First off, can I say, that boy in that picture right there gets cuter every day. Oh my goodness. Okay, enough sidebar.
Kids in the Kitchen: 4 Reasons why it’s a GOOD thing!
My little Bug is a helper. Always has been. As a toddler, I heard all the time, “I help, Mama. I help.” (Except “help” came out “hep”. A-freakin-dorable.)
But as we all know sometimes kids even with the best intentions can hinder more than they can help if there isn’t something developmentally appropriate they can do. This is the way it was in the kitchen. Especially here recently, Bug has really wanted to help in the kitchen. But at 5:30 when I’m up to my elbows in trying to get dinner done is not a good time for him to walk in the kitchen and say “I want to help, Mama.” At that point I don’t have time to prepare something he can help with. You know what I mean.
But he’s nearly 7 now and so he’s capable of doing things. But when stuff is boiling over on the stove, it’s not the time for me to try to teach him how to do something.
So I promised him this summer we would have a whole week of cooking camp. A week where we can not only have fun in the kitchen and make some yummy stuff, but that I can teach him his way around the kitchen so that when he asks to help I can say, “YES! Please help Mama by getting a cup of milk – or get me a spatula – or measure out a tablespoon of flour – etc etc.”
I can’t wait to tell you how our cooking camp went. I’m going to tell you everything we made and some fun kitchen things to do. But first I want to tell you WHY Kids in the Kitchen is a good thing
- Time Together
Bug and I are always together – as in the same house and usually in the same room. But there is together as in physically present in the same place and together – the kind of together that kids will remember years from now. THAT’S the kind of together cooking with your kids is. I have wonderful memories of spending time in the kitchen with my mom, standing in a kitchen chair so I could reach the counter and help make biscuits, donuts, pies, apple turnovers and more. I treasure making these memories with Bug.
- Life Skills
Baking is fun but cooking camp with my son was more than just baking stuff. I taught him how to make some of our favorite dinners. I want my son to have better kitchen skills than my husband. LOL. I want him to know that cooking isn’t just the wife’s work. That it’s perfectly okay for the husband to make dinner sometimes (besides something made on the grill!)
I also want him to be used to picking up a dish or two and washing them!
- Math in Practice
If you have a math whiz or a math struggler, being in the kitchen can help! For the whiz, it’s math with a real life application. For the struggler, it’s practicing math with a real life application. See? Great for anyone!
My 6 year old has an excellent grasp on fractions, he can measure using measuring cups or spoons, he can read a recipe and even knows the difference in tsp and Tbsp.
Frankly, Bug knowing his way around the kitchen is GREAT for me. He’s less dependent on me for everything from a cup of juice to a new spoon when he drops his on the floor. He can make his own sandwiches now too!
And the week of cooking camp, the sense of pride he had over everything we made was exciting to see. Can’t we all relate? We feel better about ourselves when we accomplish something. And accomplishments are good for self esteem. And sometimes in the kitchen, just like in life, the outcomes aren’t always what we planned (trust me, we had a couple flubs during our cooking camp week). But you know what, you have to learn to roll with the punches.
Teaching them independence in the kitchen builds them up to be independent in other things. And handling little failures (like flat biscuits or burnt cookies) helps them handle bigger failures.
Stay tuned for all the recipes we made at cooking camp – well, just the ones that worked. LOL!
Do you let your kids in the kitchen? What’s your favorite things to make together? Check out EzPz Mixes for some ideas, ready to bake treats and kid friendly tools to help you get started!