In the past few months, Harrison has taken a shine to “helping” in the kitchen. He wants to help with dinner, help with stirring, help with baking… …and to be honest, it drives me a little crazy. Usually my presence in the kitchen is limited to end-of-the-day dinner prep. I’m tired and I don’t enjoy cooking very much, especially when I’m tired. I just want it to be over and the food in my mouth, amen and the end. So having a three-foot small fry begging to help when I just want this casserole in the oven as fast as possible? Not my cup of tea.
On the other hand, I also view it as a great learning opportunity for him and a good way for us to spend time together after work and daycare.
So here’s the ways to enjoy toddler help in the kitchen:
Click through for ways your toddler can help in the kitchen. 1 of 9
Maybe even encourage them to wash a dish or two 😉
Stir, baby, stir! 2 of 9
This is the perfect step to hand over to your toddler! Stirring in eggs or stirring flour and sugar together pretty much any stirring activity is perfect for little hands. Of course, you'll probably need to step in to "finish it up" and really mix it well after they've done such a great job.
Sprinkling the cheese. 3 of 9
I love this one, because yes, cheese! But also yes, anything that needs to be sprinkled on top of a dish. Flour, bread crumbs, cheeses, tomatoes… just be sure it's spread evenly instead of dumped in one area!
Fetch items. 4 of 9
Not knives, of course! But if your spoons and spatulas are in a drawer, have your preschooler fetch them along with some mixing bowls for you.
Rinse fruits and veggies. 5 of 9
Keep their little hands off raw meat, but let them wash the fruits and vegetables! Obviously, no knives for prep work, but
Harrison LOVES getting to scrub potatoes with our wee potato brush.
Easy cookies. 6 of 9
Sure, I make cookies from scratch. But on Friday movie night when I'm tired? Break apart cookies! Harry sits on the counter and puts the cookies on the sheet. Then I turn on the oven light and it's his job to watch them cook!
Tear it up. 7 of 9
Harrison started helping me make meatloaf when he was two years old. He'd rip pieces of bread for the meatloaf. I also have him tear spinach for dishes, or break off the ends of green beans.
Throw trash away. 8 of 9
This one is a great way to keep your toddler busy, your kitchen clean, and teach him about the importance of picking up messes.
Setting the table. 9 of 9
This is for the preschool sector, but it's a great way to serve the family and help in the kitchen. It's not one of Harry's required chores, so he can earn $0.25 per night if he sets the table. He's putting his earnings towards a new truck.