A "Just Right" Activity

Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.
— Guy Fieri

Have you ever read the story SAM by Ann Herbert Scott? It is the story of a little boy who wants to play with his brother and sister, but no matter how hard he tries, he keeps failing miserably.  Sam is really sad until his mom thinks up an activity that is just right for him.  Well, this is exactly what happened to my youngest child today.  Both her brother and sister had friends over and she wanted to be included in their games.  Usually, this isn't an issue. But today, she just couldn't make it work.  Cranky and dejected, she looked to me.  I was busy in the kitchen prepping for the school week ahead, and I didn't want her sticky little fingers in my work either! Poor little lady. Until...I thought of an ideal activity to raise her four-year-old spirits.  

I decided to set Sloane up to make her own fruit salad.  First, she choose a peach and an apple from the bowl on the table.  She dragged a chair up to the sink to wash and dry her fruit.  I pulled out a sturdy cutting board and my favorite knife to use with the under-five set. I set her up at a low table where she can stand and use the strength of her entire body.  I made sure to prep the apples and peach by slicing them to make a flat, even surface for her to work on.  We talked a little bit about how to hold the knife and where the blade is located. And that was it! Simple.  She hummed and chopped away while I worked nearby.  When the big kids wandered downstairs looking for a snack, she shined as she shared her fruit salad! 

This simple activity exercised her fine motor skills, but more importantly, it built up her sense-of -self.  Do you cook with your littles at home? What tools do you love? I would love to discover more cooking tools for young children.  

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