My six year old and I created a new pancake recipe.
Children have a desire to help. It gives them opportunities to use their hands and to make things. They like to create and show it off. They love earning praise from mom & dad, grandma & grandpa, or older siblings. It is why they bring us their drawings, clay creatures, and show us their set-ups of animals or "guys" on the floor. It feels good to them to make, create, imagine, and complete a task. It is the feeling of victory. Remember that feeling?
As parents, we need to create opportunities for big victories and we need to cheer for our children often. Let your child make pancakes with you. He/she will love it. Don’t worry about the end product or the mess; focus on the process. Your child will love to pat the flour down (watch out - messy), crack the eggs, stir the bowl. What adults think as mundane work done 1000 times, is new and exciting to a child.
When it's all done, and the kitchen is a mess, just sit down and eat. Eat like a wild man/woman. I like to add hungry bear sound effects. Talk up the pancakes and praise her work and effort. Watch the smile on her face. I did. It was beautiful.
The next time your child asked to help you, let him. He might make a mess. It will probably take four times as long. It might look terrible. Don’t worry about it. Set up the environment for success. Encourage his desire to help you and others. Continue to be on the look out for opportunities for big victories. This is a daily work. As he grows, he will look for his own opportunities for big victories. You might get really good breakfast in bed too.
Great Opportunity for Big Victories Pancake Recipe.
(Note: I am not a recipe person. I am dad that wings it.)
- If your child asks to help, say yes. If she doesn’t ask, then ask her.
- Get the bowls, measuring cups, etc out. Talk about each one and their purpose.
- Ask questions: What do I do with this spoon, whisk, cup, etc.?
- Read the recipe instructions together.
- Let her crack the eggs, pour the milk, level the flour, etc. This can be tricky. NEVER have your child crack the egg into the mixing bowl. Always use a separate bowl. When my daughter wasn’t looking I had to crack two eggs into an identical bowl and throw her's out. She had too many shells to pick out.
- Let your child stir all ingredients together. Talk about the thickness and how it is beginning to smooth out, and how it went from dry to wet. What do the eggs do? Why add oil? I learn better when I understand the why of something. I think kids enjoy knowing too.
- Let your child scoop out the first pancake.
- Make them a snowman pancake. I do this because I can nail a snowman (sometimes I have to call it a Yoda). Go wild if you can pull off snow leopards, Santa Claus, or grandma.
- Now eat. This is IMPORTANT: Talk it up. “These are delicious. Did you add your sweetness?”, “What did you do to make this so amazing?” “I am going to call grandma and tell her you just made the most delicious pancakes!” You get the idea.
- Clean up. Ask them to help you. This is my weak area. I love 1-9, but 10 is hard. So, make it fun.
Incase you are wondering, we use Trader Joes Multigrain Baking & Pancake Mix.
Those are my 10 Steps to Making Pancakes with your child. Let me know how it goes.