So my daughter is 5. She has been in the kitchen with me baking for years. I would say age 2 I let her start mixing ingredients together. A lot of my friends who have kids talk about why they don’t allow their kids in the kitchen so I thought I would talk about why I do.
I was never allowed to cook. I never did laundry and cleaning was optional. So now that my daughter is getting older, and we are beginning our homeschooling adventure, I decided it was time for her to get better at baking. After all the girl constantly wants to bake cupcakes for everyone. This time around I let her go at it on her own from start to finish.
I measured the ingredients and I helped with the eggs but she did everything else from putting the mix together to mixing the eggs, water and oil together. She is super independent in the kitchen and I find that awesome. She should be comfortable cracking eggs and helping cook things. If I constantly told her no she wouldn’t learn new skills.
Many people say they don’t want to clean up the mess. I say who cares. I learned if I use a paper towel where she is cracking eggs I have less mess on my floor if she cracks it a little hard. Scoop up the egg in the paper towel and spray down the counter and it’s easy clean up.
If she has a passion for baking I will nurture it for as long as I can. She puts items in the oven with a little help but she still knows that she doesnt use the oven without me. I figure she doesn’t need to grow up completely clueless when she moves away.
Laundry! Oh I thought my grandma was going to smack me today when I told her my daughter does her own laundry. She goes “she’s a little young isn’t she.”
My daughter responded, “well I get help with the soap and turning it on but I can do my laundry.” Good for you for being so confident. Now here is why I decided she needed to do her own laundry.
I am tired of picking up her clothes off the floor. It seems laundry is never ending and she leaves her clothes where they fall and it is annoying. She ran out of shorts for tumbling and dance and swears dad put them in a wrong drawer. (Wouldn’t have been the first time that has happened). I simply asked her how full her basket was and than told her they were probably in her dirty clothes. She said well that’s not my job. I reminded her it was her job and she then went into the laundry room got her stool and started loading the washer.
Bet you can’t guess what she found mixed in with her dirty clothes! If you said tumbling shorts or dance shorts you are absolutely correct. But, what does a 5 year old doing laundry look like?
Well we have a step stool she uses to get things from the counter or drawers. She drags that to the laundry room. She carefully takes the clothes and precisely positions them around. She then waits for me to push the button for the soap. She spreads the liquid soap evenly. After that she lets me adjust the dial and then she pulls it to get the water started. When the clothes are done she either climbs back up the dryer to get the clothes out of the washer or she asks for help getting them out. She puts everything and a dryer sheet into the dryer and can spin the dial to set the time and can start it on her own.
I am raising a human. A human that will need to know basic human things to survive in the world after she leaves home.
Cleaning. Oh I struggle with cleaning anything so once every two weeks I try to clean things and she helps. She sweeps and vacuums and dusts things. We work together to straighten her toys and movies. Our house looks lived in. I don’t pick up or get all crazy for guests. I have a child in the home and sometimes her toys are everywhere.
Life gets messy. May as well enjoy it.