The thought of cooking or baking with your toddler or preschooler might sound crazy, but it’s a great way to bond and help them learn and can be a lot of fun for both the parents and the kids. The key to making it a fun activity rather than a big enormous stress mess is to set realistic expectations. Don’t go into it thinking you’re going to make six dozen super intricate, decorated cookies or an amazing fondant draped unicorn cake or something like that. When you’re in the kitchen with kids, the keyword is easy. Start with easy items and work your way up. It helps.
You can incorporate a lot of what your children are learning at school in a Montessori at home lessons such as cooking or baking.
Cooking with kids
The thought either makes you ecstatic or cringe. Either way, it can be a lot of fun if you choose an activity the entire family can enjoy, one that doesn’t have a lot of steps and is not too complicated. Consider starting a family pizza night and have everyone make their pizzas! Make your pizza night is fun for the whole family, and it’s something even the youngest toddlers can participate in fully and take ownership of their pizza.
Make it easy on yourself, start with a pizza kit with individual pizzas and sauce packets and give everyone in the family one pizza set up. Have the kids help you prepare the ingredients for the pizzas and open the cheese. Set up an area for everyone to work and use your learning tower or step stool for the kiddos so that they can reach the counter work area easily. Have the kids spread the sauce and place the toppings and cheese on their pizza. Yes, they’re going to be messy. They probably won’t look like pizzas you want to eat, but your kids will love them because they made them all by themselves. That’s the key. Have everything in containers that they can reach on their own.
Baking with kids
If you want to finish off the family pizza night in a fun way, consider adding brownies or even a pizza cookie for dessert. You can get a brownie mix or cookie dough from the grocery store and have the kids add any necessary ingredients and mix the brownies or push the cookie dough into a large pan. Once it’s baked and cool, the adult can slice pieces and have the kids help serve everyone dessert.
Make sure they can easily reach all the necessary ingredients and have a whisk or spoon that’s the right size for them. Look at stores such as IKEA, Crate & Barrel, World Market, and Home Goods for child-sized kitchen tools, so they have the right tools for the job. Cooking and baking with your kids can be a lot of fun if it’s approached the right way. To help continue their Montessori lessons at home, use items that are the right size for the child, ensure they can easily reach the workspace, have the items they’ll need ready to use and in containers they can reach, serve on your regular dishes, have the kids help set the table or clean up and place dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Most of all, have fun preparing a meal with your kids.