The sweetest memories in my life are those times when I felt important and proud of being myself. Young kids are easy to please. When we’re kids, we’re in such a hurry to learn and discover new things that every small gesture of independence and faith can greatly change our own perceptions of ourselves.
Kids out there are not dying for video games or plasma TVs. Instead, they want to be a part of our lives. In order to do that and to help them feel useful and independent, they need to be in action and see what they have the power to create. This is why cooking is such an amazing experience for any child.
Here are 7 tips on how to make the best of cooking with kids:
1. Start from the beginning
Write down a list of ingredients along with your child. Is he too young to write or read? No problem, use picture cards or create your own. This first step will help your child improve his vocabulary, learn new words, and associate words and pictures if he’s not reading yet.
2. Go shopping!
Take your little one to the store and let him choose the ingredients you may need. Use pictures cards. Offer him help if he’s not sure of where to look or what he’s looking for. This second step promotes independence. He’s in charge, and sure it feels awesome.
3. Time to pay
Let’s talk about money. Explain to him how much money you spent on the ingredients for his favorite muffins. It’s never too early to start teaching him the value of money.
4. Let’s follow directions
Now that you have all that you need, have him help you set out the ingredients and name them all. Explain how to measure out the ingredients. This teaches him how to follow directions and to understand how things work.
5. Mix it and bake it!
Help him figure out ways to make cooking simpler by using the right tools to mix the batter, pour out the cupcakes, and bake it.
Learning to wait is an important skill that is developed with patience. Cooking is a great way for kids to understand the importance of waiting. Everything needs the right time to look and taste great.
7. Share, eat, and feel proud of yourself
My child’s face after seeing his creation is just priceless. Being able to appreciate, taste, and feel his effort and dedication gives him a great feeling of accomplishment. This is how his confidence is built.
This is why I love cooking with my kids. There’s so much more to it than a pie or a pizza slice. These small things build our kids’ personalities. They teach them to be responsible, careful, and to appreciate not only their effort, but everyone’s effort. It’s a way for them to be impressed and to make others smile.
Here’s my own story of just how amazing cooking with kids can be: