I wonder which flavours would fill the pages of your child's dream recipe book?! Whilst sandwiches are always a good place to start when it comes to giving a child the reigns in the kitchen, why not try something a little more adventurous this Spring?
At Pictologue, we cherish each child's choices and we seek to create thousands of opportunities for children to show us what they like and share their ideas - it's all part of getting to know someone and show them that we love who they are and what they're about.
So, put your apron (and brave face) on and find out what your little chef has in store...
Here are a few of our Pictologue thoughts to help:
1. Special time
Choose a time when you have nothing else to do as this will require your undivided attention :-) it's also important that your child feels no sense of pressure - set aside a good morning or a rainy afternoon.
2. Guaranteed success
Group together preferred ingredient choices here (this will also reduce the risk of all your kitchen contents being added to the pot!) Think about things your child enjoys eating (e.g. cupcakes/flapjacks/pastries) and different ingredients which would make the recipe work (e.g. flour/oats, juice/milk, brown/white sugar). Limited choices are still choices and it's better if the end result is edible!
3. Visual choices
As your child selects each ingredient, draw a picture of it on your 'recipe'. This may look different depending on your child's stage (e.g. matching a cut-out label to the corresponding ingredient, taking a photo of it, watching you draw it, colouring in a picture of it, writing the first letter of it). Put away spare ingredients and show your child where each one 'lives' to help their categorisation and organisation (e.g. in the fridge/larder/cupboard/drawer).
4. I can do it!
Children love to try out the things they see you do each day. Remember it doesn't matter if the flour is light and fluffy or if all the butter is perfectly integrated here! Ask your child what they think - should we mash it or chop it, mix it with a spoon or in the mixer? You can also add in sequencing skills here by talking about what needs to happen first and next. Write/draw their ideas on your recipe card as you go along.
5. Set the routine
Whilst their delicacy is setting or baking, encourage your child to participate in the tidying up to whatever level is appropriate (e.g. stacking the dishwasher, putting items in the sink, popping the bubbles as you wash up). It's important for children to learn a sense of responsibility and the full sequence of events - not just the 'fun' parts!
6. Share the experience
Hopefully your child has created something beautiful and tasty for you both to eat together. Share the goodies and recipe with family and friends to show your little one how proud you are of them. It's also a really good opportunity to practice recall and storytelling skills (e.g. what did we do first? Which ingredients did you choose?)
We would love to see what your little chefs have made, so please do share your recipes and photos with us. Hand-drawn and cut-out pictures would suffice but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like us to provide you with any of the pictures you may need to help make this creative activity truly Pictologued.