I’m a BIG believer in using child-labour!
No, not really but I am a big believer in encouraging children to join us in as many of our home tasks as possible, as a way of stretching the 24 hours in our day and freeing up time for our own creative tasks.
When children help us:
- they learn valuable home care skills,
- they realise that things don’t happen miraculously (for example, it takes effort to get dinner to the table),
- they slowly become self sufficient
- and we have MUCH LESS need to nag or deal with grumpy, frustrated, attention-starved children.
When they join in with us, we can let go of guilt or worry because these interactions really do qualify as “quality time” with our children. We can also tick the box for ‘educational experiences’ without ever leaving home! Yippee do dah!! We are ‘home-schooling’ in the very best sense.
Most children, from about age two, can help to do something.
And if we let them join in, they will usually help for a while then retreat back to their own activity and let us get on with our task in peace, happily satisfied with their efforts.
One way to encourage their assistance is to offer child-size tools at times.
(At times, I also like to let them use adult-sized tools. It just depends on the age of the child, their physical size and skill level as to which I choose)
For Christmas, Ned received some a few of his own kitchen tools including a meat hammer (I don’t know the real word?? anyone??), a sifter and a rolling pin from Mercurius.
These tools (not toys) are imported to Australia from Germany, and are food quality.
So, the other night, Ned helped me to prepare schnitzel.
(Apologies to vegetarian readers for photos!)
His next task was to help egg and breadcrumb the fillets.
A spoon helped him to scatter breadcrumbs evenly.
Once this fun task was done, he went off to play happily with his cars by himself and I finished cooking the meal on my own.
5 or 10 minutes of attention and a bit of mess is so much better than plonking him in front of a television, don’t you think??
Here is the child size rolling pin.
It works so well and he loves it!
We’ve been busy cookie bakers three times this week!
Thank goodness for our visitors who help to eat them all up!!