Practical Life: Cooking

An easy first step into incorporating practical life activities into your home to allow your child to do what you do. It’s likely that they’re already following you around and showing interest in everyday chores.

Rolling Snickerdoodles in Cinnamon & Sugar

Capitalize on that interest and allow them to get involved. One place we do that is in our kitchen with cooking. It’s not easy to get dinner ready with a crying baby or whiny toddler pulling on your leg or yelling for your attention. Instead of fighting the witching hour, allow them to get involved.

Your child’s age will determine to what extent they can help in the kitchen. For example, an infant 4 to 6 months may not be able to contribute to the actual work, but will benefit from observing and seeing you complete a process of baking biscuits.

For children who can stand, allow them to pull up a chair or stool to observe while you work. Give them opportunities to stir, pour ingredients, or even countdown as you add ingredients to the pot. My son loves to say, “3-2-1-dump it!” for those items that only I can pour.

Little Partners Learning Tower (from

For toddlers, allow them to prepare their own food. This can be as simple as cutting a banana with a dull knife, spreading peanut butter on a cracker, or cutting a sandwich. We have blunt knives from an hors d’oeuvres set that my son uses.

Children learn by seeing and doing. One night we were having burritos for dinner and for my son I put rice and beans on his plate with a tortilla on the side. As my husband and I began rolling up our burritos, Joey did the same! I’d never shown him how to do it–nor expected him to.

He learned from watching us.

Give your children an opportunity to get involved…it’s one way to encourage daily living exercises in their everyday experiences!

2 comments… add one

  • Jessie November 14, 2010, 1:15 pm

    Thanks for this! We love cooking too 🙂

  • Lindy July 23, 2011, 2:15 pm

    I love your ideas. However I would like to point out placing a Bumbo on an elevated surface presents a major fall risk. Perhaps sitting on the floor while stirring a bowl of biscuit dough or whatever with baby in the Bumbo on the floor next to you would safer…

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