Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Little helpers... and a counting tip
A reader asked:
How old were your boys when they were ready to help in the kitchen, or around the house at all? How old when they started standing on chairs (safely) to help or watch? I would love to be including my little one more... any ideas for a first job?
Well, the first job I have given to both Yehoshua and Eliyahu, was helping with dishes. I wash my dishes by hand, so I just put a chair up beside me and let them "help". They could do this job as soon as they could stand up while holding onto things (i.e. before they could walk). This post has more details about exactly how I (safely) do it... and a few more pictures of Eliyahu helping me the first time he got to do dishes. :)
I took this picture of Eliyahu the first time he helped with dishes ,at 10 months -- he's 25 months old now and still runs for a chair whenever he hears me turn on the water. :)
Helping with the dishes is so much fun for my boys. Many days, they still both stand on the chair together and help. Dishes is one of the easiest chores for me to get done with little children around -- because I just let them help! It does take some patience, and sometimes my back hurts from leaning around them to reach the drainer, but they have so much fun. :)
But really, I just play things by ear when it comes to helpers in the kitchen. The first few times I let Eliyahu stir things for me, he made a mess... but we worked on trying to be more neat, and now he does pretty well. Don't be afraid to try new things with your little one, just to see if they're big enough to do it! Sometimes my boys surprise me with how capable they are on the first try! :D
This post about working alongside our children also has a lot of great starter ideas for chores around the house, and I also have a podcast about cooking with children -- that page includes links to lots of other cooking-with-children posts, as well. :) I'm almost wondering if I should start a whole new category for posts about cooking with little helpers! :)
Now, my tip for this week is this:
When you are measuring things, and you have lots of little helpers, invariably you will be interrupted at least once while you're counting out the 12 cups of oats, or the 6 cups of flour. Counting out loud makes it much easier to remember where you left off before you were interrupted!
I now know why my mom always counted out loud when she was measuring things. It wasn't to teach her little ones how to count... it was so that when someone asked, "Hey, mom, where's my ____?" and the baby got into trouble, and the other little one said "I have to go potty!", she wouldn't forget how many cups of flour she had already measured.
But, I'm sure all you moms-of-many already knew this tip, right? I just figured it out a few months ago. :)
To participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Post a kitchen tip in your blog, with a link to this post. Then come here and add your name, tip subject, and URL to this post! Links must be family friendly, as always. If you don't have a blog but would still like to share a tip, just leave a comment here with your tip! Everyone's ideas are appreciated. :) Note: Please link to your individual post, not your blog's main/front page! Thanks for participating! :)Kitchen Tip Tuesdays Participants