If you’ve ever attempted cooking/baking with a toddler in the kitchen, you know how fun this experience can be! As previously mentioned in the chores post, my toddler loves to help in the kitchen. This past weekend, we explored an even more exciting task, cooking! I’ve let her explore mixing ingredients like flour and water when she was about 14 months old. It was, as to be expected, extremely messy and I was cleaning flour out of the grout for months it seemed. But, she was learning to mix slowly to keep the ingredients in the bowl, she learned you have to keep the bowl on the table so it doesn’t fall over, and she learned that once the ingredients are on the floor you have to clean up the mess.
But, on Friday night she saw daddy take out the mixing bowl and immediately she went to the drawer and pulled out her own whisk. She wasn’t able to vocalize that she wanted to help mix the ingredients and daddy wasn’t catching her clues. He hasn’t been in the kitchen when she’s helped “cook” in the past. After I entered the room again (I’ve hit the part in pregnancy when you go to the bathroom every 10 minutes), I quickly figured out what she was upset about. I was able to bring in a chair from the dining room, wash up her hands and help her mix the ingredients to make french toast. This suddenly became a meal made by the entire family!
We were able to count the eggs as daddy cracked them open and dumped them one-by-one into the mixing bowl. We added in the cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and dash of milk as she slowly mixed all of the ingredients together.
After she mixed everything together, we let daddy take over and cook the french toast while we put the chair back, washed our hands again, and set the table. First we counted out 3 forks and she carried those over to the table. Then, I handed her one plate at a time and she carried that over to the table. She put a plate at each spot and then put each fork on top of the plate. I was impressed because I just asked her to carry it to the table. We enjoyed a wonderful family dinner that we all had a hand in making!
Getting your children into the kitchen at a young age can really teach some valuable skills. Although some cooking tasks can become quite extensive with a toddler in the kitchen, the reality is they want to be there helping. Find ways that you can bond and extend learning opportunities with tasks you are already doing. The more we guide them, the more self-relient they will become! Happy cooking! I’ll make another post about our experience making banana bread from this weekend as well!