Many parents start to get frustrated when the kids keep coming and bothering them in the kitchen whilst they are trying to cook. Whether you have a pre-school child or the kids are simply on holiday, there is always a time when your kids can be found wandering aimlessly around the kitchen, looking bored.
Of course, the temptation and first instinct is to frogmarch them to the lounge and stick on the television for them. However, this isn’t the wisest decision; in fact this is a decision that will simply make them rely on television to relieve boredom rather than turning to their parents.
Kids are a very creative breed, and they love messing with things. If they see you in the kitchen stirring cake mixture, they want to have a go. If they catch you using the liquidizer, they want a turn. And if they see you tossing pancakes, they are almost instantly under your feet. So, instead of sending them away to stare at the television set, why not let them get involved?
Letting your child get involved with the cooking can help in many ways, not least keeping them away from futile activity like TV. The purpose of letting your child help you is not in the hope that he or she will be able to rustle up a three-course meal by the middle of next week. It will actually benefit them in a number of ways, including:
Kids are often captivated by what goes on in the kitchen – the shapes, colours, smells…Simply sending them away when they are expressing this interest can have a negative effect on your child, and will do nothing to make him or her feel involved. You should always reward any healthy curiosity that your children show by letting them get involved in what you are doing. And cooking with your child is a great way for them to learn about colours, tastes and textures as well as providing them with a fun insight in to cooking.
You can also show an older child recipe, allowing them to read the recipe and follow the instructions in it. Your child will get an insight into solids and liquids, measurements, and how a mixture of ingredients can result in a cake, pie or whatever you are cooking.
Cooking with your child involves them using a little of everything, from numeracy and literacy, to following instructions and co-operating with you. Your child will find this a really enjoyable experience and will not even realise that he or she is learning and creating.
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