By 24-months-old, most toddlers can follow simple two- and three-step directions. This doesn’t mean that they choose to follow them all of the time! However, this fun activity will give your child that special feeling of having a job to do while building vocabulary and oral language skills. Plus, making a treat for a friend or relative is a good way to model kindness and it will bring a smile to everyone’s face!
**NOTE: Remember to use all safety precautions when doing this activity. Keep your child away from heat sources, electrical dangers, sharp objects, allergens and breakable items. Do not encourage them to climb or stand on chairs, countertops or tables. Instead, lower some of the items to their level.
- a recipe or ingredients for mixing
- measuring cups, spoons, bowls
- the ingredients
- aprons (optional)
- hand wipes or baby wipes for quick clean-up of messy hands (optional)
Step 1: Gather the recipe and all of the ingredients and place the child-safe and unbreakable items on a table or chair that is low enough for your child to reach.
Step 2: Ask your child if he’d like to be your “special helper” in the kitchen. Tell him that he will be an important worker with special jobs to do. As you do the prep work, talk to your child about what you are doing.
Step 3: Give him tasks, such as bringing you a spoon, whisk or other tool. If there’s a small spill that he can reach, give him a paper towel and ask him to wipe it up. Ask him for help with holding the box of flour or sugar as you pour it. While you’re pouring, tell him about the ingredient. For example, if you’re pouring sugar, you might tell him that the sugar will add sweetness. Ask him to put empty containers in the rubbish or trash bin and have him open and close the refrigerator for you when you need it. Praise him for being such a good worker on this special project.
Help your toddler identify the tools you need to prepare and mix the ingredients. You might show the object and then put it down and say:
This is a spoon. Can you bring me the spoon?
Save empty boxes that you can bring out and let your toddler pretend to pour ingredients into a bowl. Praise his efforts to help you.
Ask your child questions about how he thinks the finished product will taste, smell, and what it will look like. Talk about chefs, bakers and other people whose jobs include cooking and baking.
Gather some paper and some crayons. Ask your child who he would like to give the special treat to and create a gift card together. Package the gift card and treat and share it with the special someone.