love to answer your kitchen questions or hear how you involve your kids in the kitchen. The possibilities are endless 🙂
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