I'd like to welcome Emily Patterson from Primrose schools as a guest poster today on The Kitchen Magpie!
The fascination of the kitchen with its sparkling pots, amazing smells, and searing skillets can be enticing to children. However, a kitchen can also be a dangerous place. This fact though does not have to keep your kids away from the kitchen. Instead of a dangerous place, the kitchen can be a great place for some fun and close-knit family time.
The kitchen is where families can all be together as one, to develop, learn, and make precious memories. The kitchen also allows children to learn household responsibility.
Keep your children safe and entertained in the kitchen by following these simple tips.
1. Keep your child involved. Try and discover what your child can do by himself. This could include simple tasks such as rolling dough, putting ingredients together for the batter, and even figuring out how much water is needed. Simple tasks can help your child feel confident in what they are doing. You can also try things like allowing your child to wash the vegetables, put decorations on cookies, and sprinkle salt on dishes. If you have younger children you can allow them to play with the pots and pans as well as wooden and plastic spoons. Just getting your child involved with simple kitchen utensils will spark an interest in the kitchen. Children can bang the pots and pans and make music while pretending to cook like the grownups.
2. Make rules. Remember that your children need to be watched, especially when they are in the kitchen. For this reason, it is best to set up some basic regulations or rules that your children can understand. For example, teach your children that washing their hands before handling food is important to keep disease from spreading. Also, make sure to let your children know what the difference between hot and cold is. You do not want them touching a hot pan or sticking their hand into boiling water.
3. Help your children to learn things one at a time. Children can learn a lot in the kitchen such as how to follow a recipe or how to count slices of fruit and bread. Begin simple, and build up skills little by little. If you want to teach your children how to work with items such as knifes, begin be teaching them how to cut soft things such as butter and bread. As they get older they can begin to cut more difficult and complex items.
4. Make sure to keep cooking fun. Cooking can be difficult and can make a mess. Remember that mistakes and spills will happen. When they do, turn those moments into teachable moments. Make the kitchen a fun place to be and your child will grow to enjoy cooking as much as you do. Don’t forget to ask them for their opinion about what you guys made and what they might like to cook the next time.