Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Tot School Tuesday: Cooking with Tots August 24, 2010

Filed under: Toddler learning — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 7:34 am
Tags: , , ,

Tot School

Bitty Bug is 19 months old

It never fails that the second I go into the kitchen to cook a meal, at least one child will be hopping up on the counter to help/ask for a snack/etc.  Bug’s really been getting in on the action lately, since she’s become proficient at climbing up the Learning Tower.  She usually always wants to help…and not just some fake help (I used to just give her a bowl with flour and water and had her mix it, even if I wasn’t using flour or water that day).  Now she wants to *really* help.  She notices now if you didn’t use what she “cooked” for the meal. 😉

This week, I was making some sauteed red potato slices with herbs, and it’s amazing how much of the process can be done by a toddler!  Sure, it takes longer (*cough* a lot longer….), but actually, it worked out well…she kept busy and I could prepare the rest of the meal without having to stop every 5 seconds because she wanted to be picked up/wanted to empty every cabinet in the kitchen/wanted to have a snack/etc.

The first thing I had her do was wash the potatoes. I did the same set up I did a couple weeks back, giving her a bowl of potatoes, a bowl of water, a scrub brush, and a towel. She washed the entire bowl of potatoes herself!

Next, I did the chopping…Bug is not quite ready for chopping potatoes yet. 😉

Next, I gave Bug a pan and the cutting board full of potatoes. She put each potato clice in the pan (after examining each slice. LOL!)

I measured out some Earth Balance and some herbs and put them in cups for Bug. She then dumped each of the cups into the pan with the potato slices.

Finally, Bug stirred everything up so that I could put the pan on the stove and finish the process.

Bug *loved* helping make the potatoes (and ate every last slice on her plate afterwards. 😀 )  There were a lot of hidden learning items in just the simple exercise of letting a child cook with you…we counted the potatoes, Bug had to follow a process when she was washing the potatoes, she did transferring with a whole hand when she moved the potatoes to the various bowls, she used the pincher grasp for moving the slices to the pan, wrist turning with scrubbing, stirring, and dry pouring.  She also learned a little bit of independence and a whole lot of pride. 

And a random picture of Bug observing the caterpillars…

Watching the caterpillars climb up the side of the dish.

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4 Responses to “Tot School Tuesday: Cooking with Tots”

  1. Kristen Says:

    I think it’s awesome that you have bug helping in the kitchen so early. I could never interest my kidlet in helping in the kitchen until recently, and at 6 he still isn’t very proficient with age appropriate cooking skills (but we’re working on it!). I’m definitely inspired to get my little tot in the kitchen much sooner!

  2. Ally,

    It appears that Bug is the next Rachel Ray! Look at the dedication on her face. We are honored to be a part of her learning experience and excited to hear that the Learning Tower has fostered her independence and creativity. Hope all is well and keep on cookin’!


    Jon – Little Partners

    @LearningTower
    http://www.facebook.com/littlepartners

  3. cathy Says:

    Very cute! I love how intent she looks while cooking.

  4. Great post!! It only takes a little creativity (and a lot of extra cleanup) to involve kids in cooking!


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