Monday, March 28, 2016

Kitchen Skills and Tools

Don't ever let anyone tell you that learning is just ABC's and 123's; it's not! I've noticed a huge confidence boost in my kids when that acquire skills that they are used to seeing adults use. Letting my kids help at every meal can be overwhelming for me, so I choose a meal of the day to let someone help. Today it was lunch and my little helper was my recently-turned-5 little man. 

I'm going to share with you my newest kid-friendly addition to the kitchen, too.

We cut fruit today and made smoothies for lunch. So where did the learning occur? 

1. Identifying fruit and how to properly peel (if necessary). For us, we sliced strawberries and he learned how to remove the prickly skin and inner core of a pineapple. 

2. He learned how to properly hold a knife and the food being cut (even though the possibility of him injuring himself with this knife is extremely low). He is still required to use it as though it could chop a finger.

3. We used measuring cups for the liquid and so he learned about where and how high to fill, how to hold it level, and to identify the labels for measuring.

4. Lastly, he counted pieces of fruit----math! For example, I told him, "Add 17 pieces of pineapple." 

And now, to tell you about these knives!! If you haven't seen them already, they are AMAZING! They have a ton of great reviews on Amazon, there are 3 in a pack, and they are sharp enough to cut fruit and veggies, but safe for the kids. I really like them. Right now they are $8.95 for a 3 count (3 different sizes included).  I saw these when we were at a friend's house and I am so glad we got them. 

How about you? Any great kid + kitchen tips? Feel free to share!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Early mornings, Sleepy Children

Sometimes mornings can be torture tough. Especially weekends when you need to be somewhere early.
I have one early, chirpy riser. She wakes up happy and has no trouble functioning in the morning. My other two...well, let's just say mornings could be more pleasant.
I thought and thought about setting the right mood in the morning. Finally I tried music! I took a playlist that starts my day out right and turned on the music rather than the overhead light. I opened the curtains for some natural light (if there is any at this time of the year!) and let the music roll.

Not only did my kids wake up happy, get moving quickly, and seem generally more easy-going....but so did I. It was great. So, simple tips from a mom with grumpies in the morning.

How about you? What do you do to get moving on the right foot in the morning?