One of virtually everyone’s fondest childhood memories is licking the bowl when someone made a cake. It wasn’t only a lovely treat (and an excuse to eat between meals), but also a fantastic way of spending family time together. And the more time children spend in the kitchen watching the grownups cook, the more likely it is that they’ll benefit from a whole range of useful life skills, such as learning about healthy eating, gaining confidence from trying out new things, bonding with their family by spending quality time with them, and, of course, spending less time in front of the television and computer. It may not be the same kind of thrill as you’d get from a ride at a theme park, but exciting things can happen in your family kitchen!
Make the kitchen the most popular room in the house
Why should it only be at parties that people congregate in the kitchen? A beautiful and affordable designer kitchen which is filled with activity will end up being the centre of the home most of the time.
And spending time teaching your children to cook won’t only help their motor skills, nutrition knowledge and set them up with some essential life skills, you’ll also be helping to improve their language and literacy whilst looking through recipes, as well as maths skills by weighing out ingredients.
The Cbeebies programme I Can Cook has recipes and advice for helping younger children who are keen to start experimenting in the kitchen.
Salt dough sculpture
Arts and crafts are a rite of childhood and a kitchen table lends itself to spending many happy (and hopefully quiet) hours as the children sit round it to make sculptures, decorations and Christmas tree ornaments out of salt dough.
It’s very easy to make. All you need are equal amounts of plain flour and salt, and also some tepid or warm water. Put the flour and salt into a bowl and add the water a little at a time, stirring as you go until the mixture becomes sticky, but not so tacky it sticks to your fingers.
Then it’s time to get creative! It’s a good time to let your children’s imaginations flow, but if you need inspiration, there are hundreds, if not thousands of ideas online.
Once the little ones are happy with their work, put the shapes onto a baking tray and put into the oven at a low temperature for around three hours (or longer for larger sculptures) until they’re dry. And when the cooked art has cooled off, it’s time to paint and decorate them. More mess, but more fun and more exciting childhood memories!
You can also use things you find in the kitchen to get your kids interested in simple and fun science experiments to stimulate an interest in science and chemistry.
There are also plenty of ideas on the internet for kitchen experiments where the result is edible – maybe that’s how the inventor of triple-cooked chips and snail porridge Heston Blumenthal started out. He’s now not only a triple Michelin-starred chef, he’s also an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry! Who knows where your kids will end up if you make the kitchen into an exciting place.
To create your ideal family kitchen, visit our Cheshunt showroom to see our range of German luxury Schüller Designer Kitchens at mid-range UK prices.