Weak of heart, turn away! You’re about to witness what being a Montessori/Reggio parent really means — trust in our children and opportunities for them to showcase their abilities.
Which in our family, means letting my toddler cook on the stove.
Miss G has been obsessed with cooking since she was 18 months old, and a favourite has always been scrambled eggs. This picture is from the first time that she was allowed to independently cook on the stove just after her second birthday – this fuzzy picture in our cramped apartment kitchen captures a special moment in our family’s story so I think it’s worth sharing.
We initially tried cooking on the stove with a Learning Tower (a favourite among Montessori families), but Miss G was terrified of hers from the time we built it until she was over 3 year old, so we always used a simple kitchen chair pushed up against the front of the stove.
I asked Miss G if she would like to cook some scrambled eggs and explained the safety precautions: how hot the pan would get, to keep her hands on the handles of the pan and the spatula at all times, and to ask if she needed help.
Initially, I offered a kid’s spatula but we switched halfway through to a full-sized one as I felt that the kid-sized one required her hand to get too close to the pan for my liking and it was a bit harder to handle.
What I’ve learned about cooking with kids is that it doesn’t necessarily mean special equipment, it just takes a positive mindset.
Scrambled eggs are really the perfect food for a child to learn how to safely use a stove; They are cooked quickly and do not require long periods of concentration (with opportunities for distraction), as well as being a very simple and easily perfected “recipe” that many children will enjoy eating.
For those who’ve never made a good batch of scrambled eggs, check out our tips for perfectly scrambled eggs here.
For more kids’ kitchen activities, check out our collection here – or start with our kid-made strawberry tarts or chocolate trail mix melts.