Fun In The Kitchen - Age-Appropriate
Activities Your Children Can
1 Year Olds
grab the rolling pin and let
your toddler roll it across the
wooden spoons are great for
increasing your 1 year olds hand coordination (and they
make great sounds too!)
let your toddler play with the
lids from your pots. It's like they have started their own
2 Year Olds
help mom wash fruits and
take a plastic juice container
or pop container and fill it with rice or dried pasta, or
even coins. Tape the top so your curious one is unable to
get the lid off, and let them shake the container to make
the loudest sounds. You can do several of these with
varying amounts of rice, pasta, or coins and let them hear
pretend mixing - get a small
wire whisk and a plastic measuring cup and let your
munchkin mix just like mommy or daddy.
wipe the table - it's never to
early to get help cleaning up. Have your little one wipe
off the table. It may not be perfect, but it will make you
both feel good knowing your child wants to help you.
3 Year Olds
help you mix batter.
pour measuring cup contents
into a bowl.
knead bread dough.
practice shapes and colors -
help your little one identify the shapes and colors of the
ingredients you are using in your meal. This will make them
feel completely involved in the meal preparation and more
likely to eat the end product.
4 Year Olds
choose a food at the store -
take your child when you go grocery shopping. Let them pick
one food each week (one they haven't tried before) and help
them experiment with that food, using it a few times during
the week in different meals. Start with fruits and veggies
first since those seem to disappear from a child's diet at
an early age.
play the number game - make
one meal a week with different numbers of foods. For
example, make a lunch with a salami sandwich, carrots, and
strawberries. Play a game and count...2 carrot sticks, 4
strawberries, 2 pieces of salami, 2 pieces of bread, and 1
slice of cheese.
measure - let your child help
you measure the amount you need for a recipe and start
explaining fractions and let them see the different size
measuring cups. It's never too early to start math skills.
reading - read the recipe out
loud to your child and walk through the step by step
process. This really enforces the concept that in many life
activities there are a series of steps to get to the end
5-6 Year Olds
Let them prepare simple snacks
by themselves - they will love to eat the fruits of their
Plan a snack schedule - get a
calendar or a dry erase board and sit down with your child
at the beginning of the week. Let him or her plan a daily
healthy snack that he or she can make.
Set the table - it doesn't
have to look like Martha Stewart's house, but it gives your
child a sense of responsibility.
7-10 Year Olds
Read recipes - let your child
read the entire recipe to you.
Plan meals - sit down with
your child and let him or her help you set the menu for the
week, look through the recipes and help you make a grocery
Make meals - at this age, most
children can make at least 1 dish to go with dinner. If you
are making an easy meal, have him or her help you with the
entire meal. They will be so pleased and will no doubt eat
it up, knowing they helped make it.
Do dishes - ah yes, this one
might be a struggle because at this age your children know
that doing dishes is a chore. However, if your child has
been involved with the meal planning process and making the
meal, he or she may clean up the dishes without a problem.
Shelly Howard http://www.munchkinmenus.com
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