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Invite Your Kids into the Kitchen! by Kitty Robertson Morse, Heirloom Wooden Toys

February 3, 2011

The Learning Tower from Little Partners lets kids help safely.

When mom is baking a cake or making cookies there is no better rite of passage for a child than to lick the beaters or scrape the bowl.  Often this is a child’s first introduction to cooking.  You’ll probably find their interest is piqued the next time you’re baking a treat.  So often we are looking for activities to occupy our children’s time, and in most families there’s an opportunity almost every day for them to participate with you in the kitchen.

Young children love to role play with wooden toy kitchens stocked with a variety of play food. Cooking dinner for mom and dad with play pots and utensils, and serving tea with a wooden tea set to their dolls provides endless entertainment.  All this imaginative play provides a great foundation for inviting your kids into the real kitchen.  When they help you cook they are able to make connections between their play tools and the “grown up” versions. 

Cooking is one of those perfect activities that engages all of your child’s senses like the feel of the dough, the smell of cookies as they bake, the taste of a sauce, the sound of meat sizzling, the sight of pizza dough rising. Children learn best with multi-sensory activities and let’s not forget the early educational benefits. Picking a recipe a child wants to make is the perfect way to begin.  As a child follows a recipe they have no idea they are developing reading and sequencing skills. Adding ingredients teaches early math skills such as measuring, counting and fractions; cracking eggs, kneading dough, and stirring strengthens fine and gross motor skills.  Don’t forget to throw in a little bit of imagination and fun by showing your child they can add or change certain recipes, and messes don’t matter.

A quality safety stool like the Learning Tower or the Kitchen Helper can help make these sessions easier and safer by keeping the younger ones away from the stove and the knives, and you don’t have to worry about them falling off when you turn to the sink.

Perhaps the biggest reward is building a child’s self-esteem.  Nothing matches the face of a child being able to present the family a finished product he created from beginning to end.  Equally priceless is how sharing some giggles with mom or dad while cooking simply brings you closer together. Of course, by helping our child develop this early basic life skill we can all look forward to the day we can ask them what’s for dinner!

If you are looking to buy a gift or toy for your child or grandchild, think of Heirloom Wooden Toys where we provide sustainable, safe wooden toys, games and furniture that will last for generations to come.  You can shop by Age, Price, Brand, or just browse hundreds of products for all kinds of kids.  Many of our products are Made in the USA so you can support businesses that are keeping jobs at home.  Looking for custom products?  We have a large selection of items that can be personalized or engraved with your name or message.  Free Shipping on orders over $99!  Contact Kitty Robertson Morse at kitty@heirloomwoodentoys.com or (866) 202-8073.

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