We’re all navigating being at home, trying to get some work done/do usual chores and spending time with the children and keeping them busy. Irene from Cheeky Kitchen has a few ideas for keeping the children busy and learning while getting cooking done.
Cheeky Kitchen started in Irene’s home kitchen in 2017. Being an Early Years teacher, Irene has years of experience working with children from aged 2. The sessions are educational, fun and a hands on experience for little (and not so little) chefs. It aims to make cooking and eating fun and make the children part of the process. Here are some tips for cooking at home with the whole family.
Lay out equipment and ingredients before you start. Little people have limited patience. I’ve found myself looking for the rolling pin and my little chef has started the fun by tipping a bag of flour on the floor.
Accept that there will be some mess. I started cooking/baking with my little chef when she was 2 and it was messy, then it got less messy and now she’s 5, it’s not too bad.
Lay down some ground rules. Tell him/her what you are doing, what you are making and go through some rules like when we’re cooking, we need to wash our hands, we don’t put our hands in our mouth while cooking, we taste the vegetables we chop, we work together or any other rule you’d like to add like listening ears etc. Also talk about safety with fire, knives, heat, steam etc.
While you’re cooking, talk about texture, taste, smell, shape, size. Cooking can be easily incorporated with maths, stories, vocabulary, countries of the world, anything you can think of. In our sessions, we do a lot of measuring, counting, comparing, using different tools to improve our fine motor skills (useful for writing later on), talk about ingredients and recipes, what country they come from etc. The possibilities are endless.
Finally, have fun. These days, we’re not rushing to go anywhere and we’re just home making memories. Enjoy these days (I keep telling myself too).
I leave you with some recipes to try with your little ones. When this is all over and you’d like to try out our session, please check out www.cheekykitchen.co.uk. Then you can come and have a cuppa and leave the mess in my kitchen.