Tuesday, April 8, 2014

5 Days of Culinary Adventures for Boys: The Tools of the Trade

Just a little note: I will be providing links to printables I've created or other good resources all week long. I encourage your son to start their own notebook binder for recipes and kitchen helps.

Having the right tools to do anything is so important. I don’t know about you, but I find it impossible to iron with a toaster. Just saying. 

This is especially true in cooking. A Chef must have multiple tools in his arsenal. My son has always been fascinated with all the odds and ends of gadgets he finds while putting away the dishes every night. There has been an occasion or two that I have had to rescue corn cob holders from his room. They were being used as parts to an Ancient Relic Booby Trap. 

It is important for a new (and old) cook to be familiar with basic kitchen utensils. We all have favorite things and are front and present in our own culinary adventures. It’s important to let our smaller chefs become familiar with those items, as well as become introduced to new and different kinds of gadgets.  

Of course, nowadays there is a gadget for every manner of kitchen task. I recommend starting out with the simple things. Repeat. Start out with simple things. There are some of you that are frankly a little too fond of the kitchen gadgets. (Sherry Lou, I’m talking to you). BTW. Sherry Lou is my mom. I speak from experience. 

Why not begin by letting your young cook collect a few utensils of their own?

One of my favorite places to get those inexpensive utensils is the Thrift Store. You might find an extra rolling pin or mixing bowl. Even a preschooler can roll out a little bit of cookie dough with supervision. How about a selection of cookie cutters? 

Whisks and spatulas also make a great choice for utensils for the young ones. Wooden spoons and plastic knives were part of Josiah’s early cooking stash as well. A boy can make fine work of a banana or muffin with one of those. 

As your son (or daughter) matures it will be time to add to his collection. Ditto for what he is allowed to use in the kitchen. Of course, access at our house is varied and dependent on supervision. 

Consider some of your small appliances. Are your kids familiar with the basics? Even the Little can push “down” on the toaster button. I made sure Josiah learned how to use the microwave. Every man need to know how to heat up his own frozen bean burrito. Now he has graduated to the oven and those healthy fish sticks. Teach safety and clean-up (of these appliances) as part of your cooking lesson.

The older Josiah gets the more I am expecting of him. I am including a good tutorial on knife skills in the resources below. I instruct while we chop, but it always helps to have added reinforcement. 

Are you ready to try some Kitchen Challenges?

The Classroom

1.      This is a great printable from learningseed.com. It is for your readers. It contains not only reading material, but questions as well. 

2.      Here one with pictures! There aren’t any activities included, but it gives simple descriptions and uses of kitchen utensils. It would be a great printable for the recipe binder to use as a reference. 

3.      Verybestbaking.com has a free printable to be used as a matching game. Great for the Littles!

4.      ABC practice for the young ones! This coloring sheet is “U for Utensils.” Works for me!

5.      This fun matching game from Nourish.com is just right for everyone in between. 

6.      Just one more, I promise. This is an interactive game from Study Ladder. I have a confession. I played it and mixed up the colander with the potato masher. Cause you know…those look so much alike! In my defense I was trying to do a few things at once. Excuses, excuses!

To Watch

Have you seen this video on FB? Genius. Your boys will appreciate it. Hide the drills!

Here is the Knife skills tutorial as promised! It is 19 minutes long, but he does such a good job. I learned too.

To Do
1.      Have your child select 2-3 recipes from a cookbook and write down the kitchen utensils and equipment needed for each recipe.
2.      Have a kitchen utensil scavenger hunt!
3.      Conduct an experiment. How easy would it be to cook with just one utensil, for example, just a spoon. This might back fire on you. Josiah can spread peanut butter with ANYTHING.

4. This is our challenge for today. I let Josiah and his cousin, Chris, rummage through one of my Mom's utensil drawers. They had to tell me what they thought a particular gadget was. The results are, mmmm, interesting. This is a fun one to try at home. Warning: Some of these boys are just silly.

Is he right?

 So close....

Is he right?

Good Job! Next.

Hmm. Is he right?

Somebody sterilize that utensil!


Better luck next time!

Did I mention that these are KITCHEN utensils? 


Is he right?

 We have a winner!

Tomorrow I will be talking about reading a recipe. In the meantime, I think it's time to go comb my eyebrows. 

II'm participating in the Schoolhouse Review Crew 5 Day Blog Hop. I encourage you to check out the following blogs. You can read even more by clicking on the banner below. 

Tara @ This Sweet Life ~ Preparing for a New School Year
Sara @ Embracing Destiny ~ Purposeful Living
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings ~  Photoshop Elements for Homeschool
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio ~ Fitting in the Extras
Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy ~ Nature Study
Aurie @ Our Good Life ~ Photography Tips and Tricks
Dinah @ The Traveling Classroom ~  Tips for Learning a Second Language
Julie @ Nurturing Learning ~ Art Resources

April Blog Hop


  1. Okay, I got all the kitchen tools right. Does that mean I hang out at the gadget wall at Bed Bath and Beyond too much?

  2. What a fun series! My 7 year old is beginning to enjoy working in the kitchen, so I'm always open to new tips and tricks! :)


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