Welcome to the Connected Mom Sunday School. No matter what the course of your child's education, be it unschooling, homeschooling, or conventional schooling, The Connected Mom Sunday School aims to provide you with fun and easy activities for children of all ages and stages. (Have an idea for a Connected Mom Sunday School activity or theme? Either comment below or send your idea to connectedmom (dot) julian (at) gmail (dot) com.)
Kids can learn so much from working in the kitchen with you. Besides basic cooking skills, they can learn social skills, math and culture. Try some of these activities on a rainy summer day, or any time you hear "Mom, I'm bored!" Not only can you keep your kids occupied, but you will end up with fun snack too!
As with most subjects, toddlers do not need a structured activity. They do best when simply allowed to explore, and the kitchen is full of sensory experiences! Let them cut soft fruits or cooked vegetables with a butter knife or children's knife. They also love stirring bowls and sprinkling cheese. Claire Battersby of Clever Toddler Activities recommends playing a "your turn, my turn game" while cooking to teach the concept of social give and take.
Use a muffin tin to teach sorting and counting. Set your child up with a 6-cup muffin tin. Have her sort a pile of small items (pennies, buttons, nuts, etc.) into the cups (original author Jean Warren recommends 4-6 of each item). You can also teach counting by lining the cups with paper liners. On each cup, write a number from 1 through 6. Have your child place the corresponding number of items into each cup.
**Bonus idea** To involve more senses, blindfold your child and have her sort different small food items by taste or smell.
This activity will help your child learn critical thinking and the steps in a process (sequencing). Give your child a pencil and paper and have her write down, in order, the instructions for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Have her write them for someone who has never made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before. Remind her not to leave out one step! Then try to make the sandwich following your child's directions to the letter (or have another child try it). Do not do anything that she has not specifically written down. Things can get silly at this point. Did she forget to have you open the peanut butter jar? Act confused. Did she tell you to use a knife to spread the peanut butter? If not, use your fingers. Then, have her change your directions so they are complete.
Older Child (10+)
If they have been helping in the kitchen for several years, children will likely have a collection of favorite recipes. Help your child look up his favorite recipes and record them in his own family cookbook. Give him a blank scrapbook, magazines for clipping pictures, glue, scissors, and any other supplies he might need to personalize his cookbook. If you like, you can also re-use an old book and design the family cookbook as an altered book. This is a great way to talk about family traditions. Discuss your family's culture and how the recipes were passed down. Or, take a global perspective and explore recipes and cultures from all around the world.
Kitchen clipart Copyright Lila* Star, The Spiritual Woman Ltd.