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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!
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.
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!
Yes, those are the placemats that should go on the table.
Next, we created a snack. Or in our case, some cookies!
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.)
And last, we made breakfast.
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.
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!
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.)