Monday, November 7, 2011

Kitchen time!

I'm featuring my first guest post today! This is from Sarah At Primrose Schools and seems very appropriate considering we are fast approaching Thanksgiving, a time when families often spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
*Safe Creativity in the Kitchen with Kids*

Getting creative in the kitchen is a great joy in life, made even more enjoyable when you can cook with family. Invite your littler helpers into all of the cooking activities so that they can feel included and have fun- safely. Boiling water and hot burners can be dangerous, but if you set some ground rules, spending quality time in the kitchen together can be a lot of fun.
The Recipe for Safety:
1 part adult supervision
2 parts helpful children
A Pinch of rules
A Dash of fun
Mix together and serve at least weekly so that everyone can enjoy their time in the kitchen.
It doesn't matter what you're cooking – let the kids help. There are plenty of ways to let them as long as you know what they are capable of.
If there are little kids around, hand them some pots and pans. Let them make some drum music for you as you go about cooking. The sound that they make will tell you exactly where they are so that you don't have to worry and can go about your culinary creations.
The older kids can help with some of the basic preparation.
The easy stuff:
- Rolling dough
- Measuring flour, water, and oil
- Breaking eggs
- Counting slices of bread
- Topping off sprinkles
Once your child has mastered helping with some of the easier tasks, you can start to delegate some of the harder tasks for them so that they feel like they are helping even more. This will help you create a bond with your children and also help them learn how to cook.
The harder stuff:
- Mixing batter
- Filling muffin pans
- Pounding chicken
- Frosting cakes
The more your child helps, the more he or she will get a sense of accomplishment with the task. You just need to focus on the safety at all times. Keep handles on the burners facing inwards to avoid bumping. When you open the oven, make sure no hands get in the way of what's going in or coming out. If you're moving hot liquids around the kitchen, make sure everyone stays still while you transport the liquid.
Your children can become more responsible and more helpful when you introduce them to the kitchen at an early age. You can have them take over step by step of the recipe once they learn to read and by the time they have mastered all of the skills in the kitchen, you can hand the reigns over to them for them to create an entire recipe (with your supervision). This way you give them the ability to show off what they can do and they will appreciate the boost in self esteem.
There are plenty of cooking and baking supplies out in the market to make it easier for kids to participate in cooking. You might want to pick up a few smaller whisks and bowls so that they can use everything in a smaller scale so that it is easier to work on their motor skills before advancing to the full size version of something.
When the food is done, make sure your assistant gets first taste of everything. They should also help with the clean up so that they understand the full realm of responsibility. When it's time to cook again, see if they have any suggestions on what to make.

Submitted by Sarah Morris on behalf of Primrose Schools- with preschools across the country, give your little on the benefits of a Primrose education.

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