Kitchens in kitchen
It seems as if parents spend a lot of time trying to get their kids to clean up — or, better yet, to not make a mess in the first place. But guess what? Getting messy can actually be good for kids.
Clinical research shows that creative, messy activities like cooking and baking engage all of a child’s senses, helping them explore new ideas and teaching them how to solve problems. It also provides valuable time together, as well as an opportunity to teach basic math skills, cleaning habits and nutrition.
“To unlock a child’s fullest potential, cooking activities, even as simple as pouring and mixing, are recommended at least three to four times a week,” said Karen Deerwester, child development expert and founder of Family Time, Inc. Children learn through play, so Deerwester encourages parents to cook up a mess with their children on a regular basis. These tips and ideas will help you create a powerful — and fun — learning experience for your child.
How to cook up a mess with kids1. Baking and basic food assembly is the easiest way to branch into messy culinary play. Cut up fruits and vegetables to make fun faces, or simply mix together homemade dough to play with and shape. 2. Age is just a number! Allow even the youngest chef to help by pouring ingredients like flour, sugar and eggs into a bowl.3. Start simple. No-bake cookies, smoothies and sandwiches are a great start. If using a cookbook, start with one that has pictures for each instruction.4. Pour on the praise! No matter the outcome, always encourage their effort. Remember, practice makes perfect.
Show me the dough! Get started on some creative kitchen play with these homemade play doughs and fun toast art.
Best Play Dough Ever 2 cups flour1 cup salt1 teaspoon cream of tartar2 tablespoons oil1 teaspoon food coloring2 cups waterMix ingredients in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until dough leaves sides of the pan. Remove from pan. When cool to the touch, knead for a few minutes. Play dough can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks in an airtight container.
Edible Peanut Butter Play Dough *1 cup peanut butter1 cup powdered milk1/4 cup honey Optional texture items: raisins, coconut, crushed graham crackersMix the first three ingredients in a large bowl until smooth. Add optional texture items.*Not for children with peanut allergies.
Chocolate Play Dough1 1/4 cup flour1/2 cup cocoa powder1/2 cup salt1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil1 cup boiling waterCombine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cream of tartar. Add cooking oil and boiling water. Stir quickly and mix well. Cook over low heat until dough forms a ball. When cool, knead with hands. Refrigerate and store in an airtight container. Smells great, but is not really sweet enough to eat.
Love Toast Toast is for more than just eating. White bread is an excellent canvas for making mealtime extra special. Simply paint bread with milk mixed with food coloring and then toast. For some extra fun, cut toast into a special shape using a seasonal cookie cutter. For a fruity flavor twist, create paint out of water and flavored powdered gelatin mix.
Source: Family Features