This month’s homelearning revolved around food and nutrition, and I also took the opportunity to teach my kids two simple skills: using a knife and frying an egg.
We had some serious (oxymoronic) fun, yes.
First, a tour of the kitchen to learn simple vocabulary for egg frying: STOVE, PAN, OIL, EGGS, WOK SPATULA, WHISK.
Then to get acquainted with all the sharp objects in the drawers so they know to handle them with care whenever we need to use them: (from right to left) PEELER, GRATER, KITCHEN SCISSORS, PARING KNIFE, UTILITY KNIFE, COOK’S KNIFE, CHOPPER (hidden in picture)
Then, it’s tofu cutting time since we were going to be having tofu soup that evening anyway. Ben used the utility knife while Becks held the paring knife. I got them to gently touch the blade to understand the concept of “sharp” and had them dice the tofu with their knives.
Next, three eggs out from the fridge for each kid, and cracked into a bowl. Because it was their first, I held their hands to crack it with them. Got them to whisk, then had them pour a little oil, feel for heat about 5cm above the pan and pour in the egg. Then they scrambled them, served some to their father and savoured the remainder.
On another occasion, we chopped up celery, potatoes and carrots for our vegetable soup. This time round the kids understood that unlike cutting the tofu which was soft and easy, they had to hold on to the vegetables and watch their fingers while they exerted pressure with the knife. I gave the littlest a steak knife and had the helper watch him while I made sure the older two didn’t slice their fingers.
After we were done, we threw everything in water to boil with chicken bones for soup!
I later asked the kids if they liked what they did – and they were very proud to have helped made a part of our dinner that night. What they shared with me made me realise that I’ve got to gradually learn to empower these kids to pick up age-appropriate skills so they can experience a sense of accomplishment.
I followed up with getting the kids to learn the words CUT, SLICE, KNIFE and VEGETABLES. Ben could easily form three sentences with these helping words, like “I cut with a knife.” / “I slice with a knife.” / “I cut vegetables.” I also got the kids to recount their experience by drawing what they did and then put their drawings up on the gallery so they can tell ‘stories’ to their dad when he returned home.
We also read some books we borrowed from the library to learn the importance of nutrients for our bodies and our growth. These two books scored with the kids, cos’ we got to sing two very funny songs while learning about good food and our taste buds!
Here’s sharing how to sing the two songs with you:
Song 1 – To the tune of Farmer in the Dell“What makes bones grow? What makes teeth grow? Milk and yogurt, cream and cheese, Calcium makes them grow. What makes blood strong? What makes muscles strong? Fish and spinach, nuts and eggs, Protein makes them strong. Why can we move well? Why can we breathe well? Wheat and rice, oats and corn, Carbohydrates keep us well. We know what to eat, We know what to eat. Fruits, vegetables, bread and meat Now let’s go and eat!” ***
Song 2 – To the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star“Your tongue tells you what tastes sweet Honey, jam, an ice cream treat Watermelon, peaches, too Fresh fruit is so good for you Your tongue tells a lot, it’s true Salty, bitter, nasty, too. Your tongue tells you what tastes sour Vinegar on cauliflower Grapefruit, limes and sour cream Citrus-flavoured jellybeans Your tongue tells a lot, it’s true You have taste buds, lucky you.” ***
We followed up the taste buds-song with a fun activity of observing our taste buds in the mirror and adding little bumps to a giant tongue – on paper, that is. I wrote the words SALTY, SWEET, SOUR, BITTER and TONGUE so that the kids can repeat the vocabulary that describes taste as they drew on the giant tongue.
It’s been a tastily fun month, and I am looking forward to enlisting these little troopers in the kitchen whenever I need help!