What can kids do in the kitchen?

October 30, 2009 at 10:44 am 3 comments

Mr Chef & Mr Cook

Mr Chef & Mr Cook

Those who know me well know I love to cook, had I of had my way when I was younger I would have become a chef. My life has followed a different path for which I am happy to follow but given the opportunity I will be in my kitchen surrounded by beaters, processors, knives, pots, pans and whatever gadget gets things done perfectly.

Lately the perfectly bit has taken a back seat and I have swapped it for fun. With two young kids the kitchen is an exciting place to explore and depending on what we are creating we have two helpers to show us the way.

I would like to introduce you to Mr Chef and Mr Cook. These two puppets have been in my kitchen for the past two years enjoying a variety of cooking experiences. Lately Riley has become very fond of the puppets and Zoe is having an important lesson in sharing. Mr Chef helps us to cook healthy meals and Mr Cook helps us to cook treats. We talk about party foods and sometimes foods with Mr Cook and healthy everyday foods with Mr Chef. Yes Mr Chef does get a better work out than Mr Cook if you were wondering.

Zoe will have a conversation with the puppets and ask them a whole range of questions about the food we are cooking. And the Chef and Cook ask her questions too. We talk about the texture of the food, the changing consistency, how it melts, cooks, changes colours, is it crunchy, chewy, soft, hard, it really is endless the things you can talk about in the kitchen. It is a mathematicians/scientists/artists dream classroom. Volume, weight, density, surface area, temperature, viscosity, colour, and evaporation the list is never ending.

Zoe cooking dinner

Zoe using a sharp knife, Riley with the helpers.

If your child is old enough to sit in a high chair then your child is old enough to be involved in cooking for the family. Riley loves the noisy equipment – the food processor and electric beaters. As your child gets older they can help with cracking eggs, mixing and measuring. By the time they are 3 they could even help you cut food for dinner using a knife from the knife block. Ohhh you say….it is actually safer for a child to use a sharp knife than it is a dull one. It is less likely to bounce off the food giving you a clean cut.

You don’t actually have to cook anything to explore the kitchen with kids. A great science experiment in the kitchen is to take 4 ice cubes, put one into the freezer, one into the fridge, leave one on the bench and the last one into an electric frypan (or on the stove). Every 30 minutes you can see what is happening. We all know what happens but to a 3 year old the frypan one seems like a magic trick. Where did it go? As kids get older this prior learning will help with cooking things like taco mince and pasta sauce as they know what it is to reduce a sauce because they have already seen first hand what evaporation is. (Add a lid to create a water cycle) It will certainly help at school too!!!

We have so much fun in our kitchen. What fun things do you do in yours?

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Entry filed under: Kids in the Kitchen.

The Galah Next Door. Rigatoni – Spinach and Cheese filled with kids.

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bec  |  November 1, 2009 at 8:10 am

    Erin’s only just become interested in cooking. She loves to mix (flick ingredients across the counter), knead dough and use cookie cutters, she’s only two and a half and definitely not old enough to use a knife, but she’ll get there.

    Reply
  • 2. Simone  |  November 1, 2009 at 9:59 am

    I was checking out the fantastic Handmade Beginnings site today and started checking out other bloggers pages. Glad it did asI am glad to see another Kid/food lover starting up one. As far as becoming a chef or cook- do it anytime! I did. I started my apprenticeship at 37 after my kids had grown up and love it. I have worked in London and America (San Fran) in a few restaraunts and never would have imagined it possible 10 years ago. Im not sure why you couldnt become a chef before but if its your passion – Do it! You’ll never regret it.
    Only 1 thing, I agree the shaper the knife the safer it is, but for adults. Kids dont have the cognitive ability to know the consequences of knives. E.g Waving them around in the air could cut someone, Dropping it on the floor could stab a foot etc etc. And the damage done by accident with a sharp knife is less forgiving than 1 with a sharp one.I also find once kids think they can handle something whilst you are watching they are likely to think they can do it when you are not. I encouraged knive skills with butter knives and cookie dough, and as they handled not only the skill of cutting but also the responsibilites of knife handling, I increased the shapness of the knife. But each to their own and you obviously are with your kids all the time. I only make comment as someone, who isnt as diligent as you, with a knife block in each reach, might assume sharp knives are ok at anytime.
    Congrats on starting a great new blog, glad I stummbled upon it.

    Reply
  • 3. Rizoleey  |  November 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks Bec, Riley loves making a mess too. But it is fun to play with food.

    Thanks Simone
    Oh I totally agress about the knives. Zoe has been around the kitchen her whole life and I watch her every move. Accidents can happen. She started out with playdough knives.

    Reply

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Nicole Carr


Rizoleey = Riley + Zoe
I loved writing a diary for both of my children during their first year, I also made them a wonderful scrapbook of photos. Since my son turned 1 I needed a new avenue to express my creativity - Blogging combines my love of scrapbooking, kids activities, photography and writing.
I hope you enjoy taking a peek at our lives.

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