Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting the kids to help

My four youngest kids all LOVE to help in the kitchen. They are 10, 8, 3 & 1. It can be hard to find things for the 3 yr old & the 1 yr old to do, but they enjoy helping so much that I'm always on the look out for simple tasks for them. The 3 yr old's favorite kitchen activity is stirring. She is actually pretty good at it. Yesterday I was making breakfast and needed to mix for an extended amount of time because my brown sugar was lumpy, I turned the bowl over to her & she was thrilled to spend 5 minutes stirring it. Bending over is not my favorite thing to do, my 1 yr old is much closer to the floor than I am, so anytime I need something from the bottom cabinet or I drop something on the floor & need it picked up, she gets the job. She is also GREAT at throwing away empty packaging.

My 8 yr old struggles a little with math and has recently started fractions. Measuring ingredients for a recipe & talking about all the different ways we could make 1 cup with the measuring cups we have is one of the fun & practical ways I've found to help her understand fractions. She considers it a challenge to figure out how to double a recipe. She's also gotten very good at cracking eggs. When she is helping me cook, it never crosses her mind that we are doing math, but she seems to be having less and less trouble with fractions every day.

My 10 yr old son is proficient enough with the microwave that he often makes lunch for himself & his siblings on the weekends. This is NOT a chore he has been assigned, rather it is something he enjoys that we allow. Just in the last few months I have been allowing him to cook on the stove as long as I am in the kitchen with him.....he is sooooo proud of himself. Today he made scrambled eggs all on his own while I watched.

I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen, having the kids helping me means that I also get to spend that much more time interacting with them.


Jennifer Hill said...

I, too, use baking to hiding math lessons. My daughters love to help me in the kitchen; I really don't like to cook but I love to bake. You're right, assigning different tasks to kids of all ages makes cooking an easier chore!

Kim said...

I love when we can sneak in some learning with everyday situations.

I have to admit I'm a...Do things myself because it's easier and quicker type of person. But it's true, the kids love to help in the kitchen. Thanks for the reminder to slow down and let them join in.