It’s a well-known saying that “the kitchen is the heart of the home.” I know for me, the majority of my time is definitely spent in the kitchen. It is the central part of our home, the command center of our days. Meal prep, packing lunches, homework, dinner, baking, cleaning…it’s all done in the kitchen.
No matter what I’m doing around the house, I try to keep my kids busy right alongside of me. I’m raising future wives and mothers, after all.
When I am folding laundry, my girls come to help. My youngest loves to fold her clothes and deliver them to her room courtesy of her bright yellow Tonka Truck!
When I am cooking dinner, my oldest is at the kitchen counter doing her homework, while my five year old is “helping” me cook.
When I am scrubbing toilets, my girls are dumping the trashcans and wiping down the sinks.
Chores are not always the most glamorous things to do, but they are always more fun with my little helpers. Some of my favorite memories are made while the girls are helping me work on the daily to-do’s of life.
I am always looking for more ways they can be by my side. As much time as we spend in the kitchen, I thought it would be best to really make an effort to have them be more hands-on in this part of the home. But ideas are sometimes limited what with the everyday dangers to be found in the kitchen. Sharp knives, boiling water, and breakable glass. Oh my!!
If you are trying to get your kids more involved at home as well, here are four ways to get your littles busy in the kitchen.
1. Loading/Unloading the dishwasher
The dishwasher gets some lovin’ in our home! Usually, we are loading and/or unloading a load every day or so. This is an easy chore for the kids to help with. The best thing I ever did was give the kids a cabinet of their own. All of their plates, bowls, and cups are in a cabinet on their level making unloading a breeze. Obviously, depending on the age of your kids, be careful with sharp knives and things.
2. Setting the table
I can’t even tell you the last time I set the table. This is something even the littlest of littles can take on. Again, a huge help in this one is making sure their dishes are easily within reach. Filling cups with ice, laying out napkins, setting out utensils…all of these are things your kids can, and should, be helping with!
3. Easy meal prep
Okay, I’ll be honest and say this one is less about getting “help” and more about spending moments with your kids and teaching them how to serve their family in little ways. The older your kids get, the more responsibilities they can take on with dinner prep. But there are still things they can do when they are little. For example, it doesn’t take much for young ones to pour cereal for their siblings, or help with basic breakfast foods like eggs and toast.
Also, for lunch prep, I always buy a regular size bag of chips or pretzels, and then bag them myself in sandwich baggies to make individual portions. Having them already bagged makes lunch packing a snap! The girls can easily help with this, both the bagging and the lunch packing.
For dinner, I will chop the veggies, but my five-year old loves to add them to the pot. Stirring, measuring ingredients, mixing a salad…all of these are things kids can help with. Yes, it might take twice as long. Yes, it might make triple the mess. But the memories (and life lessons) are worth it!
4. Unloading groceries
Bringing bags in from the car, unloading groceries, and putting items away are all things your kids can help with. Even a two-year old can carry in light bags of bread or chips.
Hopefully, this sparks your thinking and inspires you to make meaningful memories out of everyday moments.
What are some of the ways you get your kids working beside you in the kitchen? How do you find ways to include them with the daily to-do’s of motherhood?