This post is sponsored by ACER | A Consumer Electronics Company
“Just as you are your child’s first teacher, your home is where the most living and learning takes place … By becoming conscious of your own activities, by regulating our daily life in a harmonious, rhythmical way, by valuing what we do around our children, we are shaping their will forces and helping their physical bodies develop in as healthy a way as possible. In return, our children give us the gift of slowing down, of becoming more aware of our movements and our emotions, and of appreciating the uniqueness of each moment.” – Rahima Baldwin Dancy from You Are Your Child’s First Teacher 3rd Ed.
These words hold so much value and truth for me as a mom. I especially love the idea that the art of homemaking can involve young ones.To me, this parenting philosophy is beautiful because it’s about togetherness and teaching our kids the value of simple but meaningful things done at home—cooking being a favorite of mine.
Just as there are many different kinds of parents and families in the world, there are also many different styles of parenting. This more ‘hands on’ approach is the one our family feels most connected to. Not to say that it’s the best style by any means, but for us, it fits right now. As someone who writes and shares details of our lives, it’s rare that a week will go by without me getting the question, “But what do your kids do when you cook or clean?” and, “How do you keep your little ones engaged ALL day at home?” The simple answer is that we go about our day together. We keep things simple, and we do our best not to rush. When it comes to tasks like cooking, the kids know they are welcome to join in and give me a hand. It’s optional, but never exclusive. Now, they don’t braise beef ribs, play with knives, or man the stove, but I do try to leave enough room for them to come alongside me and chip in if they want to. There are plenty of times when connecting train tracks or running around with Angus is far more appealing than mixing flour and water together to make dough, but honestly those instances are a dime a dozen.
Cooking is one of my favorite ways to spend quality time together. Giving our kids an open invitation to help me throughout the day gently encourages them to take part in our family rhythm as they learn the best way they know how: through movement and imitation. When I’m making a meal or prepping ingredients to bake, I’ll start by setting everything out, computer included. Alfie is almost always the first to grab a chair to stand on and help, probably because he has the appetite of a growing labrador and is hoping to taste test! I like giving the kids simple, sensory tasks alongside me, and it doesn’t take much time for them to dig right in. A few things I like to do when cooking are listening to music and having visuals for recipes, making my computer an important tool in the kitchen. While I do have quite a nice collection of cookbooks, I tend to find many of my kid-friendly recipes online these days. I am a visual learner and I enjoy seeing the process of a recipe, so having our ACER computer out is handy for all of us.
The kitchen is also wonderful in terms of teaching little lessons such as early math and the development of fine motor skills. Music is another fun addition while we’re wrist deep in flour. Our playlists are almost always on throughout the day, and set a nice tone as we chop, mix, and pour. Lately, we’ve been listening to many Waldorf songs that they hear in school, and they think it’s pretty neat when one comes on that they know!
Of course, cooking with kids takes much more time and makes a much bigger mess, but when you reframe this time together as a meaningful learning experience, the mess becomes secondary to the joy and connection they’ll feel alongside you. I love how a hands on experience, such as cooking, creates a holistic way to learn together, regardless of age. It also promotes healthier eating habits, makes kids more self-sufficient in the kitchen, and empowers them to try new things on their plate at mealtime.
I wholeheartedly believe that teaching my kids to value the beauty of everyday life at home is such a special component of my role as mother. There is so much to gain outside of shortcuts and a hurried pace. Below is a recipe the kids and I followed to make these simple poppy seed sage biscuits. They take about twenty minutes to prepare from start to finish! The kids had the most fun feeling the flour fall through their fingers, rolling the dough, and using the cookie cutters. If you end up making these with your little ones, I’d love to hear their favorite parts.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- ½ cup water
To prepare, heat your oven to 400 degrees, and pulse the flour, salt, seeds, sage and butter in a food processor. Add ½ cup of water slowly and mix until dough comes together, you are looking for a thicker consistency. Roll out to ¼ inch thick, adding more flour as you roll your dough. Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough and place onto a prepared baking sheet or parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. The thicker your cookies, the longer you will bake, so keep an eye on them. You can store your biscuits in an airtight container for up to one week!
This post was sponsored by ACER and all opinions, words, and photos are my own. I thank you dear reader for supporting the brands that help support this space. Because of my carefully selected partnerships, I am able to make, write, and share with you! Check out Acer’s great product line-up at Acer.com/KeepAsking.