It has been quite a long time since my last post! I guess that’s what happens when you start back to your teaching job and start major construction on your home all at the same time. Despite our many transitions, we have still had time to have fun in the kitchen (M’s number one choice of location). Here are a few fun ideas for your ready-and-willing, toddler sous chefs. Above you see M peeling pre-sliced banana rounds. This is great for fine motor and builds up confidence and independence too!
Here’s our friend, helping find the vegetables for ratatouille (a weekly staple at our house). I have arranged the fridge so that everything on the bottom shelf and in the bottom drawers is o.k. for M to touch (yes, he can touch our take out containers of rice). Soon we will add a small pitcher for water and some pre-made snacks that he can access.
I gave M the scraps from the ratatouille to explore and a bit of bell pepper to taste. As you can see he is standing on a chair. M recently began using a learning tower and he loves it. Hooray!
Cutting a banana with a toddler knife or a butter knife. M was interested in this for a short period of time. We will try it again in a few weeks to see if he is ready then.
The set up for scrubbing sweet potatoes. Our sponge is not shown in the photo, but M has access to one in case of spills (of which there were many).
I had him sit in his highchair to watch a lesson since there are several steps.
- pour the water into the bowl
- select a potato, place in water
- scrub the potato and place in container when finished
I was impressed by how well he mimicked my lesson (M is 17 months in the photo)! Toddlers are so observant and sometimes we just don’t give them credit.
As a bonus, I showed him how to stab the potatoes with a fork before baking. This was a little advanced, but he gave it a good try.
It is important that children are included in cleaning up kitchen messes! Here is M attempting to clean up some torn pieces of paper. He has access to his broom, towels, and a sponge so that he can become independent in cleaning up spills and other messes.
Do you have any fun way for toddlers to participate in the kitchen? Please leave a comment if so!