How can my 4 – 6-year-old help me in the kitchen?
As your child gets older, they can help you with more things around the house, for example tidying up, cleaning and of course helping you in the kitchen. Getting your child involved at a younger age is so important to set them up for later in life and to learn key life skills as they get older. Not only that it is a great opportunity to have some bonding time with your child, to talk about what you are doing, asking them what it reminds them of, what was their favourite bit.
It is important to remember that every child develops at a different rate, which is ok and helping them with these things and teaching them how to do things for themselves will really help their development and increase their confidence. Just by spending time with your child making a cake will mean so much to them and memory they will cherish as they get older.
If you are unsure what to do here are a few activities, they can help you with and what skills they will learn by doing them.
Here are a few activities they can help with:
- Reading the recipe with you
- Getting out the ingredients
- Cracking eggs
- Stirring the mixture
- Helping to weigh out ingredients
- Stamping out cookies
- Use a rolling pin
- Chopping up soft fruit & vegetables with a child safe knife
- Decorating cakes, cookies & pizza
- Making their own sandwich for lunch
- Tidying up after cooking, wiping the surfaces, sweeping the floor, washing the pots
What are the benefits and skills your child will learn?
- How to follow a recipe, by reading it through together and following each step.
- Learning their numbers by helping weigh out ingredients.
- Learning what the mass of ingredients looks like visually, what does 200g flour look like? Can you compare it with different ingredients?
- Helping them be safe; talking through the dangers in the kitchen, not so they are scared to cook but so they learn how to be careful when handling hot things or when using a knife for example.
- Improving communication skills by talking through the ingredients, asking questions about what they like, don’t like, what does it remind them of.
- Imagination: discussing how it is going to look, how are we going to decorate the cake or cookies.
- Increasing Confidence; making a recipe from ingredients to it coming out of the oven, this is a huge confidence boost that they have made something from just a few ingredients, congratulate them, share it with friends & family or take a picture and send to the grandparents or auntie.
- Fussy Eaters: letting children help you in the kitchen can really help fussy eaters, by handling the ingredients, talking about them, letting them smell, taste and touch them gives them an opportunity to explore different tastes & textures and that it is nothing to be scared about.
- Always encourage them to help you tidy up afterwards, so they can learn that it is a part of baking, and the reward is eating their yummy recipe when you have done. This encourages children to be tidy and they need to clear away afterwards, it also teaches them life skills about kitchen hygiene.
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