Summer Savvy Part 2: Your Kitchen: The perfect spot for family fun and summer learning!
When I was growing up, our summers meant lazy days spent playing softball at the park, swimming at the local public pool, helping my school teacher mother prepare her classroom for the fall, following my grandmother around the kitchen, and running around outside with other kids from the block until the street lights came on. July and August were filled with all sorts of adventures, and my friends and I returned to school in September with plenty of stories to tell. Cooking and experimenting with food was one of my favorite activities. I’ve been fiddling around the kitchen since I was about seven. One of my early specialties was cinnamon toast, and I eventually graduated to lemon cakes and peach cobblers under the tutelage of my grandmother. Those summer days acting as her sous chef are still some of my fondest memories.
Summer is the perfect time to get in the kitchen and whip something up with your kids! It can be challenging for families to find the energy to cook together during the school year. After a full day at work and school, sports practice, and tutoring, oftentimes the family is running on empty. Use the summer break to slow the pace and create fantastic memories right in your kitchen. Parents, your kitchen can transform into a great science lab and math workshop. Include you kids in the many skills to be learned while working away at the kitchen counter: measurements, fractions, categorizing lists, learning to tell time, states of matter, making hypotheses, and much more.
The most important outcome of cooking with your children, however, is the time spent together as a family being creative and sharing ideas and lots of laughs. So, get out your measuring cups and spoons, cookie sheets, and rolling pins, grab fresh fruit, almonds and rainbow sprinkles, don an apron (or a lab coat if you’re feeling adventurous), and turn on some fun tunes. The Internet is chocked full of recipes for all ages, and I’ve listed a few simple recipes below that make a big splash with school-age children. Bon appétit!