Summer with the Kids


Summer with the Kids

Parents are sometimes at a loss as to what to do with their kids for the

summer. Resources might be low, it is too hot outside, and sometimes activities

offered in the area are boring or geared toward little kids. The 9 to 12 age range

is a particularly difficult age to amuse, and no parent wants the children sitting

around and watching television or playing video games all day. How about

teaching the kids some housekeeping skills?

Home Economics is a thing of the past in many schools. No Child Left

Behind has demanded that academics improve, not realizing that money spent

teaching kids life skills has disappeared. As a result, many of today’s children

barely know how to sweep or vacuum a floor or boil water. These are skills that

kids need to learn to survive, and it is now incumbent upon the parents to teach

their children how to complete these tasks. The schools are no longer supplying

these services.

A parent does not have to be Emeril to give a child a few cooking lessons;

teaching a few basics and some of the technical and safety aspects of the

kitchen should be sufficient. For instance, instant rice is a very useful staple. The

process of making rice involves measuring, timing, boiling water, and

determining if something is too hot. Knowing how to cook rice provides a

gateway to learning how to cook pastas. The next logical step in teaching a child

to cook on the stovetop may be to teach him or her how to use a sauté pan to

cook eggs. This in turn will set the stage for stir-frying vegetables. Of course, it

is very important for the children to be advised of safety rules in the kitchen,

such as wearing an oven mitt, to stand a safe distance away from the stove, and

to use care when turning on and off the gas flame or electric coil.

Another useful appliance that will help children learn to find their ways

around a kitchen is a microwave oven. This appliance helps kids learn how to

follow directions. A parent can start off supervising or demonstrating to the child

how to make popcorn, showing how to find the perfect balance between too

many leftover kernels and burnt pieces. The safety tip here is that items are

always hot when they are being removed from the microwave oven, and should

be handled by an adult or with very extreme care.

Cooking with a child can be a fun and very rewarding experience.

Teaching a child to cook will result in a lifelong valuable skill. 

Hercules Editing and Consulting

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