Thursday, January 7, 2016

Teaching Together Blog Hop #4

Hey, everybody! Welcome to the Teaching Together Blog Hop. I, together with Whitney at Work it Mommy, Amanda at Tickled Pink, Courtney at A+ Life, and Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls, thought that a link up focusing on preschool activities, homeschooling ideas, and play at home learning would be a great way to pool together all sorts of fun and educational resources. A place to share and be inspired. Check back on the original post for full details, and/or on the first, second, and third blog hops for great ideas!

Today I thought I would share how I get Aria, who is three, involved in the kitchen. It is one of our favorite things to do together, usually because we tend to bake goodies and Aria is an excellent taste tester. But, mostly she just loves to help.

Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

Aria started helping in the kitchen just before she turned two. I'm sure she could of helped before then, but I really hadn't thought of it at the time. My very first tip is take a nice calming breath before you start and remember that there will be a mess. I very much hate spilled flour, so I always have to remind myself that messes are okay. But, after you give yourself a little pep talk there are a lot of things a toddler can do in the kitchen.

#1. Basic Hygiene - We always wash our hands before we do anything in the kitchen. Just like we always wash our hands before we eat anything. Aria knows that she can't help make cupcakes until she's scrubbed her hands clean. We also cough and sneeze away from food (and people). This lesson took a little longer to catch on, but she's finally not sneezing in the flour.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#2. Identifying Ingredients - I always told her what ingredients we were using while we baked. One day she started telling me. Now I ask her to help me find them in the pantry and see if she can pick out the right ingredient when I ask for it. She's pretty good with flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. And, she knows that mom will flip her lid if she licks raw eggs ever again.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#3. Measuring & Dumping - Does anybody else's heart stop when their toddler scoops half a cup of sugar out of the container? I really only relaxed enough to let Aria do this recently. It's definitely not the cleanest way to help, but everything is a learning process. We talk about the different sizes of the measuring cups or measuring spoons, and we count how many we need.

#4. Stirring - One of the most basic ways a toddler can help. Almost everything needs to be stirred.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#5. Pushing Buttons - Another favorite of the toddler crowd. Pushing the buttons on the blender, or sliding the stand mixer's knob over. Aria also loves helping me open cans, and turning the handle on the sifter.

#6. Portioning Out Dough & Batter - I think letting Aria scoop out muffin batter into the muffin tins is my least favorite thing to do, but my gosh does she love it. I haven't let her try her hand at scooping out chocolate chip cookie dough, but she helps roll them into balls and place them on the cookie sheet. I just have to remind her that they each need a little space to grow.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#7. Chopping - Aria has just recently started to help with chopping. The kind of chopping that involves a butter knife. Bananas are an excellent start. But, she's helped chop leftover roasted veggies as well. She also has a knife that came with her toddler silverware set that is even less sharp than a butter knife, and she goes to town on her plate of food.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#8. Serving - One of my goals this year is to have Aria help even more with the cooking side of the kitchen. Mostly we've baked together, but I think she is ready for a bit more cooking responsibility as well. So, over Christmas she helped me make loaded scrambled eggs and then I let her serve it to everybody. She thought it was the best thing since buttered toast. She was very attentive and she offered more eggs right away whenever mom or dad finished a plate. She also wouldn't give more than a few spoonfuls, so plenty of chances for her to refill the plates.
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#9. Kitchen Safety - From the time Aria was little we told her over and over and over that the oven is hot. Hot, hot, hot, ouch, don't touch. We all do that I'm sure. It was one of the first words she knew. So anytime she helps out with cooking that involves heat she knows she needs to be careful. Mostly she will stir a pot of something...soup, or oatmeal. She also knows she can't touch the stand mixer when the paddle is moving. Or, turn it on when the top is lifted up for that matter. Safety first!
Teaching Together Blog Hop #4 - 10 Ways Your Toddler Can Help in the Kitchen

#10. Cleaning - I'm the worst at this one. By the time whatever we are making is baking or cooking, I'm ready to shoo Aria out of the kitchen so I can wipe everything down. But, having them help bring supplies back to the pantry, load the dishwasher, or throw waste in the trash is a great foundation for when they actually need to do those things. Wouldn't it be great if your teenager cleaned up after themselves? It isn't the easiest when toddlers are so short, but they love to help so letting them do so when possible is a great habit.


Here are a few of our favorite recipes to make together:
oatmeal
scrambled eggs

Sweet Turtle Soup


Please link up and share your teaching together posts below or on instagram/twitter using  #teachingtogetherbloghop. And, mark your calendars for the next Teaching Together Blog Hop on February 4th!


11 comments:

  1. This is awesome! I do many of these with my son but my OCD gets on the way of others sometimes. I need to get over it. He loves taste testing too. Ha ha! Great ideas! And things you'd do whether they are helping or not.

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  2. These are all such excellent points. It's so important I think to get the kids involved in the kitchen. I have also read it helps picky eaters to see what goes in to whatever it is we are having. But the mess. Ohhh the mess.

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  3. Messes freak me out too and that's why I've kept Ellie out of the kitchen for so long. But I let her help me make rice crispy treats over Christmas and now she asks/exclaims "mama I want to help you again!" As she starts to slide over the stool!!!

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  4. I love this! I am so similar with you on what I let Noah help with. We bake a lot but I guess I should start letting him help more with dinner. So far all he does is help shake the shake and bake bag ;). And I haven't let him scoop the muffin batter into the tins yet, I only let him put the liners in. He loves helping and he loves cutting things with butter knifes too! My husband has even let him help cut a watermelon before (while holding his hand of course)! Great tips to help people start having their children help out more!

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  5. So awesome. Mini Fox loves helping in the kitchen...I have you do like you and remember to be patient and there is a learning curve. Especially when all of the flour and sugar miss the bowl!

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  6. I am horrible about having Connor help me in the kitchen. This is usually the one time of day that he gets the iPad. I'll prepare dinner and he gets 15-30 minutes of computer time. Thank you for the ideas and suggestions. I'm going to start working on having him do more with me.

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  7. These are excellent tips! When Kinsey is in the mood she loves to stir whatever Im making in the stock pot and dont get me started on baking goodies! But I can definitely be better at having her help clean up because youre totally right about setting a good foundation at a young age.

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  8. Such special moments! I know that Aria will remember her time in the kitchen with you for years to come!!

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  9. This is such a great idea! I baked with Mason a couple weeks ago but didn't do half these things. I'm not sure he would fully understand them now but it's never too early to get the idea in his head!

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  10. LOVE this post! It is so good to let them start young. Even if it is a bit messier!

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  11. This was a great post. Reese loves helping me bake too, but like you, cringe at the mess sometimes. We're starting to get her more involved in cooking, but these were a lot of great tips!

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