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10 Ways Tiny Helps in the Kitchen

Welcome to the November Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids in the Kitchen
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how kids get involved in cooking and feeding. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

10 Ways Tiny Helps In The Kitchen: HybridRastaMama.com Follow Me on Pinterest

2 ½ is a great age for children to start really playing an active role in meal preparation, cooking, baking, and clean up. They have a much better understanding of kitchen gadgets, safety, and food.

Tiny has always played a role in cooking. Whether she was a wee one in the Beco simply present while I threw together a quick lunch or an intricate dinner or standing in her learning tower mixing playing with flour and water, Tiny has been exposed to all things “kitchen” since day one.

Tiny has a play kitchen and frequently prefers to spend time making her meals there while I make the family meals in “mommy’s kitchen.” However, I afford her the opportunity to work alongside me whenever possible. Tiny helping usually ends up in a giggle fest and mass cleanup but the joy in her eyes as she helps me is priceless.

Without any further fanfare, here are the 10 ways in which Tiny helps me in the kitchen.

1.   Tiny carefully adds ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer, rarely spilling anything.

2.   Tiny diligently uses a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.

3.   Tiny fills muffin tins with batter, keeping wayward batter in check.

4.   Tiny find the correct spices and seasonings from the spice drawer and measures them out, adding them to whatever we are preparing.

5.   Tiny tears lettuce leaves for salad and expertly uses the salad spinner.

6.   Tiny peels bananas, properly disposing of the peel.

7.   Tiny washes dishes with great care and concern.

8.   Tiny loads and unloads the dish washer carefully putting each item in its rightful place.

9.   Tiny puts produce away in the produce bin of the refrigerator and keeps the condiments organized in the door pockets.

10.  Tiny sweeps, vacuums, and mops up any and all spills on the floor after a busy day of batch cooking.

 

And here are the REAL 10 ways Tiny helps me in the kitchen.

1.   Tiny tries to carefully add ingredients into the bowl of the stand mixer but usually some spill occurs. Either that, or the ingredients end up in her mouth!

2.   Tiny cheerfully uses the spatula to poke and prod at whatever concoction is in the mixing bowl. If she pulls it up with some batter or dough on it, she will immediately begin playing with her newfound best friend.

3.   Tiny has an absolute ball using a soup ladle to fill muffin tins full of batter. Batter ends up everywhere imaginable (including her hair, face, mouth, and feet) but it is giggle fest 9,000 throughout the process. And occasionally, she actually manages to get most of the batter in the muffin tins.

4.   Tiny makes a mad dash for the open spice drawer grabbing as many jars as she can. She immediately heads to her play kitchen where she attempts to hide hoard them for her own purposes later on.

5.   Tiny gets bored tearing lettuce leaves once she realizes that there is a salad spinner available and beckoning her to give it whirl after whirl after whirl. The lettuce leaves are abandon and toy after toy is added to the spinner, gleefully whirling around.

6.   Tiny is truly a banana peeling aficionado however, the peels get flung about. Aiming for the ceiling fan is an especially fun thing to do with banana peels.

7.   What wee one does not enjoy washing dishes? After all, it is an excuse for water play. Tiny is no different. She will happily spend hours at the sink cleaning dish after dish, utensil after utensil. The kitchen looks like a pipe exploded after the fact but that just keeps the floor super clean!

8.   Tiny takes great pride in loading and unloading the dishwasher. As soon as she is otherwise occupied, I scurry behind her and reload. At least she tries. Unloading is also a task Tiny relishes. However, her definition of unloading means attempting to place the dishes on the counter in the general vicinity of their storage area. She is still a little too short to get said dishes onto the counter and we have had a few casualties along the way. Oh well. Life goes on and there are always cheap dishes at Goodwill!

9.   When the fridge is open, Tiny seizes the opportunity to rush anything she can grab to her own play kitchen, stealthily hiding it behind her own play produce and perishables.

10. Tiny really does an excellent job sweeping and mopping up spills. She also has a pint sized vacuum and does everything in her power to help me vacuum up messes. She is getting more skilled and less reluctant to use the hand vac.

I love Tiny’s company in the kitchen whether she is helping me, observing me, slowing the entire process down whilst having fun doing it, or making a complete and utter mess. As she grows and refines her skills and abilities the two of us will form a bond creating healthy meals and delicious baked good for our family. My fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my mother and by the time I was 5 I could make a meal with very little oversight. I want this same for Tiny.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

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Comments

  1. I was going to say, “Whoa! Two and a half?! No way my kid will be able to do that by two and a half!” But your second list is a great relief. Also hilarious.

  2. Tiny uses a scraper to SCRAPE things? And here Kieran’s been thinking that scrapers were made to TASTE things ;) (j/k) For real though – I love the two lists, that is totally how it is in our kitchen too :)

  3. Greetings from Malaysia! Hopping in from the carnival!

    Oh my! My boy is 2 and 1/2 years old! He does help out in throwing the garbage into the dustbin and carrying/bringing/putting stuff whenever I asked him to, guess it’s time for him to do more! :) Good job for your Tiny to help you out!

    ~ Jenny ( http://www.imafulltimemummy.com/ )

  4. I hate dishwashing, and it always amazes me when my daughter starts washing dishes out of her own incentive

  5. I read the first list and thought, “Man, she’s got one very unusual child!” Then I read the other list and was nodding my head the whole time. I always get frustrated at the wet, soapy floor that is left after the dishes are done. I think I’m going to start looking at it your way – CLEAN FLOOR!

  6. Ah! I loved reading your REAL list :) Such patience to teach them the way around the kitchen. I am sure you’ll be rewarded with an expert chef who loves healthy foods :)

  7. Very fun suggestions!

  8. LOL thanks for the laugh. Loved the description of the chair scraping across the floor, haha. I know the feeling. Reading your first list I thought maybe you had a child who was extraordinarily receptive to the Montessori method or something, lol. This is yet another great reminder for me to involve my son more in meal prep…don’t do it enough I think.

  9. I enjoyed this post, the “real” list had me giggling away. My 14-month-old is currently dishwasher obsessed and constantly trying to climb into it…

  10. HILARIOUS! You totally had me there. I was thinking, “Oh, my gosh, she already knows all her spices? My four-year-old isn’t doing that yet!” Ha!

    Anyway, I really appreciate your joyful tone radiating through this. Yea for Goodwill dishes! Mikko’s newest fun thing is unloading the dishwasher as well. :)

  11. Hahaha! I love your two lists! And here I was thinking that in a few months I can tell my husband that Munchkin can take over unloading the dishwasher. Ha!

    I also love and share your attitude about getting the little ones involved in the kitchen. Beautiful! I didn’t have that with my own mother, but I’m hoping to have that with my son.

  12. [I am convinced I wrote a comment here the other day but I must have clicked off before posting it - oops!]
    I loved this post. My littlest is currently obsessed with trying to get in the dishwasher, I try and tell her that her regular baths with suffice but she’s having none of it! And she is a speedy herbs and spices thief too. I was giggling the whole way through your “real” list.

  13. What fun! I love how she dashes to pinch your spices for her play kitchen… too cute! :)

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