Cooking with kids around is a scary idea on so many levels – one, it certainly isn’t safe having little ones running around in a kitchen where pots are bubbling away and two, we all know how difficult it is to chop up a carrot when a five year old is tugging on your pants and demanding your attention every two minutes.
But, if you don’t have someone helping to keep an eye on them, there’s very little to do but let them into the kitchen with you. But it doesn’t have to be a tormenting experience: here are 5 ways to make it a good time for everyone.
Let them help you.
It may prolong the cooking time but the children would be delighted to help. Allow them to do simple tasks such as plucking the ends off beansprouts or unshelling peanuts. That should keep them busy for a while, and it’s also a great learning experience for them to learn more about the things they eat.
Have a “freeze face” contest.
The person who’s able to keep still without laughing for the longest time wins. Sneak in questions like “I bet you can’t last for more than the time it takes for me to fry this fish!”
Play Simon Says.
Ah, good old Simon to the rescue! Some “Simon” tips for the kitchen could be “Simon says to count to 100 in your head” or “Simon says make as many funny faces as you can”
Make homemade playdough.
Make homemade playdough using ingredients commonly found in the kitchen. Let them mix them up themselves and then they can play with their new “toy” – that should keep them occupied for a while!
Ingredients for homemade Playdough
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 sachets cream of tartar
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
Let them play with food.
All you need is newspapers laid out in a non-obtrusive corner of the kitchen, a few saucer of water coloured with different food dyes and vegetable discards such as carrot tops or the stumps of a cabbage. They can then use them as stamps.