Whether it is your first time letting your little ones help in the kitchen or you’re looking for something fun to do on a rainy afternoon. Getting the kids in the kitchen is a perfect way to spend the day. However, it can be very overwhelming having a set (or two or three) of small hands helping out in the kitchen, so one must jump in prepared.
Expectations: It helps me stay sane if I let the girls know what the rules are before we even get started. What exactly they can help with and what they cannot. Most of their jobs include mixing the ingredients and then licking the spoons when it is all done.
Safety: I do not let the girls help out on the stove or with anything going into or coming out of the oven. That is my personal preference and those are my comfort zone limits.
I really enjoy letting them help out when we are decorating cookies (or cakes and cupcakes). It keeps them busy, they feel pride when they show me their finished product and I can decorate cookies alongside them.
Preperation: If you can, make things ahead of time. If I am making sugar cookies to decorate, I will roll out, cut and bake my cookies after they have gone to bed. I can get this task done pretty quickly when I am working on my own. Then when I have more time, I can pull out all the sprinkles, make up the icing and we can decorate them together.
Portion Control: The treats that they decorate are their own and I take care of all the treats that we share with our friends and family. This way, I still have control over the amount of gooey sweetness that goes on the top of a cookie, or a cupcake and they still get to help out.
Patience: Do not rush yourself. Everything seems to take twice as long when you have your assistants helping out. Plan for that extra time. It will be less stressful for you and much more enjoyable for everyone.
Expect a Mess: Be prepared to clean up a mess. No matter how hard they try (or you try), there will be cookie crumbs, icing and sprinkles all over the counter top and the floor. Lowering my expectations on how clean my kitchen will be at the end of our sessions has helped me to be patient with the little hands helping me out.
Sharing the kitchen with my Divas can be so much fun and it is a great learning experience for them too.
– Rumour Miller
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