Just ask my kids and they’ll tell you, my favorite “go-to” activity for developing real-world skills is cooking. Cooking combines, reading, math, and the ability to follow detailed instruction. As a bonus, they end up having so much fun, they don’t realize they’re actually learning.
- Have everyone wash their hands first.
- Make sure little people have stools to stand on. It’s no fun if you can’t see anything.
- Have everything you’ll need already out and available. I don’t know how distractable your kids are, but if I have to go looking for the flour sifter, they will have wandered out of the kitchen in search of fun.
- Let everyone measure and pour.
- Ask questions. For example: This recipe calls for 1.5C of milk. If we only have a 1/2C measuring cup, how many times will we have to fill it to get the right amount?
Tip: If you want to bump up the skill level a bit, make sure the recipe you’re using needs to be converted to produce a different amount. It’s okay to be sneaky sometimes.
- Stress about the mess. It WILL be messy.
- Remind them not to spill. They already know they shouldn’t spill, and they’re trying their best.
- Allow children to eat raw batter made with store bought eggs. Farm fresh pastured eggs are generally considered safe, but use your best judgment.
Here’s a fantastic healthy cookie recipe from 101cookbooks.com:
3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 – 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Let your little ones peel the bananas and mash them, then add them to a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and coconut oil.
In another bowl, allow the kids to take turns adding the rest of the ingredients, saving the chocolate chips for later. Combine thoroughly.
Now, combine the contents of the two bowls and stir. This will be an ooey gooey mess that the kids will really enjoy stirring. If you’re really brave, let them squish the batter through their fingers.
Fold in the chocolate chips. This would be a good step to do by hand if they haven’t gotten enough squishing satisfaction.
Place 2T blobs of batter on parchment paper and bake for 12-14 minutes.
Eat them all and don’t feel guilty.
*Image used under Creative Commons by roxeteer.
Article by April Duke
April Duke has been writing since 2004, specializing in coverage of natural remedies and home education. She began her writing career as a ghostwriter and now contributes to various online publications. April is also an unschooler and mother of three.
April has written 5 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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