Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12 Cooking

  1. Operation playtime- come join in! 20th January 2009
  2. #OPT starts tomorrow
  3. Operation Playtime Day 1 of 12: Blocks
  4. Operation Playtime Day 2 of 12: Record a nursery rhyme or action song together
  5. Operation Playtime Day 3 of 12  Cooking

This is Amber from Because Babies Grow Up. My educational background is in child development. After college I worked with infants performing developmental assessments. From those assessments, I learned a lot of fun mini-activities at every stage that kids love. I now have two girls and have enjoyed watching them discover the joy of play. I’m excited to share one of our favorite play activities with Operation Playtime.

Today we’ll head into the kitchen and mix up a batch of cookies! This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. Whenever I talk about cooking with Sammi (my 2 1/2 year old) I typically hear these responses: It takes so much longer to cook with kids helping; It is so much messier when the kids help; I don’t know how my kids can help.

Here are some ideas to combat those potential setbacks:

  • Set aside extra time to bake. Think of this as any other play activity. Let it take as long as it takes!
  • Plan for messes. Keep paper towels, washcloths, or sponges close at hand to quickly wipe up the messes. It’s so much easier to clean up as you go so it’s not so overwhelming when you’re done.
  • Making cooking a play activity takes a little extra prep, but it’s worth it!
  • Give your kids wiggle room. Let them practice pouring, scooping, stirring. You’ll never know what they can do until you let them try.

Cooking promotes both cognitive development as well as motor development. Kids are increasing their understanding of ingredients-separate things come together to make something else-and measurements. At the same time, they’re practicing fine and gross motor movements: holding a measuring spoon and pouring it into a bowl, stirring, scooping flour or sugar with a measuring cup.

I have to credit my husband with this, but since we started cooking with Sammi, she can now crack an egg, open it and dump the egg into a bowl. To top it off, she rarely gets any egg shells in with the egg. I know that the only reason she can do that at 2 1/2 years is because we trusted her enough to let her try. I cleaned a lot of egg up off the floor, but now she has a lot of confidence in her abilities and loves to cook.

If this is your first experience letting your child cook with you, I caution you to not expect it to go perfectly. It may not even go smoothly! But, if you remember that it’s play and the process is the activity, then it can be a lot of fun. Your kids will be so excited to do something they’ve never done before, especially something they see you do all the time.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Crisco)

3/4 C (cup)Butter flavored Crisco shortening

1 1/4 C firmly packed light brown sugar

2 T (tablespoon) milk

1 T vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 C all purpose flour

1 t (teaspoon) salt

3/4 t baking soda

1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in bowl. Mix until well blended.
  3. Beat egg into creamed mixture.
  4. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into creamed mixture.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and pecan pieces.
  6. Drop by the spoonful onto a cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 min. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet 1-2 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

Enjoy with a glass of milk! (I give Sammi the beater to eat while I drop the cookies on the baking sheet. Her attention span for this activity is pretty much up once the chocolate chips come out!)


Share your cooking stories. What do you love or hate to do? Have you tried baking but not helping with a main meal? or visa versa.

  • Put your thoughts in a blog post and use that link, not your blog, into Mr Linky. We want to go right to your post 🙂
  • Add a comment here as well if you’d like.
  • Follow the other Operation Playtimers and comment on their #OPT post.
  • See you tomorrow.

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    1. Fantastic post! I love cooking with my kids, even my baby girls loves to help. Such a great bonding time you can share.

    2. This is great- can’t wait until my son can bake with me (he’s only 11 months). Well, he bakes with me now (I can crack eggs with a baby on my hip!) but I can’t wait until he can participate more fully! My mom baked with us all the time, and all 5 of us like to bake and cook as adults.

      Kara’s last blog post..Baby’s Breath, Not Roses!

    3. What a great little cook ! I love that she can crack an egg, I am still too chicken to let my son try, he sure loves to cook though.

      Allie’s last blog post..Be Brave!

    4. We had apple crumble for tea and I let them help!


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