Monday 4 February 2013

Teaching our children life skills

Having had to rely an awful lot on my 9 year old daughter this weekend due to illness I am quite pleased that I have taught her valuable skills in the home! It's only when you have to leave everything in their hands that you realise what they can and can't do.

From quite early on I've been gradually building up her skills in the kitchen and I've always welcomed the treat of a breakfast in bed. Her first ever one was a ham sandwich aged 3 but this weekend she proved how much she has moved on when she presented me with this:

She has now learnt how to use the toaster and is getting a dab hand at preparing fruit! There were a few times she set the smoke alarms off over the weekend using it but that's because some crumpet got wedged..

The fact that we have a Tassimo coffee machine means that for several years my daughter has been able to make a coffee in bed. Recently her little brother has also learnt how to use the machine. She has just learned how to use the kettle (I have to say this gave me a few scary moments!). On Saturday they couldn't agree on who was on coffee duty so they both made me one:

On Sunday there needed to be a lot more cooking from my daughter as I was forced to spend much of the day in bed. It was when I had to wrack my brains for ways she could feed us all with the skills she had without endangering herself! Anything to do with using the hob was out of the question - she is only allowed to cook on the gas when I am in the room. So I had train her to use the microwave as the safest way to cook. This limited the menu choice to tinned pasta shapes and soup! She became a dab hand at cooking these in our microwaveable dishes. 

Her other speciality is sandwiches and she rustled me up a ham and salad one. The only problem with this was that she was using a sharp knife (we started letting practice under supervision from about aged 5) which she managed to cut herself with. I have to say she was very calm about it all but I need to train my son where the plasters are.. This is what she made for me:

It had brought home to me that we couldn't have a proper meal today as her cooking skills weren't up to more than the above without adult supervision. Luckily we do have a microwave but there wasn't much in the house that could be cooked in there. 

Guess I need to teach her more cooking skills and how to use the hob safely. She is a dab hand at pancake batter and cupcakes but obviously at the minute needs an adult around for the actual cooking.

What can your children accomplish in the kitchen?


  1. Hope you are feeling better. shame she had to learn the hard way but she seems to have done a great post.

  2. she was fab - it wore her out though!

  3. I agree children need to learn how to be safe in the kitchen. A sharp knife is not a dangerous item if they are taught the safety rules. My granddaughter is allowed to use her hob unsupervised as such as it is electric, mine is a gas hob so I am stood with her so she does not set herself on fire.
    Microwave egg boiler/poacher/and a pop up toaster are an option. microwave potato baker is also an east option can serve with tuna or cheese.
    well done for a 9 yr old, and you can expand on it in the next few years

  4. Well done your 9 year old! I have failed to badly, my eldest at 14 year old boy is good but my 8 year old girl can't even make a cup of tea!


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