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It’s been quite some time, about a year in fact, since I last talked about the life skills we’re harnessing in Monkey Boy. If you’re fairly new around here, check out the link to my previous posts on the subject.

I strongly believe in building life skills in children starting when they’re young. Life skills can be taught without a pressure to perform.  Working on only one or two age-appropriate tasks together and dropping the idea of perfection helps tremendously. It’s also important to follow a child’s lead when it comes to learning, whether with life skills or education. And, just because I have boys doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t need to learn how to help out around the house.  Naturally, I want them to function well on their own one day. Thus, this series of posts was born!

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There are so many things I want our boys to know and learn, much of which will take time and effort on our part as parents. Many of those things I want them to know are also quite conceptual. So, for now, I do my best to stick with more tangible and concrete skills.

Teach tangible concrete skills to toddlers with the Life Skills: It's Never Too Early series Click To Tweet

Monkey Boy always wants a part in everything we do, from maintaining and fixing our vehicles, to building, to helping with household tasks like cooking and cleaning, as well as helping out with Turtle Boy.

Last year, Katie Kimball of Kitchen Stewardship (a wonderful real food blog, by the way) created a program to encourage parents to get kids in the kitchen learning and doing. And, just recently, this month in fact, she launched another #mykidmadethis challenge. (Check out the posts on Instagram.)

I joined in this month, because I believe life skills are super important and to support Katie’s endeavors.

The challenge was really quite simple, laid out as one task each week this month. Each week consisted of tasks outlined for different age groups, while keeping the skills age-appropriate. Of course, I mixed things up just a little because Monkey Boy is no stranger to the kitchen. Even still all the tasks worked out quite well.

First, we worked on literally getting the kids in the kitchen.

This week, Monkey Boy helped with the simple task of setting the table.  Monkey Boy, of course, did this in typical busy, bouncy, loud, and silly toddler fashion!

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table setting, dinner, mealtime, toddler, children, life skills, kitchen, #mykidmadethis, plate, plates, carry

table setting, dinner, mealtime, toddler, children, life skills, kitchen, #mykidmadethis, plate, plates, carry

Yes, those are the placemats that should go on the table.

Next, we created a snack. Or in our case, some cookies!

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cooking, baking, recipe, cookies, toddler, children, #mykidmadethis, kitchen, life skills, learning, cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar

Then, knife skills, one of Katie’s forte’s.

(Check out her program. I’m not an affiliate, but I do think it’s a great program.)

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And last, we made breakfast.

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The challenge was really fun. I tend to like to do all the kitchen tasks myself, because quite frankly, it’s faster and easier. But, this particular challenge helped me to slow down, plan well, and think through the tasks to see what Monkey Boy could reasonably help with.

Teach life skills to children without a pressure to perform and dropping the expectation of perfect. Click To Tweet

Too often, I start with him helping me, but end up shooing him away, as I start feeling pressed for time, so this was a good way for him and I to connect! The challenge also helped me to see how much Monkey Boy does know and his true level of interest (which is higher than I thought) when it comes to the kitchen and cooking.

I realized that during a typical week (or month), Monkey Boy does many kitchen tasks and more! Some of his favorites are: helping to make barbecue sauce, pizza and pasta sauce, recaito (recipe coming soon), boil rice and noodles, and so much more!

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Plus, because I also believe in lifelong learning, I even picked up new skills myself thanks to Katie’s challenge. So, go check out Katie’s program and see what doors open for you and your children in the kitchen!  (Again, I’m not an affiliate, I just believe in teaching life skills at an early age.)

table setting, dinner, mealtime, toddler, children, life skills, kitchen, #mykidmadethis, plate, plates, silverware

Life Skills with Toddlers: Kitchen Tasks & Cooking
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8 thoughts on “Life Skills with Toddlers: Kitchen Tasks & Cooking

    • August 29, 2016 at 9:56 am
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      Yes! It’s so important for children to grow up knowing some essential tasks to care for themselves and (eventually) their family as well! Thanks for stopping by Marina! 🙂

      Reply
  • September 1, 2016 at 7:58 am
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    Great thoughts and series! I totally agree that it is important to teach life skills early. My toddler hasn’t shown much interest in the kitchen (beyond loading/unloading the dishes), but we’ll try some of these tasks when she shows more interest.
    Shannon @ Of The Hearth recently posted…Riveting Reads: July and August 2016My Profile

    Reply
    • September 2, 2016 at 10:24 am
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      Shannon, I think the trick is exactly what you said – trying when the child is ready or shows some interest! Good luck 🙂

      Reply
  • September 2, 2016 at 10:59 am
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    I LOVE this concept. I started a ‘Kids Cooking Camp’ with my oldest in 2015, and have really been trying to include the kids in more of our cooking. Love that you included your son in learning knife skills. It’s so important for kids to understand how to use knives correctly, and what to do when a knife drops. I’m definitely going to look into Katie’s program, because it sounds perfect for our family. Thanks for sharing!
    Leslie recently posted…Make Weeknights Easier with these 17 Slow Cooker Dinner RecipesMy Profile

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    • September 3, 2016 at 8:47 am
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      As a person who was a bit afraid of knives into adulthood, you are so so right! I think it’s awesome that you have a ‘cooking camp’ for your kids, too. 🙂

      Reply
    • September 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm
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      Glad you enjoyed this. Hope it helps in your journey! Thanks for stopping by Moriah! 🙂

      Reply

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*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


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