My kids are 6 and 4, and LOVE to help me in the kitchen. Not only do they like to help me cook, but they even love to help do things that I consider tedious like wash and dry the dishes and scrub the floor. You would think that I would not only welcome the help, but maybe even not get quite as stressed because I have help. I admit that unfortunately too often this isn’t true. I personally have fallen into the trap of doing everything myself instead of taking the LITTLE bit of extra time and energy to involve the kids.
Here is the thing, if you step back and think about it, involving the kids in the kitchen is, in my opinion, one of the best things you can do around the house. Kids can benefit SO much!
Cooking with the kids is not only fun for them but can be educational in many ways. By being involved in the cooking process, kids will they begin to understand what role the different ingredients play around your kitchen. If you really want to be thorough, you can explain about each ingredient, where it comes from, its history, etc. Math comes into play when you break out the measuring cups and spoons. Be sure to take the time to explain the fractions, even small kids can begin to comprehend halfs and wholes. Don’t be afraid to let them get their hands in the mix, they can benefit from the sensory input, plus little ones will love being able to squish, poke and stir with their hands.
Kids may make more of a mess, but honestly not only is it worth it in the long run, but let’s be honest…the kitchen is usually the easiest room in the house to clean up a mess. Not only that, but resist the urge to shoo them out of the kitchen as soon as the pie is in the oven, let them stay and help clean up. Whether it is helping with the dishes, sweeping the floor or wiping the cabinets, they are building life skills while helping you.
The next time the kids want to help with making dinner, take a second to think about all of the benefits a little bit of patience and time on your part can give your kids. I bet you won’t regret that awesome memories your kids will give you in return!
Jules lives in southeast Virginia with her amazing husband and 2 awesome children. She is a Christian, and loves her camera, coffee, and her Macbook. She and her family can frequently be found at their favorite place, Williamsburg, Va. Jules can also be found blogging at Mommy Ramblings, or on her twitter and facebook pages.