Helping

Lately (and by that, I mean the last few months), Evan has been wanting to help us around the house. He enjoys unloading the dishwasher, unpacking the groceries, and sorting the laundry. It’s a great way to get things done without having to deal with a meltdown at the same time.

One area in which I’m having a tough time getting him to help is in the kitchen. He has always loved to watch me cook, and now he wants to help, but there are only a limited number of things he can do. Some things I make up (“Evan, can you take the pierogies out of the bag and put them in this bowl?”) but it keeps him busy and happy (i.e., he’s not crying and pulling on my pants).

Any tips for how to include him in more of the cooking without putting him near knives or the stove top? He’s too short to reach the counter, but he’s not stable enough to stand on a stool or anything yet.

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Comments on: "Helping" (9)

  1. Have you considered getting him one of those kitchen helper tower things? They look a lot safer than a still and it would get him high enough that he could see what you were doing and you could keep him away from the stove top. I wonder if he would be happy with some kitchen/food toys that he could pretend to cook while you are actually cooking or if he would see through that.

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  2. Anything he can stir? Though, lesson learned, make sure it's a tiny amount of something in a really big bowl. Maybe he can stir up the spices before you add them to what you're cooking? Or clean-as-you-go help, like having him put the peels in a garbage bag, or dirty dishes in a bin to be washed? Just thinking out loud about what I wish I had someone helping me with in the kitchen!

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  3. Ours did a lot of stirring at that age, and we have some video of him vacuuming up what he spilled…

    We also moved the potty chair into the kitchen at that age and he did quite a bit of sitting on the potty.

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  4. One food blog that I read has tips on that subject. The author has two young kids that are super helpful to her. She does write frequently about having her kids in the kitchen with her and how they help out. I just clicked on her “cooking with kids” category, but I'm sure there's more I can't think of right now:

    http://sarahscucinabella.com/category/raising-healthy-kids/cooking-with-kids/

    Lots of great recipes, too 🙂

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  5. Good Witch – I've seen those, but they seem to be so expensive! I might look around more though, since it looks like a good option.

    Lyss – good ideas, thanks!

    nicoleandmaggie – Evan hasn't done any stirring, but no reason why he can't start! Potty chair in the kitchen is a fun idea 🙂

    Andrea – thanks! I'll take a look!

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  6. no tips, but liam is obsessed with unloading the dishwasher. whether it's clean dishes or dirty, doesn't matter to him. he's always so proud when he helps out. in about 10 years they'll hate doing anything we ask them too. 😉

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  7. one of the few rooms in the house without carpet…

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  8. I would throw a towel or two on the floor and set them up with pots and pans and measuring spoons and wooden spoons. When they were really little they would entertain themselves with just that. We have now evolved to making “soup”. Start with water and then they slowly add things they find in the fridge or cupboard. Sometimes its really gross but other times I actually heat up what they have made and we “eat” it (read: they eat it I don't!).

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  9. MJ – Evan loves the dishwasher too! And yeah, we'll be DYING for them to help in 10 years or so 😉

    Kelly – great ideas! I can see how you might not want to eat the “soup” they make! LOL!

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