Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Where to Start with Practical Life in the Kitchen

I have talked before about how having your kids help in the kitchen is important, as it is so full of natural practical life activities.  But where do you start?

It most definitely is not with cracking eggs, in fact, I never would have guessed Jerome was ready for this task - it was Tharin who first gave him this particular opportunity.

It is important to follow your child, and it is equally important to follow yourself. If you aren't comfortable with something, or a certain task stresses you out, try something different instead.

A few ideas to start with:

  • Peeling fruit, or boiled eggs, neither of which affect anyone else if the end product is completely mutilated by little fingers. 
  • Wiping spills. Around one, babies have a deep love of order, and will love being given a cloth to wipe their hands and the table. This is actually one of the hardest things for me to watch, such as yesterday morning after the boys had oatmeal and I gave Benedict a cloth to wipe his place at the table. Oatmeal smeared far and wide.
  • Giving them access to water. First with pouring from a small pitcher, then with a water dispenser at their level, expecting many spills along the way - which they will likely be happy to wipe up. 
  • Helping make recipes that require dumping of ingredients, like a batch of pancakes, or oatmeal. 
  • Having them fill the muffin tray with liners
  • Carrying dishes to the sink and washing them
  • Squirting their own ketchup or other condiments
  • Scooping yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Spreading jam or peanut butter with a small spreader
  • Stirring 

As you observe that your child is ready for new and more difficult tasks, you can include them in more of what you do in the kitchen, if they show the inclination. (And if they don't, that is totally okay. Don't force it. Jerome goes through phases of not being interested, and I don't push him.)

Eventually, they can help with using a rolling pin, running appliances like the hand mixer or blender, cutting and chopping, flipping grilled cheese, using the cheese grater. The possibilities are truly limited only by what you, yourself, attempt in the kitchen.

We started a practical life series if you are interested in what some of these tasks look like in action.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would also love to hear any suggestions for posts you would like me to write about. And if you are interested in following along in our daily adventures, follow us on Instagram where I post daily.

God bless,
Olivia Fischer

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