Little kitchen helpers: salad (tomato, cucumber and bell pepper)

My kids made salad tonight, mostly leaving me just to supervise. I did wash the foods before giving them to the boys, although I could, and probably should, have let them do it themselves: they both like taking things out of the fridge and they both love playing with water; moreover, it’s good practice and learning for them. But… I… was kinda tired and just didn’t think about it this time until it was too late. So the kids got given their salad ready to cut.


Zeph has been using sharp knives for at least a year now, and started cutting things around 16 months with a blunt dinner knife. He has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing, but we always start with a little chat about knife safety (holding the handle firmly, always pointing the blade down and away from you, always cutting on a board and never into your hand, never waving it around, putting it down carefully when you are not using it, keeping your fingers away from the blade when cutting) and I always supervise carefully.

Elly has also been trying to cut with a blunt knife for three or four months now. He’s adept at slicing banana, but these foods are harder so he preferred to pull the bell pepper apart with his fingers. He also wanted to take a turn with a sharp knife, so we held it together to cut a few pieces.

We took some time to identify the seeds inside each food and to compare their size and whether or not we eat them. And after cutting, tipping and mixing, the boys ended up with this:


Zeph didn’t say it in so many words, but I got the feeling he was really proud to have made salad for dinner virtually by himself. He was very enthusiastic about serving it to Daddy and I with salad dressing, and making sure that we enjoyed it all!


Tidying with tongs

This is currently my go-to tidying up game: it’s a super simple activity; great for developing fine motor skills and practising hand-eye coordination; and most importantly, it helps the kids actually want to pick up the ginormous pile of assorted items that they love to dump out a billion times a day. Sometimes. (And then they quite often dump everything out again).

But I can say that playing with tongs in general is so popular in our house that it was my older son, and not me, who taught his brother how to play.