Kids Summer Kitchen Activities

Are your kids finished with school for the summer? Do you need activities to help keep them entertained throughout the day? The summer months are a great opportunity to spend quality time with your children, get them helping out around the house, and teaching them about food and cooking. Whatever age your kids are, there is something they can do to help put the meals on the table, and lots they can learn about good homemade food.Kids summer kitchen activities

Supervision is needed in the kitchen at all times, especially with younger children, and any danger points should be noted and and avoided. Pot handles, hot surfaces, sharp implements should all be kept a safe distance away from toddlers and young children, however as they grow, they can take on more responsibility

Toddlers
Very young children from 2 – 3 years old may be limited in what they can do in the kitchen, but this is a great stage to get them interested in fresh food and new tastes, as well as helping with vocabulary. Toddlers can help out by:

  • washing fruit and veg
  • sprinkling surfaces with flour or helping with icing sugar
  • stirring dry ingredients with help

Young children
As well as the above tasks, young children from 3 – 5 years can take on slightly more complicated responsibilities, again with supervision.

  • Weighing ingredients by pouring or spooning ingredients into scales
  • Using a plastic knives to cut soft ingredients – mushrooms, strawberries etc
  • Tearing lettuce leaves for salads
  • Rolling, shaping and cutting dough with plastic cutters and kid sized utensils
  • Spreading ingredients like butter, jam etc
  • Helping to set the table – make sure that cupboards and utensils are safe to reach
  • Wiping down surfaces
  • Washing small dishes and cups in warm water

Children from 5 – 7
As your kids get older they can get more involved with making meals and preparation. Along with all the tasks listed above, 5 – 7 year olds can start with knife skills and the clean up.

  • Cutting using a small knife or scissors can be taught at this age, just make sure you show them how to use a small knife carefully, keeping fingertips tucked away. They can also use small kid sized scissors to cut portions of herbs. Remember to show kids how to cut on a flat surface, and always use the flattest side of whatever ingredients they are cutting.
  • Grating vegetables and cheese – graters with built in containers are great for kids and help reduce mess.
  • As kids learn basic maths, measuring ingredients is a great way to keep these skills up during the summer months
  • Greasing and lining cake tins and trays
  • Helping to load and unload dishwashers with supervision – beware hot surfaces

Children from 8 – 11
At this stage, children can take a more active role in meal preparation and planning and should have basic knowledge of food preparation.

  • Opening cans
  • Making salads
  • Using a peeler to prepare fruit and vegetables
  • Choosing and helping to plan meals
  • Following a simple recipe
  • Finding ingredients in cupboards, and putting away groceries
  • Using heat on a hob, oven and microwave with supervision

Children 11 +
Children at this age, while taking on the above tasks can become more independent in the kitchen. From 11 years on, kids can plan and follow recipes and with minimal supervision cook meals for themselves and the family.

 

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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