August 12, 2004
My little chef...
When my son was only a few months old, I would put him in his bouncie chair, prop him on the kitchen table, and make dinner with a running monologue of every step I took. His eyes would widen as I'd chop vegetables. I'd bring over spices for him to smell. It was like a private cooking demonstration.
Now my son is 2 1/2, and he LOVES the kitchen. If he sees me getting ready to cook, he drags a chair over the the counter, asks for his mini-apron, and says "I want to help!" And he does.
He's learned every spice in the spice drawer and when I ask for one by name, he can pick it out and bring it to me. He knows all his cooking utensils and appliances. And he most assuredly knows better then to touch a hot stove or plugged in chopping tool. He makes a mean PB&J, and always makes me crack up when he asks for a "chai latte."
As a parent it's always amazing to see your child's mind develop, which brings a new understanding of how quickly they learn and desperately they want to learn.
So let them.
The kitchen is a great place to start. They can practice recognizing numbers and letters, count, learn about fruits, vegetables and nutrition. It's also a great place to reinforce listening skills when giving your kids instructions. But the best part is spending time together creating and showing your kids how their efforts paid off with an amazing result, whether it's mac & cheese, chocolate pudding or homemade pizza. The proud smile on their face is reason alone.