Let’s Make Cookies!

Several years ago my mother-in-law encouraged me to include my boys from the very earliest days when I cooked in the kitchen, and now I can happily say that my 2 year old, 4 year old, and I love cooking together.   Along the way I learned that cooking together offers many opportunities to learn about textures, tastes, colors, following directions, reading a recipe, time, temperatures, and measuring.  In fact, when you think about it, cooking boils down to a lot of math and science skills!  Here are a few ideas for ways your toddler, preschooler, and big kid can help in the kitchen:

  • Stirring
  • Rolling out or kneading dough
  • Sprinkling cheese or other ingredients
  • Pouring ingredients
  • Measuring ingredients
  • Spreading icing, butter, cream cheese, etc.
  • Dropping cookies or rolling them into balls
  • Gathering ingredients or pots or pans
  • Shaking mixes or ingredients together in a bag
  • And of course, taste testing!

There are tons of great recipes out there specifically for kids.  You can make cookies, muffins, a trail mix, or mini pizzas out of english muffins, but also think about finding ways to include your kids in helping you cook on a day-to-day basis.  Maybe they can help you assemble a taco salad, or layer ingredients in a casserole.  In fact, some parents find that when kids help parents cook meals, it encourages them to try new foods and be less picky eaters.  Before long you may find that you’ve turned a household chore into a way to make special family memories that stick with you forever.

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