Cooking essentials list and our basic rules in the kitchen

The kitchen is always an adventurous place for kids even though they might not interested in cooking process. Just think from the child`s perspective: there is a huge number of cabinets and shelves that are filled with jars, lids and pans. There is always something exciting to play with and make a big noise. Some moms wonder when to start? I started early.. around 7 months our daughter was always in the kitchen with me.

Actually I learned to cook helping my mother when I was little. She encouraged me to see the process and participate. Her main motivation was to teach me a valuable skill quickly as she was working very hard and wished cooking ability was mastered by me. Anyway these were happy moments in the family as we were cutting veggies for salads and rolling dough.

Now I have my own family and the best time is when 3 of us get together to add sugar and spice to our dishes. My husband is a great cook and that is a great influence for our growing child.

As you can imagine our daughter is super curious and loves to be around in the kitchen and dining room. We have kitchen helper and it is really helpful to prepare dishes and interact with child using this wooden structure. In the beginning (and still now) we learn about structure and consistency. I place vegetables in front of her while I am busy cook, I comment when she is exploring or washing them. When she is in a mood we play with buckwheat, beans or pasta. Now we learn to lay the table and clean up. Our next challenge is making a salad. Hopefully when she is around 2 year she has more coordination and little bit more patience:) we can make more things like pinchos or even bake pryaniki.

2014-06-18 16.10.23 And I thought of coming up with a this list has items that are:

-easy to use and durable

-can be both used by adults and children

-promote motor skills

When we cook we consider sticking to these rules (we might adjust or change as our child grows):

1. Clean the space and hands first, no distractions and unnecessary items

2. Before cooking kids need to know hot/cold and we show first show  how, then we do together- no rush

3.Kids ask permission of adults to do some things like working with stove, if they are too small, it is our responsibility to keep things safe

4. Handle of pots and pans are not sticking out over the edge of the stove top

5.We hold vegetable on the stable surface, never in the air and peel away from ourselves

6. We thank each other for help and sharing a meal

At our home we use visual bilingual dictionary (Russian-Spanish), it is colorful and simple: 20141217_183225

We also like these vintage flashcards (English) from Mr.Printables to learn kitchen vocabulary

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 5.59.48 PM and this fun video in Spanish :

(Photo credit:;;