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.
Ella 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 Ella 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 Ella 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.