As preschoolers, my children loved to help me cook and bake. Some of their favorite recipes, though, were the easiest, allowing them to demonstrate independence and self-discipline.
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I made the following items available at home:
- A few low shelves in the kitchen with my children’s food-preparation supplies
- Real vegetable peelers and other child-sized kitchen utensils
- Picture-based recipe cards when possible
- A kitchen step stool so my children could easily reach the counter when helping me
- A child-sized table for food preparation when working independently
- A child-sized apron to give importance to the food-preparation activity and provide a beginning and ending to the task
Ants on a Log
A favorite recipe was Ants on a Log. I liked to use recipe cards similar to those in the photo.
For Ants on a Log, I had the celery, scrub brush, safe knife, cutting board, peanut butter, and raisins set out in an orderly fashion when I first introduced the recipe. As my children became comfortable with food preparation, they were able to prepare recipes with little or no help from me.
Here is another great food-preparation resource: a list of cooking activities from Montessori Mom. The article is called “Cooking with Kids and Learning the Alphabet too!”
UPDATE: This post was featured in 30 Fun Finger Foods for Kids at Circle of Moms.
Linked with Discover and Explore: Cooking with Kids.