Cooking with Children
Cooking together strengthens family bonds and bolsters children’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual skills. It is important to remember that cooking with children can be very simple and asking for children to help make regular meals is great because it is already a part of the day.
Even something as basic as helping make scrambled eggs and toast, or grilled cheese and veggies can be super rewarding and meaningful for children.
If you want to spice up your recipes these cookbooks from Mollie Katzen are great because they have fabulous illustrated recipes that children can follow.
Your child can use most of the cooking materials you already have in the kitchen. Children will need help learning to use sharp tools like can openers and peelers. Butter knives are great for soft foods or spreading. A set of kid-friendly knives and a sturdy cutting board are investments worth making to help children participate in cutting and chopping. I recommend a set of nylon knives.
Using the Stove:
Using the stove or any heat source requires adult supervision. When we cook in the classroom we use electric skillets. Even at home these can be great for cooking with children because you can set them up anywhere, and there is no flame.
Don’t forget, with a stool and a scrub brush your child can also help wash the dishes! Not only will they feel good about cleaning up, playing in the soapy water can be a relaxing sensory experience.
Check out this Hobson-approved activity and try it out at home!
The Wrapping Station
In December we introduce the children to “wrapping” boxes. The teachers set up a station complete with wrapping or newsprint packing paper, scotch tape, scissors, markers, and empty boxes. The children are eager to explore the materials and the teachers model wrapping and gently share tips...
“When I wrap, I fold the paper like this,” showing children how to do it themselves, while also being careful not to take-over the process.
Once they get the hang of it, children work diligently and with great focus to wrap boxes of all sizes. It doesn’t matter if it is a Wheat Thins box, or an old jewelry box, any old box will do! Some children choose to put things inside the boxes, but most are satisfied with an empty box and they are filled with pride when they finish their wrapping.
Provide the following materials...
As parents we all know that our homes can quickly become overwhelmed with toys, many of which children only play with for a short period of time! When choosing toys, remember...
Toys with high play value can be used in many ways, allow children to be in charge, appeal to more than one age group, withstand the test of time, and can be used with other toys.
The organization TRUCE (Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment) provides a wealth of information about play and the toys and materials that best foster children’s play and learning. TRUCE Toy Guides give examples of quality toys you can purchase, information about how to choose toys of value, and examples on toys to avoid and why. I recommend checking out the Play Boxes article for great ideas on putting together materials that will engage your child in hours of play.
Resources to help you achieve heart-centered holidays during this tender year.
By Hobson School Director Beth Wilson
Big Holiday Feelings
Holidays, birthdays, and other special celebrations have been unique this year, but the fact that parents and children bring big emotions to these special times of the year remains the same. As winter holidays approach, your children may have questions or worries about what to expect or what will be different this year.
The article “10 Phrases to Help Kids Cope with Holiday Disappointment This Year” aims to help you build resilience in your child when discussing the changes to holidays and special celebrations. While reading I was reminded that the simple exchanges of care, love and connection are often the greatest gifts we can give to children.
Pandemic Parenting Through the Holidays
If you want to find even more support, Pandemic Parenting - an organization run by two psychologists - and aimed at supporting parents with trustworthy information about parent, child and family development during this time - also posted a webinar...
“Reimagining the Holidays: Making Memories During a Pandemic”.
The discussion with Dr. Robyn Fivush explores how children form memories, the importance of family storytelling, the making of traditions and taking the pressure off of “perfect holidays.” Use the time stamps for “Key Moments” search for answers to the questions you are interested in.