11 May 2006

A "recipe" for tactile fun

My son loves to do "experiments." Lucy's daughter enjoys the same thing, with a cooking/baking angle:

My 3 1/2 year old wanted to help me make bran muffins. I had her pour the flour and sugar, crack the eggs and so on. She really wanted to do much more than that and get her hands dirty (ie, stick her fingers in the mix, lick them and then do it again). So, I put a towel on the kitchen floor and set out several bowls and measuring cups and spoons. I filled some with bits of sugar and flour and cinnamon, some with milk and water. I also gave her some raisins (other healthy bits like banana chips and chocolate chips could be used as well). While I finished up the muffins, she was quite happy playing with her own mixture. And I didn't worry about her taking nibbles of her creation (no raw eggs involved). Next time, I think I'll give her a little bowl of sprinkles.

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See, that's the kind of parenting that should be trumpeted. Give her a bowl of sprinkles! Outstanding!! \_/

I've always thought it was a little odd that some parents buy their kids (mostly girls - do I hear gender-biasing?) toys and playsets that resemble miniature kitchens and cooking implements.

My mom simply drug a chair up to the counter or stove and taught us how to cook with the real stuff. Sure, the stove was hot, but we were supervised and the risks were minimized.

Mom's rules were that you cleaned as you went - a good habit that I still continue to practise - and you ate some of what you made even if it didn't come out looking especially appetizing. (I'll never forget the first cake I made solo - it was green!)

To this day, my older brother and I both continue to be more skillful, confident, and experimental in the kitchen than either of our wives. Thanks Mom!

what a great idea! when my son is old enough to do anything other than just stand in the liquids and stomp around I will be trying this!

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