Educational Kitchen Activities
The kitchen is the center of most family activity. Everyone wants to see what good things are cooking for dinner. The kitchen can also be a place of learning for your child.
Make your child your taste tester. Taste testing is an important job in a test kitchen. If the food doesn’t taste just right, then it is rejected as a good recipe. Let them taste each thing you make. Get them accustomed to the tastes of sweet, salty, sour, and tangy. If they are a good taste tester, they will learn to recognize when something tastes bad. This is the first step to becoming useful in the kitchen.
Show your kids how to cook their favorite meals. Kraft® Food and Family magazine offers a section with recipes just for kids. Teach kids how you prepare to start cooking in the kitchen. Start with something simple. Children can assemble the ingredients and the utensils that will be needed to make the recipe. Show them what to do once and then let them take over. It will be slow at first since it is something that they have never done, but kids are up for new things. You may have to help them if there is any use of the oven involved. The more they get a chance to cook, the more they will pick up from you.
The major task of the kitchen is stocking it with groceries. If the children can write, let them make out the grocery list for you. This process helps them with their spelling. After the list is completed, it’s time to head to the grocery store. As you call them out, let the kids look for the items that you need. They will think that it is a food scavenger hunt. Your trip may take twice as long when they are helping you but it will be worth it to teach them about food shopping.
Show kids how to use the appliances in the kitchen. See if they can guess what each thing does. Use each appliance to create a simple treat as you demonstrate. By the time you finish showing them how everything functions, they will have a lot of snacks to eat. For example, use the blender to make a tasty shake as you demonstrate how it works. Use the mixer to whip up some instant pudding. The toaster can brown a bagel that can be spread with cream cheese or preserves. Caramel dip can be softened in the microwave and used for apples which can be cut up using an apple slicer.
Start at a young age and teach children about the clean-up side of cooking. Once you make a meal, the dishes you used need to be washed and put away. This is a perfect time to show them the dishwasher. Using the dishwasher is good for young children who aren’t tall enough to wash the dishes in the sink. Let them load all of the dishes in and start it up. When the cycle is finished, show them how to empty it.
Now that they know the basics, it’s time for the kids to create recipes of their own. Make sure that they use the proper measurement amounts for liquid and solid ingredients. Look over their recipes when they finish writing them to see that nothing is left out. As a bonus, let them show you how to create their recipes. Give them the apron and chef’s hat to make it official that they are in charge of the kitchen.
Everyone needs to learn to be self-sufficient in the kitchen. If your kids learn early, they will be helping you for a long time. The kitchen will become their favorite room in the house once they learn the ins and outs.