Nothing makes preschoolers happier than helping their parents. Studies show that young children are wired to get pleasure from pleasing their mom or dad. So, instead of ignoring your four-year-old when he offers to help you make the beds, fold laundry or put away groceries, allow him to exercise his independence by lending a hand.
In some cases, a preschooler’s attempt at helping is more of a hindrance to parents; however, with a little patience you can turn these heartfelt efforts into teachable moments.
When my now 8-year-old daughter was a preschooler nothing delighted her more than being able to assist me in the kitchen. While this often meant taking extra time to set-up a separate area with kid-safe utensils and monitoring her moves while completing the rest of the meal, in the end, cooking with my preschooler turned out to be a memorable event.
The next time your preschooler wants to help out in the kitchen, put him in charge of the following simple recipes:
Fresh Fruit Salsa
- 2 cups of strawberries, diced
- 2 cups of kiwi, peeled and diced
- 1 cup of raspberries
- 1 green apple, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of strawberry jam
- Heat the preserves in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until they melt.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- In the meantime, place all of the fresh fruit in a large bowl, and then pour in the cooled strawberry jam.
- Gently mix the fruit and the jam, being sure not to smash the raspberries.
- Refrigerate the salsa for at least two hours before serving.
- You can serve the salsa as a topping on ice cream or have kids dip cinnamon sugar tortilla chips into it for a healthy snack.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups of chocolate chips
- 2 cups of pecans
- 2 cups of cups M&Ms
- 2 cups of potato chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Combine the cocoa, flour, and baking soda, and gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
- Fold in the rest of the ingredients.
- Place heaping spoonfuls of the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool for five minutes before removing from sheets.