Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Chores for small children in the kitchen
For my kitchen tip this week, I'm sharing some of the ways we include our children in the kitchen!
Since my oldest child is nearly six, these are ideas for that age or younger. Moms of older children, feel free to share how you include your older (but still learning!) children with cooking and in the kitchen! :)
Ruth (2) is the current label-remover :)
Fun tasks for little fingers:
- Taking labels off cans before I open them (this makes it easier to rinse cans for recycling!)
- Opening individually-wrapped tea bags
- Opening any box (like butter) or wrapper (be sure to supervise and instruct on making sure all the plastic gets into the trash can)
- Washing fruits or veggies in the sink
- Picking up things on the floor to throw away, like large chunks of food after a meal time
- Peeling bananas for banana bread, muffins, or dehydrated bananas
- Scooping pumpkin seeds out of fresh pumpkin
- Picking grapes off the stem
- Husking corn or shelling peas outside in the summer
- Decorating the tops of cookies, or anything with a crumb topping
Jobs my little ones love:
- Working with dough of any sort!
- Stirring anything (muffins, cakes, pancakes, lasagna filling, etc.)
- Washing dishes (see this post for tips on including children in dishwashing before they're even a year old!) -- this remains my kids' #1 favorite thing to help with in the kitchen!
- Clearing the table
- Watching the bread machine knead the dough
- Getting things from the fridge, or returning things to it
- Cooking waffles or pancakes (from age 5+)
- Filling vitamin dispensers (with close supervision!)
- Cutting quesadillas with the pizza cutter
- Using the flour sifter
- Using the salad spinner
FYI, spinning grapes isn't worth the bother... but it was fun! :)
How to not go CRAZY with little "helpers" in the kitchen:
- This post also has ideas and encouragement for working alongside our children, instilling a cheerful and positive attitude about taking responsibility and working.
What my oldest helpers looked like 4 years ago!
A note on safety: Some of my suggestions require complete supervision by a parent or responsible older sibling. All of the things listed have been incorporated with complete safety in my kitchen. Just use some common sense! :)
And remember... the goal is for our children to have FUN while gaining valuable life skills with our guidance! :)
Licking off the measuring spoons or beaters is fun when sugar or honey is involved! ;)
To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:
Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please!
In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, posts not adhering to these guidelines will be removed. We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)
Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!
1. A clean sink (Rachel)
2. Condensed tomato soup substitute (Alea)
3. Non-stick cakes (Rena)
4. Sharing large kitchen appliances (Katie)
5. Sandwich-making tips
6. From-scratch taco seasoning
7. Helping with the dishes (Kristin)
8. Cooking wild rice in the crock pot (Sara)
9. Easy variety muffins (Susan)
10. Quicker celery-cutting (Becky)
11. Cooking and freezing dried beans (Linda)
12. Cutting back on food waste (Kolfinna)
13. Vinegar tips (Cheryl B.)
14. From-scratch vegetable broth (Joelle)