Friday, September 23, 2011
This sweet lady contacted me about doing a feature, and I jumped at the chance--what better timing? These are such excellent tips!
Submitted on behalf of Primrose Schools: Early Preschool Education by Emily Patterson (@epatt1062)
The kitchen is the life of any house. It's where meals are made, and days are discussed. It can, however, be the central location for many accidents, especially when children are involved.
Everything about the kitchen can be fascinating, and children take a lot of pride in accompanying parents in creating culinary masterpieces. Children are always wanting to be more like adults. That sometimes means working with the most dangerous equipment, such as the oven and the stove, red hot pots and pans, and even the blender.
It's important to let your child participate with these tasks for their own self esteem. Therefore, here are some guidelines which will make everything easier and safer for your family:
1. Know your child's limits. Based on age and maturity level, this should be pretty common sense. If there are easier tasks, such as measuring or stirring cooler items, assign those to your youngest ones. If there are no tasks that you are confident that your child can perform safely, you can always let them pretend to cook alongside you, or give them pots and pans, with which they can make music. A little entertainment while you're preparing dinner couldn't hurt.
2. Set up some ground rules that are always followed in the kitchen. These are your basic dos and don'ts of the kitchen. Make sure the children know to wash their hands and when. Make sure they know what they are allowed to touch and what they are not. Handles of pots and pans are always to be turned in to avoid spilling any hot food on the kids. Whatever rules you can think of besides these, that are always going to need implementation while cooking, are important to be made clear.
3. Try to help your child build to their full potential. Let them start with easier tasks, and when they have mastered those, move on to more difficult tasks. For example, teach older kids to cut softer items first, and then, let them move up to harder items. Kitchen skills will prove to be valuable over the course of your child's life. As their skill improves, so will their confidence.
4. Make sure you are having fun. Cooking with children is bound to get messy at one point or another. Don't stress yourself out over spills or accidents. Try to be patient and understanding with your child, and help them find a less messy way to complete whatever task they are assigned. Make your clean up fun too. Remember, it's not really about the outcome. It's about spending time with your family.
When it's all over, and you've prepared something delicious together, make sure to compliment your little chef. Boost his/her confidence by telling them how good everything tastes and how great of a job they've done and ask them what meal they'll want to attempt next.
Check out this excellent web site: Primrose Schools
Funny Story: My son grew up calling a knife "Sharpy" because he tended to be more accident-prone than others. He's 5 now, and has learned to call it a "Knife"....but still, "sharpy" will always be somewhere in my vocabulary!
Do YOU have a funny kitchen story? Tell me--I need a few laughs! =D