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elizabeth.scalf 11-29-2012 02:33 PM

Would you?
I've spent a lot of effort over the last months paring down my kitchen to what I really use and need. There's still a lot more to go, but space isn't an issue. My kitchen is huge and I actually have empty cabinets sitting around.

Now that my oldest is getting older, I'd like to set up my kitchen a little better so that she can help around independently. I mean, she can get a spoon or carry her own plate, but I still haveto DO everything for her first. So, I'm looking around on different websites and seeing utensils that can be used by children's hands. I'm toying around with the idea of getting some in a special cabinet so that she can do things herself from start to finish. Like, a dedicatd banana slicer or cheese slicer, and a spreader instead of a knife so she can make her own sandwiches. Small ramekins so I can predivide yogurt, so she doesn't have to make messes scooping from the large container. Setting up hooks so she can hang up her own dust-broom, getting a watering can for the houseplants instead of a large cup that sloshes, etc.

Would you consider doing this? We have plenty of space in our kitchen, pantry, laundry room areas for the extra utensils and items that I'd have to use. I'm really trying to give her a sense of purpose, she always wants to try to help but I constantly tell her she can't use a knife, or can't reach stuff, or it's too big for her, etc. This would be a long term investment, becase as soon as she outgrows the kid stuff, the next kid would grow into it, so I'm looking at this for at least the next 6-8 years. I'm even thinking of setting up some kind of low counter or butcher island in our kitchen so she has counter space, rather than doing all her helping on the floor.

I'm thinking it's worth it to develop independence and purpose in the kids, as well as helping me out in the long run. It may mean more kinds of stuff in my drawers and cabinets, but minimalism is about making room for the stuff that really matters right? I think this is important.

Thanks for playing along :)

eljube112 11-29-2012 02:40 PM

Re: Would you?
I think it's a great idea!

crnchy_mama_lala 11-29-2012 02:41 PM

Re: Would you?
I think this is a great idea! I would love to do this in our house. As long as you have the space and money I don't see why you shouldn't do it. Teaching kids to be independent when they are young will serve them well in life and make your life easier to boot!

Pixi6s 11-29-2012 03:15 PM

Re: Would you?
Sounds wonderful!

neonalee 11-29-2012 04:01 PM

Absolutely 100% yes I would. It sounds very Montessori. I'm trying to figure out ways to do this for my 2 year old even though I don't have the room!

elizabeth.scalf 11-29-2012 05:00 PM

Re: Would you?

Originally Posted by neonalee (Post 15986499)
Absolutely 100% yes I would. It sounds very Montessori. I'm trying to figure out ways to do this for my 2 year old even though I don't have the room!

It absolutely is Montessori. I've been reading up her books lately, and really trying to institute lots of those ideas. I'm even using the websites recommended in Montessori books to pick up some of the child-sized stuff.

wordbox 11-29-2012 07:43 PM

Re: Would you?
I think that's a great idea! What a wonderful way to foster independence and make her feel like she can do things for herself. :)

On a smaller scale... I just went through our whole kitchen and reorganized, and I gave two drawers to my son. One is a large drawer for his bowls, cups, plates, and utensils, and then there's a smaller drawer above it that I keep his snacks in (premeasured snacks, or things like fruit & veggie pouches, bars, etc.). He also has his own bin in the fridge that he can grab out of. Just this small change has been great, it's nice to ask him to get himself a bowl or fork or whatever, and he knows if he wants a snack he can grab whatever looks good. He loves to help in the kitchen so I try to include him when possible.

mrspopo 11-29-2012 08:00 PM

Re: Would you?
I'm all over this idea! I would love to do something similar in the next year or so when baby is a little older. There's 2 blog posts on play at home moms that comes to mind where they go over some similar topics including fostering independence in the kitchen. I love their philosophy, and I love that they tend to also follow some minimalism elements too. At the time they wrote their posts I think their kids were between 1 and 3.

I'd never heard of a banana slicer, I had to look that one up :)

Happy Mommax4 11-29-2012 08:01 PM

I just got some great ideas here, thanks ladies!

elizabeth.scalf 11-29-2012 08:23 PM

Re: Would you?
I typically enjoy play at home mom, so I'll have to check out her blogs on setting up the kitchen. I haven't done much research, even though all my ideas as up here *tapping forehead*. I'm not sure what are in the blogs, but I plan on taking a coffee table that's about two feet high and gluing two large wooden butcher block cutting boards to it to make it a 'counter top.' I know it will be hard to disinfect, but she won't be cutting meats or anything, mostly peeling fruits and mixing dry ingredients when I bake.

Like PP said, I'll probably have a small drawer or a cabinet outfitted with extra stuff she can grab, like a 1-cup measuring cup, colored coded measuring spoons, a spreader knife, etc. My girls are already pros at getting their snacks out of the pantry and fridge. One thing recommended in the book I'm reading is using glass votive size candle holders as drinking glasses. I plan on picking up some of those, and ramekins to use as their bowls.

The banana slicer is neat, huh?

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