The kitchen is the quintessential family environment; it is the place where the family gathers to share, laugh and enjoy food together. But this also proposes an exercise in autonomy for children that stimulates their independence and their character, qualities that they will need in the future and the more they practice and make them their own, the better autonomy skills they will be able to enjoy in the future when the time comes to leave home.
Experts in pedagogy, such as the renowned Maria Montessori, fervently held the importance of form independence from an early age, since it is the best way in which children can nourish themselves and learn from the outside world, but it is also the most ideal and less traumatic way to detach from the family nucleus.
Apart from the previously mentioned, the kitchen can be a space to teach children about respect, appreciation for things, savings, self-confidence and creativity for all the recipes that they can create on their own in the future. Higher mental abilities such as attention, concentration, problem solving, reasoning and memory.
Although many dismiss the complexities of cooking, creating exquisite and beautiful dishes requires following a series of steps to the letter and doing it carefully to have great results.
First of all, ask them to accompany you in the kitchen while you are preparing the meals of the day to day. Just sitting and observing will develop in them the curiosity to do what you are doing.
Talk to them about what you are doing, why you are doing it and what ingredients you are doing it with, that way they can become familiar with everything they can find in the kitchen.
Then, you can include them in the preparation of meals, selecting the foods and ingredients to need, ordering the cooking area, washing the vegetables, choosing the utensils, etc. Of course, they must always be under your supervision to avoid an accident, even very carefully you can ask for direct help in cooking the food.
It is important to emphasize that you should talk with them about respecting the ingredients and their use, the way they should cook them and the dangers that this entails. In this way they will become aware of the care and responsibility they should have.
What are the benefits of encouraging children to participate in kitchen chores? All these!
1. They form autonomy
As I mentioned before, one of the main and very necessary characteristics to become independent is knowing how to cook. So it represents a skill that your children will appreciate in the future, since they will not need to depend on someone to have food.
2. Develop self-esteem
Being able to do something perfectly makes children feel proud of themselves and they believe they have the ability to achieve anything they set out to do. So you can imagine how making a delicious dessert or a homemade meal on their own and receiving praise for it will help their self-confidence. But it is also the perfect setting to learn from mistakes, when something burns or doesn't go quite right and how to fix them.
3. Activate creativity
Over time, children may become interested in creating new recipes, experimenting with decorations and making decisions with different techniques regarding the kitchen, thus awakening their creative side that they can put to the test in other areas of their life and which it will be quite easy.
4. Helps psychomotor and sensory development
As tools and food are constantly being manipulated that require all the attention and coordination of the hands, the kitchen is an excellent training ground to develop gross and fine motor skills, but it also helps to develop sensory skills, thanks to smells , textures, temperature changes and location of space to which they must adapt.
5. They appreciate things better
Cooking makes us tremendously humble and grateful for what we have and what we can do with all of it, so children have the opportunity to develop their empathy, affection and appreciation for things, especially if this changes in the future. They also have the opportunity to learn to respect their elders in the lessons they are taught, be careful about what they do, and become more self-aware.
So take advantage of any opportunity you have and take your children into the kitchen to be independent people with a promising future.
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