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How to Get Kids to Help in the Kitchen – from Cooking to Cleaning Up

 As a mom, it often feels like I spend all day every day in the kitchen. Between cooking for my crew, feeding them, and cleaning up the messes related to cooking and eating, it’s a full-time job!Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth

Since Moms spend so much time in the kitchen, it’s the perfect place to spend quality time with children while also getting some much needed help!

One of the easiest ways to get kids in the kitchen is to cook a delicious dessert with them. Some of my favorite time with my kids is when we bake something yummy to share with family and friends.

Yes, allowing children to help cook often means a bigger mess, but invest in the new Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloth, and clean up will be a breeze. Since these dish cloths are fully washable, reusable and sturdy, they are perfect for all the kitchen messes your children can help make.Cleaning up

This weekend my daughter, Peyton and I baked our favorite Lemon Pound Cake to share with extended family. Nearly every time we have a covered dish meal, this is the dessert our family requests. Moist, delicious, and the perfect amount of lemon flavor!Lemon Pound CakeThe only problem is that the bundt cake pan is often a bear to clean up! That was especially true this weekend, my daughter learned how to correctly prepare a cake pan for the first time and that resulted in the pound cake sticking to the pan in several places.Stuck on food Whoops, it may not have been the best timing for teaching that skill. But, I think it’s important to let mistakes happen in the learning process. A pan can always be cleaned, and a cake can always be cut up before serving to hide the little imperfections!

With Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths I tackled both the stuck on mess, and the normal washing and drying with one high quality cloth. The two textured sides of the dish cloth scrub but don’t scratch. The textured dots on one side are based on technology from Scotch-Brite® stay clean sponges with the washability of a dish cloth.2016-07-04_0011

Starting from toddlerhood, teach children to help in the kitchen. Giving kids age appropriate tasks gives them a sense of purpose. If your children help with the fun cooking tasks, be sure to also share the cleaning tasks with them. It’s good for a child to learn that cooking and cleaning go hand in hand! 2016-07-04_0017Having young kids help in the kitchen often means a bigger mess, but with Scrubbing Dish Cloths clean up is a breeze. Plus children can help clean up the mess too.

Sometimes it’s hard to know just what tasks a child can complete in the kitchen, so here are several age appropriate ways kids can help in the kitchen to get you started.2016-07-04_0022

Age Appropriate Tasks to get Kids Helping in the Kitchen

Ages 2-3

  • use a dust mop – our dust mop came in 3 snap-together pieces, I left the middle piece out so my toddlers have a short mop of their own
  • wipe down chairs
  • put away plastic dishes in a low cabinet
  • stir as Mom pours ingredients into a mixing bowl

Ages 4-6

  • pour pre-measured ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir
  • set the table
  • sort and put away utensils
  • dry dishes
  • sweep

Ages 7-9

  • follow a simple recipe (including gathering, measuring and pouring ingredients, mixing, then pouring into pan) – put away the ingredients
  • wash dishes
  • put away clean dishes
  • put away groceries
  • wipe the table and counters
  • plan and prepare a healthy no-cook snack – and clean up the mess.
  • take the trash out
  • clear the table

Ages 10-12

  • everything from the above lists plus…
  • plan and prepare a simple meal – and clean up the mess
  • vacuum
  • mop
  • clean out the refrigerator
  • organize the pantry and/or cabinets

Remember this is just a guideline, you know your children best. If children aren’t used to helping in the kitchen, start small with just a job or two, choosing something easy and fun first. Then work up; as kids become efficient at one task, teach another.

Here’s the recipe for our favorite Lemon Pound Cake. Grab your child and get cooking… and cleaning!

2016-07-04_0010Lemon Pound Cake

Ingredients:Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.Lemon Pound Cake

Beat the shortening and butter with a mixer.Lemon Pound Cake

Add the sugar, mixing until the mixture is creamed.Lemon Pound Cake

Add in the eggs, one at the time, mixing well after each egg is added.Lemon Pound Cake

Add vanilla and lemon extract.Lemon Pound Cake

Add the flour.Lemon Pound Cake

Then add baking powder and salt. Mix gently.Lemon Pound Cake

Add milk and mix on medium speed for at least two minutes or until well blended.

Pour into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.Lemon Pound Cake

Time spent in the kitchen with children is time well spent. Don’t worry about imperfect work, enjoy each other and teach those tasks gently with lots of praise. One day, you’ll find that kitchen work no longer falls solely to Mom!

Head to Target for Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths and get those kids in the kitchen with you! The Scotch-Brite® Scrubbing Dish Cloths are sold as a 2 pack in gray, mint, coral, and navy for just $4.99 at Target. Don’t forget to check your Cartwheel app for deals on Scotch-Brite brand products. There isn’t a Cartwheel offer right now, but Scotch-Brite brand frequently has coupons.shop at target

Head here to check out other really fabulous kitchen cleaning ideas and tutorials, plus more delicious recipes!This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubDishCloth #CollectiveBias

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13 Comments

  1. I love a good bundt cake. We made a red, white and blue vanilla bundt cake yesterday, and my daughter had that same prepping the pan task and…. we had the same results. It’s a learning experience, but there’s only one way they’ll figure it out. #client

  2. Love these tips. I agree it’s important to get them involved in the kitchen early enough. Have to keep my eye out for this line of products too.

  3. That cake looks so moist! I also have trouble with cleaning my bundt pan sometimes — very frustrating.

  4. I love your list of kid friendly cleaning ideas. I admit I am just now encouragingy kids to help out and they are 8,6 and 5. It was easier when they were all little to do it myself. Now that they are older we are getting them more involved.

  5. My son is 3 year old and he loves to keep his toys and books together in her Toys storage and for books for shelves. I’m glad that you did a good job as a mom.

  6. Oh this lemon cake looks wonderful. Thank you for the list of age appropriate helping tasks. We are moving into different ages with our kids and trying to teach them these things

  7. Getting kids to help in the kitchen is important! They do need to learn that everyone else in the family isn’t there to serve their needs. They need to pitch in. Additionally, it teaches them lifelong skills they will use well into their adult lives.

  8. Thank you for the list of suggestions!! And your lemon pound cake looks good. My boys are 13, 13 and 10 and they have to help out in the kitchen and do chores as well!

  9. I think it is time to show this to my girls. They need to see what other children their age are doing so they stop complaining about the chores they do.

  10. I love all the tips by age. My daughter will be 6 soon and I always run out of ideas for her to help in the kitchen. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. I love bundt cake, but HATE to clean the pan, too. Children helping in the kitchen does more than help in the here and now. I’ve seen the result not only in how my daughter keeps her kitchen, but how she is training her own children (sons and daughter!) to help. This was just a lovely post.

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