The kitchen can be a harried place in your home —especially just as you’re preparing a complicated family dinner. But instead of always shooing your kids out of the kitchen, you can learn to involve them in what’s happening there, when it’s suitable. Kids love being a part of something bigger and more important, so get them involved and interested in the kitchen! You’ll not only gain some much-needed helping hands, your children can develop some skills and confidence in the culinary world. Think of how much this will come in handy, when they grow up and need to start cooking for themselves!
Of course, make sure to take safety precautions: children should never be allowed to handle sharp knives or raw meat, and you’ll want them to stay safely away from the hob, the oven, or any hot dishes or utensils. You may also want to keep them away from any delicate, breakable glassware or dishware. But read on for a few ideas on how to get your kids safely interested and involved in the kitchen. Meanwhile, for other kitchen tips and housekeeping advice, click here.
- Setting the table — This is an easy task, but it adds a bit of formality which kids can take pride in. Rely on your kids to lay out the individual plates, silverware, and napkins, and they’ll learn a bit of table etiquette along the way. And with such a simple task, even the youngest or slowest child can master the art of setting the table. Just use your judgment when sharp knives or breakable dishes are involved.
- Washing and drying dishes — Even though dishwashing can be a bore, it can be made much more enjoyable if duties are split up: one person collects the dirty dishes, another soaps and rinses them, another dries them with a towel. With a dishwasher, kids can play an important role in stacking dishes and running the machine. And don’t forget: they can also do their bit in returning clean dishes to their rightful places, as long as the shelves or cupboards aren’t too high for them.
- Helping with cooking—Cooking and baking can be a great family activity together, and kids love playing chef’s assistant. While you won’t want your kids involved in anything dangerous, they can help to stir or mix together food. Or they can measure out teaspoons and cups of ingredients, according to the recipes. This is also a great way for them to learn to follow instructions.
- Washing vegetables and fruits — This is another way kids can help out in a safe way. Rely on your kids to wash fruit and veg, or to do simple preparations like peeling oranges or snapping the ends off string beans. They’ll love the hands-on aspect of working with the fruit and veg.
- Putting away groceries —When you’ve just come back from a shop, teach your kids to help you put away the groceries to their rightful places in the kitchen and pantry. They’ll learn to be organised, and it’ll give you a bit of a break.
These are just a few ideas, but getting your children involved in the kitchen is a great way to keep your kids active and engaged, while lessening your workload a bit. Here’s to some fun and productive family times in the kitchen!