Friday, 7 September 2012

Lil Miss J turns Lil Miss Helper!

Lil Miss J enjoys helping out  - it started out when she was younger, as a means of getting her involved in doing things around the house so that I could get the housework done with  her about.  But I have also realised along the way that children do not view things as chores.  With a little bit of fun injected into it, there is nothing a child loves more than being involved and helping mum out! 

I tend to buy fresh coriander a lot as it gets used in plenty at home.  Lately I've also been buying some fresh mint.  The best way to keep these fresh for long is to pick the leaves and store them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel and then place the container in the fridge.   Coriander stalks have loads of flavour, so don't throw these out.  In my house they get used in a mint coriander chutney and also to flavour soups. 

I got Lil Miss J to help me pick the leaves.  I find this is a good concentration activity for her and since I'm with her doing it, she enjoys it a lot. She is usually far more fussy than I am - usually saying "we can't have this leaf mummy - its brown!" or more recently - "mummy look at the leaves properly before you put them in!!!".  She can now recognise the difference between the leaves and knows both  herbs by name.  

I got her to smell the mint leaves and asked her what they smelled of.  "Toothpaste" came the prompt reply! A great way for children to build associations.

We talked about how different the leaves looked, how they smelled different, how  the stalks were different , how they felt different to touch and even how they were slightly different shades of green. 

It took us the better part of 40 minutes to do this and I could have possibly done it in 15 myself.  But not only did a job that needed doing get done, she enjoyed killing some time with mum, she learnt to recognise shapes, colours, smells, touch all in one activity!  

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