Fun for Toddlers: Helping in the Kitchen

21 Oct

Eli and I both have had a great time canning together this fall. In the photo Eli is helping me stir pectin into a pot of juice in order to make jelly.

 

It is amazing how much children love to learn.  I never cease to be surprised and even encouraged by Elijah’s love of learning.  He loves imitating and exploring the world around him.  I have almost always been an “attached parent” who loves keeping my children close by.  What joy Eli finds in helping me throughout my daily (sometimes monotonous tasks.) 

I am so thankful for Eli’s passion for learning and exploring.  It is our desire that we would constantly be encouraging that desire in his life.  One area which seems to work wonderfully for helping your child to learn and explore is the kitchen. 

What delight Eli finds in learning and helping in the kitchen.

 I wrote about different learning activities for little ones last May but wanted to give an update on the different ways Eli continues to learn. 

  • While Cooking or Preparing Meals: Talk with your child about what you are doing.  Allow them to hold the vegetables or hand them to you.  Lately we have been concentrating on trying to teach Eli his colors while we cook vegetables for dinner.  I have also taught Eli how to wash vegetables.  It is amazing how helpful an almost 2-year-old can be! 🙂   

 

 

  • Dishes: I often let Eli help me unload the silverware after they are washed.  Most of our dishes are glass so I admit I usually do not let Eli help me put them away.  It would be a great idea to rearrange your kitchen so that your little one could help put away dishes. 
  • Baking: We recently purchased a Learning Tower which has been wonderful.  They are pricey but worth every penny!  I don’t have to worry about Eli falling so he is able to really help with the cooking.  He gets to help me add ingredients, stir, and sometimes even play with the dough.  I’m sure he will be a great cook one day.  :)
  • Cleaning: Whenever Eli hears the cleaning closet door open he drops whatever he is doing and runs to help.  Imagine!  Such excitement over cleaning.  I admit I often find it encouraging.  It is hard to have a bad attitude about cleaning when he is so eager and excited to help.  Eli can hold a dustpan and empty it quite well.  He can take a cloth and wipe off chairs or Swiffer the kitchen floor area and move chairs around.  Eli is also a pro at picking things up off the floor and putting things away.  A true help and delight to our family as he learns at the same time.     

 

Washing vegetables is great for a child's motor skill development. It is also great fun for them and teaches them the importance of work.

 

I wouldn't actually trust my son near the water faucet yet. It's too enticing so instead he washes the vegetables at the counter. I always fill a small container half full of water. Then he washes them and places them in another container or hands them to me. Works great!

 

The official vegetable washer.

 

 

I decided to let Eli "learn" what a raw mushroom tastes like. He prefers them cooked and seasoned with a little pepper.

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4 Responses to “Fun for Toddlers: Helping in the Kitchen”

  1. Ann October 21, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Yes Eli, you are a smart boy. The mushrooms taste NASTY! Love mamaw

    • emersonfamily October 22, 2011 at 12:24 am #

      Mushrooms are yummy mamaw. You should try my mommy’s they taste yummy.
      Love Eli

  2. Katelyn October 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    What a good helper! Eli should definately keep this up!

  3. Allie October 27, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Eli is such a big helper! And he’s soooooo cute too. 🙂

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