When it comes to ideas for things to do with young children, cooking might not be high on the list. For many people it’s just another part of daily life rather than an activity to really get into, finding the time can be a problem, and most of us look forward to occasions when we eat out or order food in.
This is missing a big way to help your kids and your relationship with them, though. Cooking with kids is a wonderful idea that has a variety of benefits for both yourself and them. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons finding the time to do some cooking with your kids is a sound idea:
- It’s a vital life skill. This is the most obvious starting point. Being able to cook is a supremely important skill that many people sadly lack. Now, obviously you’re not likely to be turning a young child into a world-class chef, but helping them learn the basics of cooking from an early age will place them in a strong position for learning more as they grow up. Cooking your own food gives you much more control over what goes into your body, and it’s a great skill for social occasions as well, so a good grounding from a young age is good for later life in more than one way.
- It can be lots of fun. Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore, especially if you bow to a kid’s inevitable wishes to make something really fun. Suppose you bake a cake together – they can have a whale of a time helping to decorate it. Or maybe you’d like to make some cookies, which could be cut into all kinds of neat shapes from animals to sci-fi aliens. Even less ‘exciting’ dishes can still be made fun, the classic example being making a face out of bacon and eggs for breakfast.
- Time spent together. We all know that spending time with the little ones is important but between jobs, chores, and time for yourself, finding that time can be a real challenge, especially if you’re a single parent. Well, one solution to this is to combine something that has to be done anyway with time spent together, and cooking is one of the best ways to do that. Your kids can contribute as appropriate for their age, perhaps by kneading dough or whisking eggs, while you take care of things involving the oven, and you’ll be in the same room doing something together. That’s a powerful way to grow closer and give you both the opportunity to talk to each other.
- A sense of pride. Finally, the act of creating something is a source of pride, even moreso if it’s something that can be shared with other people. It may only be a small way, but if you cook something together and can enjoy a meal, or maybe share cookies with friends at school, it can really help your child understand the value of working on a task and seeing it through, and taking pride in their accomplishments.
These are just some of the benefits you could get from taking the time to do some cooking alongside your kids. Just remember to ensure they act safely and that you keep them away from hot or sharp objects, and you’ll be able to spend time together on something productive and rewarding!