Browsing Tag

cooking with kids

Growing Up, Nest Building

Egg Activity: Real Word/Pretend Play

Just the other day, I discovered a new activity for G and I am so excited about it.  She loves to help me in the kitchen and for Christmas she got her own kitchen.  It is adorable – it even makes sounds when she puts the skillet and pot on the stove!  So cute.

So, as we were getting ready to dye Easter eggs and make egg salad for lunch, I needed to get the eggs boiled.  I thought this would be a great opportunity for G to help me.

We took out the eggs and got down on a padded surface and counted the eggs.  Then we put them in the pot, counting them again.  While the eggs were raw, we talked about having to be careful with them because we didn’t want them to break (gentle!)  I took the pot up to the sink and showed G how to fill the pot with water (just enough to cover the eggs).  Then I told her that I was going to put them on the stove and turn it on (but she was not allowed to touch the knobs in my kitchen, only her kitchen).  Once the water was boiling, I lifted her in my arms so she could see the water boiling.  When they were done, I held her while I ran cold water over the eggs in the sink.

After the eggs were on the stove, I gave G the egg carton and asked her if she would like to make eggs in her kitchen.  She just looked at me like, “Mama, there aren’t any eggs in here.”  So, inspired by a post on How to Run a Home Daycare, I took some blocks and put them in the egg carton.  Then I took G’s little kitchen pot and placed it next to the egg carton on her table.  She immediately started calling them eggs and calling out their colors (she is really proficient on her colors now). She stepped right over to her little stove and placed it on there and listened to them boil.  Then she took them off and did it all over again. I was amazed!

You see, I am a person who was born without a creative imagination.  It just didn’t come to me.  When I played as a child with my Barbies, I could never come up with anything for them to do.  So, it blesses me beyond words that my child has more imagination in her 21 month old brain than I ever had.  It just took a small prompt and immediately she stepped right into imaginary play.

Besides building her creative side, this set of activities helped reinforce these concepts:

  • Following instructions
  • Counting
  • Kitchen safety
  • Cold and hot

How have you helped your little one transition from real world to pretend play?  I am sure there are many more applications than just kitchen and household chores.


Growing Up

Cooking with Kids: Orange Juice


Ok, so it is not cooking, per se, but we did get into the kitchen and do cooking-type things.  We made orange juice for breakfast from the abundant supply of oranges I got the other day.

First, we rolled the oranges to get the juice broken up inside the peels.  This was a motor activity that challenged G a little bit.  She has the concept of throwing, but not rolling.  So we worked a little bit on this.

Then, we counted the oranges (same amount we started with – we didn’t lose any along the way!).


Then, I cut the oranges in half.  I said the same thing each time: “I have one orange.  I cut it in half and now I have 2!”  I would show her the whole one, then the cut one each time.  We lined them up on the cutting board (and counted them again).



Next, we pushed the oranges down on the juicer and watched the juice collect in the cup below.  This turned into me doing and G watching while she ate oranges.  During the process, she learned what bitter is – the peel.

Once we had all the orange halves juiced, we strained the juice into an orange cup with an orange straw and enjoyed!

Some of the things we worked on while doing this basic activity:

  • Counting
  • Vocabulary: rolling, half, bitter, peel, pulp.
  • Motor skills: rolling and pushing down (and eating an unpeeled orange slice – if that counts).
  • Cause and effect: pushing the orange down on the juicer caused the volume of the juice in the cup to rise.
  • Sequence of events: As we did the activity, I talked G through each aspect and when we were done we reviewed the steps in order.


Lots to learn in the kitchen with such a simple project!  Fun!