Thanksgiving is just around the corner and this is the perfect time to begin planning for the feast! Many people are putting their menus together and pre-grocery-shopping so that the best ingredients are not missing from their meals in just two weeks. This is also a great time to begin considering how your children can help you in the kitchen this holiday season!
Luckily, we have put together a short list of ways that you can involve your child in meal preparation and continue building their practical life skills.
Mashing the potatoes is a great way to encourage fine and gross motor skill development. The best mashed potatoes include cream and seasonings, you can also have your children mix those into the potatoes if they are pre-portioned! This is a fun side to make with children because although they aren’t involved in boiling or chopping the potatoes, they can sit at the table proudly telling everyone that they made those potatoes!
Rolling the Pie Crust is an excellent activity that helps build hand eye coordination. You can work with your child to show them how to keep the pie crust even as they work the rolling pin over the pie crust! If you want to get creative with your pie, you can have your child cut out shapes to top pie crust to also work on shape recognition.
Building and Tasting the Salad is a fun way to get children to try new vegetables. As you chop the vegetables, or even fruit in a fruit salad, you can hand small bits to your child to have them try the new foods individually before eating them all together in the salad!
Topping Hotdishes with Cheese or Breadcrumbs is always so satisfying and fun! This is a good sensory activity that allows children to explore their senses of feeling, taste, sight, and of course smell! Hotdishes are a staple in Minnesota meals and it is an unspoken rule that they should be topped with cheese or breadcrumbs once they are set in their casserole pan!
Setting the Table is one of the practical life skills that we work on here at Yellow Brick Road as well! Our meals in our classrooms are served family style and our children help to set their tables. It can be fun for our students to show their families the skills they learn at school and see how they can be used in their home lives as well!
Dishing and Serving Themselves is a great way to establish independence! You can use this time to talk about portions, a well balanced plate, and healthy foods. After helping all day in the kitchen this will be one of the most exciting parts of the day where your child will feel involved and proud of their hard work!