This plus that equals…. Easy Toddler Kitchen Hacks
Here’s the latest instalment in my series of posts all about what makes our lives here at home tick. This week is all about fuss free and easy ways to get the kitchen with your toddler. L like most toddlers loves helping me cook, but it can get messy and stressful, so here are some of my top kitchen hacks.
This is easier said than done. I’m lucky if I get more than five minutes notice about any of his plans. But if I get the chance to get all the pans out ready, get the chopping done and have a nice warm bowl of soapy water ready in the sink it really helps. It removes the need for me to any knife work with him in the room, opening up loads of recipe options and removing a whole bundle of worry. It speeds things up. Having a bowl of warm soapy water ready is my favourite kitchen hack as it means clean hands all the time, but if he gets bored cooking he can sit on the floor on a towel and splash about whilst I cook.
Embrace the mess
9 times out of ten it’s going to get messy. I really struggle with this. I find as soon as I get over myself and just let the mess happen we have a lot more fun. I’ve literally vacuumed flour up from the work tops before but before that we were laughing and giggling so it didn’t matter.
Invest in some toddler cooking utensils
Obviously this is not essential but you would be surprised the difference it makes. I have grabbed some bright silicone moulds from the pound shop. Smaller bowls, jugs and spoons. None expensive and some not officially for kids. By giving him something that is his and his alone he is far more enthused and focused. By giving him something in a size he can manage he makes less mess. Simple really.
During our last baking session so many things went ‘wrong’. L tipped over the scales as we were measuring the flour. He broke an egg over the bowl, only half of it went in, but he made for it with shell. Of course I wasn’t allowed to stir, only he could, so it was barely mixed. He tested the mixture for taste the whole way through, so the measurements were well off. Oh and he decided right at the end of a victoria sponge baking session that he wanted currant buns. Normally these things would really bother me, but you know what, we still ended up with perfectly edible and quite yummy cakes. Everyone was happy.
This is my most important kitchen hack. Just have fun. We often have the music on and we dance as we cook. If he wants to just bring toys into the kitchen and play and chat as I work, that’s fine. I want him to enjoy food, all types of food, so we make silly shapes and use lots of colours and if I have to use cookie cutters to make all his apple slices into stars then so be it. We enjoy being i the kitchen together. We have fun. He loves feeling like a big boy helping his mummy. He enjoys getting to choose what he eats and he loves that he got to make it. If we are having fun, all of the mess and the stress and mistakes just fade away.
Do you cook with your kids. What kitchen hacks would you add?
Finally, I’m linking up with #TheBabyFormula, #TwinklyTuesday and #fortheloveofBLOG