Let’s face it: the kitchen is a rather hazardous place for little ones. It’s full of sharp objects and hot objects, and really all you know about it when you’re under the age of 5 is that your parents bring tasty food out of it! As such, many children fail to learn basic cooking skills at a formative age, and struggle to make simple meals for themselves as they reach adolescence.
Fear not, however, as there is a solution. Getting your kids involved in the kitchen is not only a great way to spend bonding time together, but you’ll also have the opportunity to teach them valuable life skills that they’ll carry with them all the way into adulthood. Helping out with cooking and baking when you’re young is fun, and helping hands will make getting dinner ready a little easier on you too!
Without further ado, here are some age-appropriate ways that you can get your little ones interested in cooking.
The Basics (2-3 Year Olds)
Despite the fact that your toddler is still developing motor skills, they are still fully capable of getting involved. To begin with, let them handle a few blunt, plastic utensils to get them used to the way they feel and how they are used. You can also let them drop spoonfuls of flour or sugar into a mixing bowl.
Once your bake has come out of the oven and cooled down, let them sprinkle some hundreds and thousands or extra sugar on top. This could get messy, so be prepared for the cleanup job afterwards!
Intermediate Tasks (4-5 Year Olds)
For kids above the age of 4, generally their energy levels tend to outweigh their skill and coordination – a fact that you can use to your advantage. It’s a good idea to let them loose with a wooden spoon or whisk that they can use to mix cake batter or whip up some double cream without getting anywhere near as tired as you would.
You can also let them use some more utensils, such as a sieve or rolling pin, and you can even get them to help with the washing up at the end! As long as there aren’t any sharp edges involved, your 4 or 5 year old is bound to enjoy helping to make something delicious.
Advanced Skills (6+ Year Olds)
As they get older, you can start trusting your child with a little more responsibility, such as using small, blunt knives for cutting soft ingredients. You could also try them out with the cheese grater and some child-friendly scissors. This naturally gives you a bit more freedom with the recipes you make together – try out new bakes like chocolate chip cookies, sausage rolls and pies.
Develop Your Child’s Life Skills at Nursery
Teaching your child about the kitchen is just one piece of the puzzle, and as they grow there are a wealth of skills that they will need to learn in order to develop well. At Little Acorns Day Nursery, we pride ourselves on encouraging and facilitating independence, and are committed to teaching children how to tie their shoelaces, tackle buttons, say please and thank you and look out for their friends. These essential life skills are made fun with our team of qualified childcare professionals and top-quality facilities, including outdoor play areas. For more information, please contact us.