My little guy loves bugs. We are constantly out in the backyard looking for them and trying to catch them. If we have to be somewhere at a certain time or have errands to run and he happens upon a lizard, frog, caterpillar, dragonfly (you see where I'm going with this) we must halt to observe or try to catch whatever it is to avoid a total melt down. So, this past week, we have been studying bugs. We've been doing bug crafts, activities, and some hands on learning (all of which will be in my next post:). To go along with the these things, I thought it would be fun to make some cupcakes (which is a real treat for him because very rarely do I let him eat sugar) and let him decorate them with his favorite kinds of bugs. For the ingredients and decorations I used my favorite cake mix, M&M's, gummy worms, candy orange slices and pretzels. My little guy helped with the measuring and mixing.
He has learned so much math from me allowing him to use the measuring cup. He knows most of the measurements on the measuring cup and can fill the cup to the correct amount needed! This was the first time he used the mixer and although he didn't like the noise, he had fun watching the ingredients mix together to form the batter. We filled the muffin cups and waited for them to bake. In the meantime, my little guy was asking every 30 seconds if they were finished yet, so we went outside to hunt for bugs to take his mind off of them. Finally they were done and cooled and it was time to decorate.
I decorated a few with him first to show him how to put the candy on to make different bugs. We made spiders, butterflies, caterpillars, and dragonflies! He did such a great job decorating and said they were very yummy. Cooking with kids is fun and also educational! Here are some tips for cooking with kids:
Help them sharpen their math skills by stopping to count, read the recipe to them so they can learn new words which helps with their vocabulary and let them help with the steps in the recipe to improve their listening skills. My little guy counted the candies as he put them on and followed my directions while measuring the ingredients.
Give Kids Age Appropriate Tasks
Stirring, measuring, tearing lettuce, rinsing vegetables, adding ingredients and pounding dough are great things for small children to do in the kitchen.
Encourage Them to Try New Things
Many kids are picky in their food choices and when kids are cooking with you, it presents an opportunity for them to try new things. Although these cupcakes aren't healthy, most of the food we eat is, and my little guy is open minded enough to try a variety of foods when we cook together.
Talk About Food Choices
It's important for kids to know what is healthy and what is not. I made sure my little guy knew that this was a special treat for us and is only ok to eat cupcakes and candy on special occasions. He knows that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest choices for his growing body.
Share the Accomplishment Together
Working together on a meal boosts confidence in kids and helps them feel a sense of accomplishment. Let your child know what a great help they were in preparing the meal with you!