Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creating Together in the Kitchen

Welcome to the August Carnival of Natural Parenting: Creating With Kids

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how they make messes and masterpieces with children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

I do not consider myself to be an especially crafty person. Once I'm in the middle of a craft, I enjoy it. I just don't ever make the time to do it these days. I scrapbooked years ago, but I didn't do much of it with my daughter. I'm such a perfectionist that I didn't have the patience for it. I think I'm more patient now... but I don't guess I make the time for doing things that I would consider "crafts."

I totally think that we underestimate what kids can do, too. I know I have! I actually got inspired a while back by this post on Natural Parents Network.

So now we go into the kitchen. Sasha will just not accept no for an answer when I'm cooking. Mommy MUST hold her! So I started setting her on the counter pretty young. She is happy there, too, most of the time. And I discovered a few ways that Sasha could help cook, even at a young 16 months old.

I like to break spaghetti noodles in half and put them in a small glass until I'm ready to put them into the water. She loves to put them into the glass for me! She also loves to put them into the water, but I don't always have the patience for that. In fact, she likes to put any part of any food into whatever dish required!

(no sound required, nothing to hear)

If she sits next to me while I chop veggies, she tries them, too... even raw zucchini!

Chef Sasha tasting ZucchiniChef Sasha tasting Zucchini

So now even when she isn't actually getting to help with food prep, she often likes to play cook with Mommy.

Chef SashaChef Sasha, adding Basil

What do you create with your children?
Do you have a hard time creating with them?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  1. Kieran has always loved being in the kitchen with me. One of our best purchases *ever* was a learning tower - I highly recommend one to any budding chef :) I've recently begun working on restraining myself from coaching him on how not to make a mess while cooking. Oy.

  2. I love how much fun Sasha has in the kitchen! It really is a great way to get them involved in our daily tasks and in tasting new foods. Mikko's been cooking since he was a baby, too, and he still loves it. I also have to weigh his enthusiasm against my patience…

  3. I love how Sasha helps you. Being with mummy in the kitchen is such joy for them and they learn lots of things,too. A bonus point is tasting lots of food. My boy loves raw fennel :)

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one who sits my little one on the counter when I'm cooking! They're so much happier that way though!!

    A homeschool blog I subscribe to had a great idea for fine motor skills... wash an empty parmesan container (the kind that has 3 holes in the top) and then have your child stick the dried spaghetti in the holes. It's very entertaining for little ones :)

  5. Loved seeing the photos of your little chef. You've given me inspiration to let my 22mo be more of a help in the kitchen!

  6. A. I love her hair in the video.
    B. I love how meticulous she is with putting one piece of pasta in at a time.
    C. You rock.

  7. @Dionna - it is definitely an effort to not flip about messes... just let them happen... and then let them help clean them, too! :-) (So much easier said than done!)

    Oh, and I love the learning towers, especially the one that folds away! I always have to keep in mind "will this fit in with our RV lifestyle?"

    @Lauren - I definitely think it is a great way to get kids to try new foods, especially if you can't grow your own garden. Though Sasha is still interested in new foods so far.

    @ The HHH - It used to make my husband paranoid! She gets too close to the edge occasionally, but she hasn't fallen yet! We also have a tall stool that folds away. Sometimes she sits on that instead.

    @Terri - Great! That is wonderful! Have fun!

    @Ahmet - it was during our lice-combing phase. lol Her hair was looking awesome like that often back then. :-)
    And thanks!

  8. I'm loving all of the kids in the kitchen today! It's so fun to watch them participate in their own ways. We do a lot of mixing/stirring as ways to get the kiddos involved - and I'm looking forward to even more participation.

  9. Love this post! I have been putting my daughter on the counter and in her learning tower to "help" in the kitchen for about a year. Yes, it does slow things down but boy do children love to do anything mama is doing. Plus, licking spoons and making messes is such a right of passage! :)

    FYI - my little one fell off the counter a few days ago for the first time. So, that ended that! She has to use her learning tower or a stool from now on!

  10. Awesome! My creativity comes in the kitchen too and it's lovely to get our kids involved - such as life skill too! Thanks for sharing your precious photos :)

  11. Cute video! I can see what you mean about it requiring some patience. I haven't yet braved putting my toddler up on the counter. He's a reacher-grabber and moves quickly so I've always been afraid to try it. However, he loves to be involved and we now have a learning tower for him so that works for us. Maybe I'll get brave and try the counter one day when I'm not using the burners! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. I think if you have a tower and its working for you, that's great. We don't have anything the right height, though she sometimes sits on a tall stool next to the counter.

    Definitely, though... branch out and see if you can come up with an easy (patience-wise) task (or play) for your LO. I once just gave my older daughter a paper bowl of rice and a paper bowl of pasta. It was great texture play!


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