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Kids in the Kitchen: an activity for children of all ages.
“Probably the greatest single goal of early childhood education should be to build in children a sense of their own worth as persons. The child must learn to feel that he is needed and valued by those about him. This is one of the richest gifts his parents can give. His value system is built best through sharing family responsibilities from his earliest years” (Raymond Moore, Better Late Than Early, p. 56).
Learning how to measure properly is key when learning how to cook and bake. In this activity, children will not only learn about handwashing and the proper technique when using measuring tools for cooking and baking, they will also learn their worth in the family as they share in responsibilities.
*This activity was adapted from a post found on landolakes.com.
- Put your aprons on!
- Learn about bacteria and germs and the importance of hand washing by reading one or more of the following books:
- Lather Up: Handwashing Activity Handbook by Terrific Science Press – recommended for children ages 8-12.
- Germs Make Me Sick! by Melvin Berger – recommended for children ages 4-8.
- Germs are Not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick – recommended for children ages 4-7.
- Cutie Sue Fights the Germs by Kate Melton – recommended for children ages 3-7.
- Wash Your Hands! by Margaret McNamara – recommended for children ages 4-6.
- Have your child name items they may have touched that day – door knobs, toilet, chairs, seat belts, dishes, etc. Ask if they would want to touch their mouths to those items. Discuss why it’s important to wash their hands (hands that have touched each of those things and then touched their food).
- Have your child practice thoroughly washing their hands in hot, soapy water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a good rule of thumb is to scrub wet hands with soap while singing a song (like “Happy Birthday”) two times (or about 20 seconds).
- Consider using a Glo Germ Mini Kit to watch how germs are spread and to evaluate handwashing.
- Once hands are clean, begin practice using measuring tools. Depending on the age of the child, consider teaching them one measuring tool at a time, until each tool is mastered.
- Practice measuring dry ingredients using flour. Spoon the dry ingredients in the measuring cup of your choice (a one cup measuring cup is best for young a child). Make sure the measuring cup is sitting on a cutting board instead of over the mixing bowl in case any extra ingredients spill over.
- Level off any excess with the backside of a butter knife.
- Practice measuring brown sugar. Brown sugar is less dense than regular sugar so it needs to get packed down in order to get the same amount of sweetness. Firmly press it into the cup using your fingers or the back of a spoon. Level off any excess with the backside of a butter knife. Brown sugar should hold the shape of the measuring cup when it’s turned into a bowl.
- Thick ingredients such as butter, margarine, coconut oil (depending on the temperature of where it is stored), sour cream, peanut butter, etc. need to be measured in a dry measuring cup. To measure, press the fat into a dry measuring cup and level off the top using a spoon or rubber spatula (make sure there aren’t any air pockets). (Butter often has handy measurements on its’ packaging and may not need to be measured in a cup.)
- Measuring spoons can be used with both wet and dry ingredients. Make sure to use them over a separate bowl instead of over the mixing bowl in case any extra ingredients spill over.
- A wet measuring cup should be used when using liquid. Bend down to get eye level with the lines on the measuring cup. Set the cup on a level surface and pour the liquid in until it reaches the desired amount.
- Eggs don’t need to be measured, but a child should be taught to crack them over a separate bowl to prevent any egg shells from being accidentally added to the recipe.
- Now let the kids wash the dishes, wipe up the counters, and sweep the floors!
- Practice, practice, practice! The more time a child spends in the kitchen and the more calm and patient you are with them, the more comfortable and excited they will be.
- Take pictures and tag #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.