FUN. Other than safety, I cannot think of a more important word, or concept, when working with kids in the kitchen.
This word is the gateway to so much. It enables everyone to relax and enjoy what is happening in the most frequented room of the house. It engages a child’s mind, turning it into elastic, stretching to soak up the new info being presented. It creates an atmosphere of joy; a space where love can happen.
Do keep in mind that fun for our little helpers may be vastly different than what we deem as fun. They might push back on something you thought would be fun. That’s okay, ask how they would like to change it. Their insight is always keen and because they have not yet accepted the filters society places on them, they are likely to give you an honest answer. Engage them in discussion to further understand their perspective, it’s always a fun rabbit hole to run down.
Things my children find fun…
…organizing the utensil drawer.
…measuring ingredients before cooking.
…spraying down and cleaning counters and kitchen table.
…setting the kitchen table (their own way, of course!).
…organizing the food on their plate into a “picture”.
…putting groceries in the pantry.