The kitchen is somewhere that can teach your child a whole range of life skills and lessons. Fine motor skills are something that we should all continue to develop as we grow older, and you’ll find there are many different ways in which your child can work on these with you in the kitchen. Today we’re going to share five different ways in which you can work on these skills in the kitchen together, which your child can then apply to many other aspects of their life in the future. Our site offers a range of kid-friendly kitchen tools that will help make spending time together in the kitchen more enjoyable and allow you to try out these ideas in a safe manner.
- Sorting Items in the Kitchen
One of the simplest ways to improve your child’s fine motor skills is to work on their sorting skills in the kitchen. This is a task that’s ideal for younger children who may be spending time with you in the kitchen for the first time. It’s never too early to introduce your little one to the kitchen, and sorting beans or other items into different jars and bowls is a good way to improve their fine motor skills. Combine items of two different colors, such as beans or candy, in one jar to begin with. You’ll then give your child two empty jars, which they can use to sort the items into their separate colors. Make sure you allow them the space and time to concentrate and continue to make the task more challenging by adding more colors as they get more convenient.
- Spooning Ingredients Into the Mixing Bowl
Give your child two different bowls and challenge them to carefully spoon ingredients from one bowl or container to another without spilling the ingredient everywhere. You can start off with non-messy ingredients, such as dry rice, but then increase the challenge by using flour, sugar, or liquids. This is a great way to improve their concentration and fine motor skills and is one of the most commonly used kitchen skills when baking or cooking meals. Fine motor skills are believed to be linked to your child’s brain development. You’ll help to train the small muscles in their body with tasks like this, helping them to hold small objects and even write better in the future.
- Cutting and Stringing Straws
A fun non-cooking activity you can enjoy in the kitchen with your child involves using plastic or paper drinking straws. Give your child a handful of straws with a pair of kid-friendly scissors. From there, they can cut the straws into half or small pieces and place them in a bowl. Using scissors is something we encourage parents to work on from a young age, but always use ones that aren’t too sharp and will be safe for your child based on their current age. After cutting the straws, your child can string them onto a piece of string, creating a bracelet or necklace. This is a fun activity that also challenges their creativity when you use colored straws and get them to make different patterns.
- Learn About Mixing Colors in the Kitchen
Food coloring is something we use in a variety of recipes, but it can also be used for science lessons and to teach your children about how the colors mix together and interact with each other. You can use primary colors to make the secondary colors, which can easily be demonstrated with food coloring in glasses of water. Give your child some plastic cups or bowls to work with, which they can mix yellow, red, and blue water in. They’ll learn how to make different colors in no time at all, which is a lesson they’ll take with them throughout their life.
By working on your child’s fine motor skills in the kitchen, you can help to avoid weaknesses with these skills in the future. When a child struggles with these skills, they may even find writing and eating hard in the future, so the more time you spend together cooking and performing kitchen experiments, the better equipped they’ll be for their adult years.
- Make a Sensory Tub
Younger children don’t have to cook in the kitchen to benefit from being exposed to this environment. A sensory tub is a great addition to a large kitchen, and you can set one up in the corner of the room for your child to enjoy. Of course, you could also make one of these outdoors, but it’s all about finding what works for your family. A sensory tub is one of the best ways to encourage your child to work on their fine motor skills, and it’s a cheap and easy addition to your kitchen that your child will get hours of enjoyment from. You can keep mixing up the items you place inside it as your child develops, offering them new challenges and experiences each time they return to it.
Improving Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills in the Kitchen
It’s never too early to start bringing your child into the kitchen to work on their fine motor skills and other essential life skills. There are so many lessons that can be learnt in the kitchen, and it will complement your child’s school education to help them be a well-rounded adult in the future. We recommend equipping your home with kid-friendly tools and supplies, such as those that we sell on our site. They are designed to make spending time in the kitchen safer and more accessible for children, so that they can make their favorite meals and baked goods with ease.
Take a look through our full range of kid-friendly products now for more inspiration for spending time as a family in the kitchen. Our team will be on hand at any time to answer your questions about cooking with children or take a look through our other articles for more inspiration.