In these next two Kitchen Tasks and Chores Series, I am going to be focusing in on our daughters. While I do believe it is important for our boys to be require to learn how to wash dishes, sweep the floor, learn how to cook and pick up after themselves in the kitchen, my main focus is going to be on how we as mothers can help our daughters become expert kitchen managers. In the future, they may very well have a family to care for, cook for and feed so they especially need valuable skills of kitchen management and cooking knowledge starting at a young age when they are at home.
While the ages 6 to 8 years are wide developmental ages in the life of our daughters, I will, for the sake of this series, combine these ages. You will have to determine where your daughter is and how much she can do and at what age.
In my experience, the ages of 6 to 8 years old are really exciting transition years full of rapid growth and maturity. All of the sudden this young girl is doing more and more. She’s wanting to do more things for herself in the kitchen. To facilitate that growth spurt here are some things that have helped us.
- During the ages of 6 to 11 years old, I like to buy my daughters special dishes (birthday’s or special events) that they can use when they are making their little dishes. They have special bowls and plates to serve the special food they make for the family. When it is served, everyone raves at what a fine dish it is and how beautiful and tasty it is! The girls absolutely love this!
- Teach her how to make a basic fruit salad. Fruit salad is a easy dish to make that is healthy, colorful and fun to make. Make the salad with her the first time, showing her how to cube, slice and chop the fruit. Mix it up and serve it in a serving dish. She will soon learn what goes in a fruit salad and how to make it herself.
- Teach her how to make juice from frozen concentrate. Every child I have ever taught how to make juice absolutely loves making juice. This is a perfect age to learn how to mix juice up.
- Teach her how to make tea. Here in the South, momma’s teach their daughters how to make sweet tea practically after they learn how to walk! I know my momma taught me how to make sweet tea, I was just too young to remember when. If your not a sweet tea drinker, learning how to make a cup of hot tea is a treat for little girls! Proper hot tea making training always takes place when you have a girl’s only tea party! Bring out the tea cups, tea pot, hot water, lemon, honey, cream and tea bags!
- Teach her how to make peanut butter sandwiches and other kinds of sandwiches like grilled cheese.
- She can learn how to pour pancake batter and flip pancakes.
- Teach her how to peel boiled eggs. You can also show her how to make deviled eggs and egg salad.
- My girls love to make celery boats (cut up celery, cream cheese with raisins as people) and peanut butter cracker snacks.
- Start introducing simple recipies and talking through them with your young girls. Ask her to gather the ingredients as you call them out to her. Girls love to make cookies. She will need help starting out, but by this next phase 9 to 11 years, she will be making cookies and a lot more without your help.
- If you use mixes, she can put together mixes and bake them.
- She can wash a sink full of dishes and knows where everything goes even if she still needs help putting some things away.
- Operates the dishwasher properly.
- Can wipe down cabinets and appliances when needed. As well as can sweep and mop.
- She knows how to set the timer on the stove and/or microwave.
- She learns how to set a table.
- Starts to use the stove more and more. Knows kitchen saftey.
- Continues to stand by her mother’s side and learn cooking tips, do’s and don’ts.
Teaching thoroughness and perseverance and what a complete job looks like is very important at this stage when they are learning how to do a lot of things. Completion of tasks should be an important focus.
All 6 to 8 year olds have differing abilities and talents. You may find that your daughter is very challenged with things you think are very easy. That’s O.K.! Be a patient teacher. She will blossom in her own time and soon be grasping for more and more.
You may think of entirely different tasks and chores for your daughters. The important thing is to involve them in the affairs of the kitchen from an early stage! You will soon be reaping the benefits!