Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉
One area anyone can utilize for teaching children is the kitchen. Truly the best way to engage them in life skills in my opinion. It’s also beneficial using the kitchen as a way to learn in areas like math, sensory, eye-hand coordination, cooperation, and language. So many opportunities all wrapped up in one.
I have collected many recipes over the years to use for cooking ideas. The main thing to remember is to plan ahead as much as possible so there are less mishaps. Have small containers for the little hands, plastic knives if you must let a young child use them, or just demonstrate knife function yourself and leave the rest to them. We all know some children are more advanced/mature than others. You’ll usually know what step a child is ready to try. Just be sure to always be right there to intervene if needed.
Simple tasks like peeling an orange, mashing a banana, washing potatoes, tearing lettuce to name a few are great for the beginning stages. Pouring will give them some eye-hand coordination and sensory built all in one as they’ll feel the weight of the ingredient and need to gauge how to aim for the bowl. Splashing may occur. Stirring is also great for the senses and something nearly everyone wants to take their turn at. Seeing the changes when in an oven gives much delight, lots of bonding when they each need to be able to see what’s happening and some sense of time. Time is a science if you’ve ever baked. Too little or too much can lead to a bad result. Emotions can run rampant if their hard work doesn’t come out right. And the language they experience with measuring, food terms, tasting and realizing they do or do not like a new food is pretty much the icing on the cake. They’ll talk about it for days if you take plenty of pictures and post them to review. Try printing a few in a collage format on Word and simply tape it up on a wall. Even the youngest children will name who’s who in the photos. Never underestimate the benefits of allowing kids in the kitchen.
Be ready for extra laundry. Don’t forget to wear aprons and Wash Everyone’s Hands!!
Because it’s letter K, I’m gonna share a kerchief from my stash of stuff. In the event you have a bad hair day, don’t feel like dealing with wind, gotta do work in the yard/garden, are late getting around, just want to wash and run, are in for a serious day of cooking, etc., I could suggest this hair covering idea.