Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Your Kid Can Be Top Chef!

All children love to help in the kitchen and while that's not always possible, they can pretend play making their own creations whether with their parents in the kitchen or at their own kitchen pretend play set.

You can teach your children good habits in the kitchen by letting them put on their chef's outfit and letting them help with the meals. Teach your children to always wash their hands before working with food and talk to them about how germs make people sick and when your tell your kids about why cleanliness is so important in the kitchen area, they will understand and remember. 

Never leave a child unattended in a kitchen when you are preparing a meal but you can let them stir a sauce with their wooden spoon, toss a salad, carry a warm (not hot!) plate of bread or rolls to the table using their baking mitt. 

It's been proven in study after study that children learn best by doing hands on activities and retain that knowledge of what they learn. If your child longs to help you in the kitchen, find safe activities for them to do and let them wear a chef's outfit to add to the fun of the experience.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Let's Get Cooking with Kids!

There will come a time when you begin to notice that your child is taking quite an interest in all that you do in the kitchen. Most kids will even become so interested that they will want to begin to help you with the preparation of meals as well as doing other kitchen chores such as cleaning the counter area or even doing a few dishes. While taking certain safety measures into consideration, such kitchen time with your child can be a great deal of fun, as well as a rewarding experience for the both of you.

You can always begin by letting your child create simple meal items such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or even cheese and crackers with fruit. There are even a good deal of simple recipes that are geared toward certain age groups that you may enjoy working on with your kids. Such time in the kitchen can be a great way to give them good skills that they can use and work on for the rest of their lives. Perhaps you even have a great cookie recipe that you will enjoy sharing. Besides, you get the sweet reward of sampling the food after it is done as well!

If your child is still too young to begin any real work in the kitchen, you can always give them the amazing opportunity to enjoy a play area such as the Pastel Kitchen Island by KidKraft. This cool set comes with a refrigerator, sink, stove and even plenty of storage space for all kinds of pretend food items. You could even set this play area up in a corner of your kitchen so your children can "cook" along with you!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Planning a Sleep Over for Children

If your child has been begging to have their first sleep over, with a little planning it can go off without a hitch. First of all, if you have a younger child, keep the group small. Children tend to get crabby when they get tired and you can wind up with several crying unhappy children if you have a larger group. For your child's first sleep over, keep it small and simple.

Figure out a friend or two that your child would like to invite and call their parents to make sure they are on board with the idea. If everyone is in agreement, you're halfway there!

Next plan some snacks for the kids to have. Steer clear from extremely sugary filled sweets as they will only rev up the kids and cause them to crash and excessive sugar has shown to cause behavior problems in some children. Stick to healthier snacks such as veggies and dip, baked cheesy sticks or sugar-free Jell-O cut outs are usually a wiggly jiggly hit too. Let them stay up a little later than their usual bed times and when it is time to hit the sack, let them sleep in a kids sleeping bags in a den or the bedroom floor. Children usually love this aspect of a sleep over - not because it is a particularly comfortable sleep but because it is so different from the norm.

The next day, make happy face pancakes and get everyone's day off to a great start!