Who's With Me?

A great way to have an enjoyable time is to get everyone involved. Everyone is a little more appreciative too when they know their own work has gone into something.

Take cooking for example. When I was a babysitter as a full time job we had a schedule we followed. Thursdays was cooking day. The children were 2, 4 and 5. What I would do was get out the ingredients pre-measured (only necessary for younger children-let the older kids do it themselves) and I would set everything out. The oldest child would help read the recipe, and do "harder" tasks like spooning cookies onto sheets. The 4 year old would put in the wet ingredients and the 2 year old the dry. Everyone would take a turn mixing and I would put the cookies into the oven. I always left the oven light on the entire time to allow them to see the cookies baking.

Not only does it teach them about proper measuring, and handling (don't eat the dough) but it also takes up loads of time. Even the oldest children enjoy it, because they get to do "big kid" stuff like crack open eggs and sifting flour shredding cheese, removing hot pans from the oven etc.

For children that can't read one idea is to make a poster with picture instructions. That way they feel that they are reading the recipe with you. A friend of mine that has a degree in early childcare education did this for the children in her class, and the posters work great.

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