There could be many games and activities that can be played in with kitchen items, vegetables the which can be fun, and teaching aids for children. I am sharing with you some here you just need a little time and creativity to enjoy the precious time with your children.
A child learns to respect food as in our country we regard "Aann" as God or "Prashad of Goddess Annapurna". We cannot stamp on food tits and bits as it is "AannDevta" such habits need to be inculcated from childhood which would be very beneficial in long term. Child should be taught to clean the plate by removing the morsels and just put some water on plate so it is easy for the maid to clean. In my house, it is our practice to collect left over from plates and put it on the terrace for birds and cats or you can put in some corner of road or garden. Indirectly, we are contributing to saving the environment by providing food to birds rather than throwing in the dustbin.
Games that can be played in the kitchen
(1)Make Tower or Pyramid of Vessels
(2)Peel onions with fingers.
(3) Peel potato and carrot with blunt peeler.
(4)Mash the tomato in a vessel which later can be used in cooking.
(5) Give flour dough to make different animals, flowers, ball etc.
(6) You can colour the dough with turmeric, beetroot, spinach etc.
(7)Sieving can be a good exercise for children. Different pulses or wheat can be given to sieve. Sieving of any flour I will not recommend as children may be prone to dust allergy, it may lead to wheezing or sneezing.
(8)Give little big bhagona with water, a katori and another vessel to put water from vessel to another by katori.
(1) Balancing a katori filled with water
(2) Coordination of motor skill and gross motor skills for filling and emptying
(3) They have to be careful while doing no water shall spill anywhere, so the place does not become wet and slippery
(4) Develop consciousness for hygiene, give tissue papers to wipe drops of water if spilled on floor
(5) It makes child independent as he alone manages this activity
Other variation can be somewhat similar to the experience of drawing water from the well.
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Take a can and cut the lid out and now tie a twine or naada so child can easily hold the can by this twine to draw water as how the bucket in village are attached to jute rope to draw water. Tell child to observe the sound that comes from empty can being filled with water. In Vedic era, there is one incidence based on the sound of filling the vessel from river. The king shoots an arrow in that direction thinking there is tiger, this technique is called as “shabadBedi Baan” story of Shravan Kumar can be illustrated. On hearing the sound of filling water in vessel, king Dashratha shot an arrow in that direction unfortunately, it was Shravan Kumar, there was no lion and he dies. Every child loves to play with water, in summers it is advisable to give this experience to the child. Even the adults can play this game, in this case they need to fill the can to the brim, if water spills the candidate will be out. It is a good exercise as it teaches how to maintain balance which involves concentration.
9) Make musical instrument as mentioned earlier
10) Give flour dough to make chapatti from the dough small pin roller and can be given to child to make roti and than mom can roast it on Tawa and stove and can serve to family member. Child will feel proud of being able to make something for all family members. The process of making ball involves fine motor development and leads to development of dexterity.
11) CAULIFLOWER can be given to break into florets.
12) Vegetable painting can be done with using turmeric in kitchen instead of poster colours
13) Sorting of Chana or Rajma by tong; it can be wonderful for concentration coordination.
14) Give solvent to child to mix in water and observe how it gets dissolved and vanish. Best solvent can be sugar. If we put 2 spoons of sugar in transparent vessel and in a glass of water, let child stir it till sugar disappears. In the same way, salt also mixes well in water. Such a small experiments can lead to cognitive thinking and inspire children to experiment.
Experiment in the kitchen with 3 different liquids
Oil 200 gm, 200 ml water and 200 gm honey and glass bowl.
Take a glass bowl put honey, then water and in last layer oil after putting leave it alone for 10 minutes, then ask the child to observe this mixture in bowl. Findings will be honey is heavier, so it will be at the bottom, in middle water layer and on top the layer of oil will be there as it is light in weight, so it floats. Syrup or honey is heavier so settles down, whereas oil is lightest so it floats. It is an experiment but if done for fun child latently learn about the facts which are solvable solute and insolvent such mixture that does not mix.
16) Mopping of the floor or vessels is a good exercise for palm, fingers and hands.
Mopping the floor is good for gross motor skills, as child squats to do mopping; it is good for limbs, stomach, shoulders, knees etc. Squatting is one yoga as and, which is very good for digestive system. Any napkin which child can dip in the bucket and is easy to squeeze, should be given for mopping. Squeezing is very good to develop dexterity in children.
Similarly, few households have a practice of wiping vessels for drying. Wiping gives shine to vessels, looks stain free and simultaneously good way to develop balance and fine motor development.
The moment child finish lunch or dinner, we should develop the habit of moping that place where morsels of food have fallen, a child first pick all tits and bits of food near the plate after that they should be asked to wipe that place, hygiene can also be maintained beside learning good manners.
Washing of plates can be done by children above 6 years, if everyone does this, it will help to reduce the work for mother, simultaneously it will encourage child to be independent.
17) Pouring water from bottle through siever in empty bucket or through a funnel when water is poured through sieve than it will appear as water is sprinkling from sprinkler or it is raining.
(2) Gross motor and cognitive development
(3) The sound produced by water going through funnel and strainer is different
Make Your Own Natural HOLI Colours
Holi Festival colours can be made in the kitchen so they are non-toxic, herbal, no chemicals rather it will be eco friendly.
Boil 500 gm of spinach, 200 gm mint, 200 gm methi in 15 litres of water to make green colours or we can boil all this in 1 liter of water in cooker and sieve, then mix it in plain water to make big quantity.
Red Colour Or Maroon Colour
Boil 1 kg of beetroot and grind it, strain through 15 liters of water. Nice pink maroon colour will be the outcome of this boiling.
Orange colour can be made by boiling merry gold flowers in 1 litre of water and then sieve this pulp through a strainer in a large quantity of water output will be an orange colour.
Tasu flower boiled, make a paste and sieve through water from strainer or you can mix 200 gm of turmeric in 2 litres of water.
Pale Yellow Colour
Pale yellow colour can be achieved through boiling ‘HarSringar’ flowers. The stem of this flower is orange and the flower is white at center there is a hole in it. I remember in my school there was a big tree of these flowers and next to this tree there was neem tree so we use to take the neem twigs and string these flowers in those twigs and give it to the teacher to put in “Juda as Behni”. No thread is required as the twig directly can be used for stringing.
Scented flowers like roses or jasmine can be boiled in large quantity of water to make aromatic herbal colour to play holi.
Instead of gulal powder, we can use maida. Maida can be coloured and dried with coffee, beetroot etc., or food colour, turmeric and kumkum can also be used in place of gulal which is nothing but harmful chemicals.
These herbal colours will be non toxic, environment and health friendly no fear of allergy will be there though it involves efforts of parents but it will be an idle way of playing “Holi”. You can be a role model for your neighbours and friend to set a new trend for your neighbours and friend to set a new trend for harmless homemade vegetable and flower colours.
Mixing of flour and masala like raw mango powder, coriander powder, salt etc., children love stirring the mixture for fun.
18)Make a snowman with potato: Take 2 boiled potatoes, put one over the other and cut tomato into half and put it on the potato.
19) Make a boat of cucumber: Slit the cucumber in half and scoop the pulp out so it looks like a boat. Now find a carrot which has two tubes for rowing boat we can use pieces of carrot or radish. Two tubes of carrot give the impression of waist and legs. Capsicum is the upper part of body from neck to lower abdomen; one small boiled potato is the face, two red thin pieces of carrot or radish to give an impression of ears. Black pepper can be used for eyes and a smile can be made with carrot or tomato piece.
Now make this guy stand in cucumber boat, it will look as if somebody is rowing the boat
20) Ask the child to assist in giving number of vessels required during cooking example give a teaspoon or give 3 katori so indirectly, we are doing mathematics in kitchen.
21) Sorting of vegetable is another activity which is important you can ask child to give you 2 carrots, 3 onions, 6 tomatoes and so forth so on along with sorting.
22) “Smiley Sandwiches:” cut the bread round with katori to make sandwich of smile. When steel katori or cap of pearl pet box is pressed on bread, round shape will come then make one sample of the sandwich for the children.
Cheese slice can also be cut round with katori, put round cheese in between 2 round slices of bread, then to make hair use carrot as shown and put 2 dots of ketchup to make eyes and a curved line to indicate lips.
This activity creates interest in children towards participating in cooking as well as they get tempted to eat.
23) Boat with sail can be made in sandwich cut bread in triangle shape and put a wafer biscuit to make a sail. Jam and butter can be put to make sandwich.
24) If we have to make cutlets then child can be assigned the work of crumbling the bread which is used to pat potato to make them crisp. Cutlets can be served in different shape like heart, oval, like an egg or round ball or half circle or moon shape. If food is served in different shapes and colours it looks interesting and motivates child to eat food. For variation in shape cookie cutter can be given.
If you are serving pizza to the child in lunch or dinner, then you can decorate pizza with few vegetables like parsley or basil can be chopped finely and spread like hair, cherry tomato cut into 2 halves can be placed as 2 eyes of the face, cucumber, if cut in thin straight strips it can be placed as nose and carrot cut in semi circle can be like lips of the face and halves of kiwi fruit, can be ears.
One piece of pizza you can decorate. Let the child decorate other remaining pieces. Children feel good when given a role of chef and then the satisfaction of serving it to their own family.
25) Macaroni necklace can be made in the kitchen if you want to be more artistic then make hole in each colourful bow of pasta so a child can pass wool through it. A necklace or bracelet from macaroni or pasta can be made this would be interesting for a child, to do as it is innovating technique.
Popcorn ready to eat can also be used for making necklaces or to hang as streamers on birthday. It would be different, for this ,we need to give child blunt needles used for making gunny bags or jute bags and a wool because it is thick or may be plumbing thread can also be used instead of birthday caps we can give garlands of popcorn to every child to wear and crowns made of macaroni etc.. It would be different than any other birthday because these garlands and crown are made by the children for their friends, it adds the personal touch to the event and child realizes the worth of his efforts, when being appreciated by friends. It will be a new idea replacing the conservative birthday caps.
Aiming of channa in the glass of water, if you have decided to make chola then you need to soak them so why not you encourage your little one to do it. Put the required quantity in plate and ask the child to aim it in the Bhagona filled with water. The child will take some time to finish the work in the meantime you can wind up your work of cooking.
Fun with which vegetable will sing and which will float in water
Other interesting thing is to let the child do an experiment to see which vegetable will sink and which will float this gives them reasoning and logical capability for problem-solving. It can be done in the garden also where water is easily available, keep a tub full of water give different things to experiment like a feather, dry leaves, pebbles, flower, sand and let a child put all of these in a tub. Let child examine, what all objects are able to float leaves, feather, a flower will float, mud will settle down and the pebbles will sink. These are small efforts from our side for encouraging the explorative nature of a child, as we all know every child is curious so they ask questions about different things isn’t it. It will be another scientific a