Works for Me Wednesday has a theme today, and it’s not a theme that was easy for me. Y’all know that cooking is not my strong suit, and today’s theme is Works for Me Wednesday: Kitchen Edition. Well, luckily, baking and cleaning and assembling sandwiches are ALSO done in the kitchen, so I’m still eligible to participate. 🙂
I have two hints to share for helping kids learn in the kitchen. Yup, you didn’t think you’d get a recipe from me, now, did you?
The first hint is to let the kids HELP you cook! Food preparation time is a great time for even the littlest ones to help mom or dad identify ingredients (“Where is the bread?”), measure dry ingredients (“We need 1/2 cup of flour next. How can we measure it?” or “Which one is the 1/2 cup measure?” or “How many 1/4 cups do we need to use to get 1/2 cup?” depending on their age), dump ingredients into a bowl, mix, and set the timer or watch the clock (“If it’s 5:00 now and we need to bake the cookies for 13 minutes, what time should we take them out?”). Talking and asking questions like these can turn routine meal prep into a time of fun and learning. Just using the example above, kids can practice verbal skills, counting, addition, fractions, and telling time, in addition to learning the basics of how to cook!
My 2.5 year old loves to measure, mix, and dump dry ingredients into a bowl, and he’s also an ace already at cracking eggs. That last one he just kind of picked up — it’s not a skill that I intended to teach a toddler at all!
The second hint is to move the toy kitchen, if you have one, into the kitchen itself. It’s a simple hint, but having the kids kitchen right there creates all kinds of imitative play opportunities, and creative play ensues. Often when I’m washing up, my toddler will busy himself at his little stove, cooking up some soup and bringing it over for me to taste.
Just another way for us to mix housework and early childhood learning. Works for me!