My youngest son turns two (!!) this weekend, and now that we have officially moved out of the baby phase and are living with a full-fledged toddler, we spend most of our days marvelling at the person he’s becoming. In addition to being mildly obsessed with going for walks, playing his guitar and doling out treats to the dog, he’s incredibly keen to help with most kitchen tasks as well.
This may have something to do with the fact that he spends his days in the kitchen with his food-writing mama, but even when he’s there with my husband he always wants to ‘help’ in some way. We’ve started assigning him jobs, and he’s gleefully onboard with doing whatever it is we ask of him. Despite needing lots of supervision and attention, he is very enthusiastic about being involved and his current favourite chores include:
- Turning mixers, processors and other small appliances on and off.
- Putting muffin liners in muffin tins.
- Spinning the salad spinner.
- Letting a parent know when a timer goes off.
- Setting the table (especially napkins and cutlery).
- Calling family members to the table for dinner.
- Taking small trash items to the garbage/recycling/compost.
- Putting flowers in a vase.
- Carrying condiments to the table.
- Stirring batter in a bowl.
- Removing clean dishes from the dishwasher.
- Adding wet or dry ingredients to a bowl.
If you haven’t been involving your two or three-year old in day-to-day kitchen jobs, I encourage you to give a few of these small tasks to your child to complete. The table may look a little sloppy and you’ll likely end up with a few non-traditional items on your dinner table as well (hello, small toys and airplanes!). Heck, you might lose a spatula to the recycle bin, but the reward will certainly be worth the effort involved.
Tell us, do you enjoying having your kids help you in the kitchen or does it stress you out? What jobs do your kids like to be assigned?