Recently she wanted to learn how to use the toaster. After a month or so of supervising her and seeing that she was very cautious in making her toast...I decided that she was responsible enough to use the toaster on her own. So the "Chef Lilly's Toast station" was born.
We decided Chef Lilly's Toast station sounded pretty snazzy. You can print out your sign by using Microsoft works (which had some great clip art, but my printer died on me) or having some by drawing your sign. You can make any design you like or colors.
Then you are going to need a menu. Every great Chef needs a menu with recipes. For this station we are going to do cinnamon toast and regular butter toast. For the recipe I drew out the ingredients to make it easier for Lilly to understand. Her cinnamon/sugar mixture for cinnamon toast is 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon. We put it in a sandwich box holder(picked up on the dollar aisle of Target), shook it really well, and added a small measuring spoon for easy access when making toast. Of course, as with all things in this house, cost is hugs and maybe a few kisses :) Kiddo permitting.
We set this station up in the dining room. What you will need is a small table or in our case a sewing machine desk. Then you will need your basics: Small toaster (which has automatic settings...so that all your little one has to do is put the bread in and wait for the timer to pop the bread out), loaf of bread, plastic knives, cutters (more creativity....let them decide what shapes the toast should be), cutting board, storage bowl or shaker (something to put your Cinnamon/sugar mixture into), small measuring spoon (used to sprinkle mixture in correct amounts), and butter. I had not placed the butter out yet, but I have been doing some research and overall you can leave butter out during the day without the risk of making yourself sick or spoiling it. It also makes it soft and easier for spreading.
Lilly wanted to take you on a tour of how to make toast. So here it goes. First you toast your bread and then you butter your bread using your plastic knife.
Then you want to take your bread cutters (of your choice..in ours we have dinosaurs) and cut your bread. This gives them more creativity with their snack options. She feels like a real chef when we ask her to fix us some toast. She's able to pick what shape it will be.
Then you spoon and sprinkle your sugar/cinnamon mixture over your toast. I just mixed 1 cup sugar to about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon. You can put this in a old cinnamon shaker or I put it in a plastic sandwich holder from the dollar aisle of Target. Just something that is going to allow you to shake your mixture really good daily.
The finished product. I'm sorry for the poor quality of the pictures and lighting. These were done by my phone and I didn't have time to run everything hrough Picasa.
All and all I have to say the Toast station has been a total hit. It makes Lilly feel like she has more responsibility and she feels older. She loves that we trust her more with helping us around the house. She's very cautious about how she uses the toaster and understands how it works. She knows not to touch while it's in use or afterwards..that it can be hot and she knows to unplug it while it's not in use. By letting her use her own ingredients it's taught her how to measure and how to be responsible in the sense that she makes sure that her cutter is washed...put away as needed. It teaches her how to do things for others and be happy when doing so. She loves when we ask for a snack of toast and she regularly just makes some for her Sister on a whim as a surprise. She also feels she has a bit more freedom with snacks. She can fix toast anytime she likes and now she has more choices. She can have toast, snack out of the veggie drawer of the fridge, or fruit bowl...these are all unlimited to the girls. They are all healthy options and our girls are growing like weeds...so I have no idea where they put all this food at..lol. I say often it must go in their toes.
This has also fueled more of her interest for cooking. Ever since my girls were born I would put them in their little high chairs and have them sit in the kitchen with me. I love cooking/baking and so I just talk to them and cook. It's something I wish I would have did more of as child. As I got older I had to learn everything through cooking shows, books, and trial/error....lots of trial and error..lol. It's just one of the life skills that I am proud of teaching myself over the years and something I would love to pass on to them and so far both just really enjoy being in the kitchen.
So there's our Toast station. I would love to hear of some of the "big" girl or boy things you have set up in your household. Feel free to leave a link to your blog in the comments section to share. Hope you are having a great Tuesday guys! Don't forget a new episode of Bizarre foods will be coming on tonight on the Travel channel. It has to be my favorite show on television :)