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Cooking and other skills for 6 - 7 year-olds: what would you recommend?

(22 Posts)
VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 09:31:51

I have just taught the DSes (6 and 7) to make pancakes and they have become obsessed. I am ashamed to discover how few domestic-type skills I have taught them and am thinking to do some more over the holidays. What else might I try - cooking and other tasks which are reasonably attractive and make them feel competent and pleased with themselves (and which might turn them into useful men some day!)?

williamsmummy Mon 11-Aug-08 09:38:40

preparing veg, grating cheese, making cakes, washing up.
i have succeded with teaching my children simple meals, but cant get them interested in washing clothes and cleaning their rooms!

VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 09:39:12

DD has started doing roast dinners.
She takes forever to peel the spuds but she typed out this last week

How to cook a roast chicken dinner.

17.30/5.30pm -Mix butter, sage and garlic powder together, put it in under chicken skin.
17.30/5.30pm - Put cut potatoes on boil ready to roast.

18.00/6.00pm - Put boiled potatoes in roasting tin.
18.00/6.00pm - Mix stuffing mix with hot water and butter.
18.00/6.00pm – Mix Yorkshire pudding mix with egg and cold water.

18.30/6.30pm - Put swede, carrots, potatoes for mash and peas on boil.
18.30/6.30pm - Put parsnips in roasting tin.
18.30/6.30pm - Put stuffing in the oven.
18.30/6.30pm - Put Yorkshire mix in a roasting tin with a small bit of hot oil.

19.00/7.00pm - Serve.

and did it pretty much unsupervised yesterday. I lift anything heavy but she basically tells me what to do. It's a surprisingly easy thing for a young child. She is 7 btw.

StormInanEcup Mon 11-Aug-08 09:40:56

Message withdrawn

VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 09:41:07

They do the washing to (DD7/DD3)
DD throws down whatever colour wash I tell her (i.e darks) and DS puts it in the machine, then we put the powder in and one selects programme, the other turns it on. They tidy their rooms, they sort clean washing into each persons piles, they lay the table, DD clears the plates, DS takes mats and knives and forks whilst I wash up.

FioFio Mon 11-Aug-08 09:41:59

Message withdrawn

Hulababy Mon 11-Aug-08 09:43:59

Cleaning own room
Hoovering up
Setting table
Sorting washing into colours, darks and whites
Sorting out clean washing - matching socks, etc.
Washing car

* meatballs
* bolognaise
* burgers
* salad and dressing
* steamed veg
* wraps
* toast

How are they with the oven/hob? I don't allow DD to use either yet - she is 6 - but not sure when I should

VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 09:46:18

Washing carshock
DP would go loop-the-loop if I let the kids near his car with a spongegrin

pinkspottywellies Mon 11-Aug-08 09:47:05

I think I started learning to iron at about 7. I would do hankies and tea towels!

Also we had a job each on a Saturday morning - my sister did the hoovering and I cleaned the bathroom.

VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 09:59:09

Am awed by the roast dinner. I will ponder these, thank you. mine have just started using the hob under very close supervision. I wonder how to make cleaning tasks seem more attractive. Maybe they could have their own er aprons or dustpans or something? i really would like them to have skills their father failed to acquire due to MIL doing everything...

VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 10:01:34

Am shamed by some of these lists. I can see lots of tasks here which they could have been helping with but I have gone down the "easier to do it myself" route...

Hulababy Mon 11-Aug-08 10:02:40

VS - don;t worry. 6yo DD doesn;t do half of what is on that list, at least not often, She will help me and DH, but she doesn;t have jobs she does regularly or anything.

VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 10:21:22

I read your post about five time hula wondering why it was directed at me, then remembered who the OP wasblush

VS(great initialswink) the roast dinner is a really easy way to get them cooking, It's mainly prep, which is just DD, a bowl, the spuds/vegs and a peeler on the floor and then timing, so just putting it in the oven/turning on the hob.

Pocket money makes jobs more attractive IME. They get £10 a month, put in their money boxes, but to get it they have to do the jobs I ask them to do.

Overmydeadbody Mon 11-Aug-08 10:31:15

I just get DS to help with whatever I am making and talk him through what I'm cooking (if he is interested that is) so hopefully he'll pick up all my culinary skills by the time he leaves home and will be competent in anything.

He can also sort clothes and put a wash on unsupervised, hangs clothes on driers after washing, can fold and put away clean underwear.

Hoovers, cleans, dusts, and puts away and tidies up.

My philosophy is not to leave him out of anything and just give him the responsibility for normal household chores from a young age.

He is 5.

Overmydeadbody Mon 11-Aug-08 10:34:08

DS doesn't seem to need me to make the taskds somehow 'attractive' to him in order for him to do them, he seems to get pleasure out of the responsibility and out of having completed a task himself, that is enough.

He loves puting a wash on, and takes great care when measuring out the powder and fabric softener.

He keeps wanting me to show him how to do more and more difficult tasks thouigh, and I draw the line at letting him do the ironing blush, altohugh I let him iron his t shirt yesterday under close supervision.

largeginandtonic Mon 11-Aug-08 10:36:51

OHMIGOD the twins would burn the house down shock

DD much more capable though, am now feeling woefully inadequate that i have not taught them these skills.

The twins are 10 this year shock They just don't see the mess, tis frightening. I nearly broke my neck walking in the kitchen yesterday as one of them had soaked the floor while taking the water out to give the bunny.

How do they not see it!!!

DD can spot a speck of fluff at 20 paces.

VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 10:55:56

Hmm, i wonder if pairs are more resistant to being domesticated (ie close in age sibs, twins), or have I just been a but crap...

VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 10:56:15


VictorianSqualor Mon 11-Aug-08 11:08:13

VS, I wouldn't say you were being crap.

My main reason for doing it is because my XP was a twat of the highest order who never lifted a finger, and then I was a single parent and out of the house most of the day doing school/nursery drop-offs and working so I needed DD to help me, DS just followed suit, the cooking has only been a recent development as she is dyspraxic and finds the sort of things she'd like to do (making beads/drawing/sewing etc) she finds really difficult, cooking is something she can do with out feeling defeated.

Overmydeadbody Mon 11-Aug-08 11:16:43

As VS said, the only reason DS does so much is because, as a single mum who works full time if he didn't do his fair share I would not be able to keep on top of everything, or at least I would be a lot more stressed and tired.

I needed him to be capable from a young age, needed to know he could do things independantly, so made sure I tought him these vital skills.

VersdeSociete Mon 11-Aug-08 11:44:13

That's interesting, OMDB and VS. I do worry sometimes the DSes are getting a poor example set by domestically challenged DP.

largeginandtonic Mon 11-Aug-08 12:49:09

My dh is super domesticated (when he is not far away at sea) and is very good at getting the children to help in the kitchen.

It is me who wont let them, i cannnot bear the clean up/inevitable fight for the bowl that happens. One will not be drwn aside, they ALL follow scared they are missing out. I feel like a need an organised party team to supervise them all, it is no fun task.

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