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Basic Concepts - holiday cooking edition!

It's the holiday season! For most of us, that means extra time spent in the kitchen cooking. Toddlers and preschoolers love to help out but their "help" can be hard to balance with busy mealtime prep timelines! Why not try a dish that has lots of hard-to-mess-up steps and can be made ahead of time - mashed potatoes.

I had my own toddler helping me out with our potatoes this week, here are some of the ways we targeted language. Remember to keep your sentences grammatically correct but simplified, go slow and really stress the important words.

First, we washed off the potatoes one at a time, turning the water on and off for each one: pick the potato UP, turn the water ON, wash the potato, turn the water OFF, and put the potato DOWN. This probably took the longest time and was where we had the most fun. I recommend clothes you don't mind getting wet 😂

Next, we had to dry the potatoes, again one at a time - take the potato OUT, and put it ON the towel. I had to help a little bit more here, scrubbing when she wasn't looking.

Then it was time to bake! We (well, I) put potatoes in the oven (OPEN the oven, put the potato IN), set a timer, and took a snack break. We talked about kitchen safety, doodled a little, and cleaned before the timer went off.

Finally, once the potatoes had cooled enough to be safe, we rolled up our sleeves and got ready to mash. I had to start, but my sous chef cheered me on (UP and DOWN!) until she was able to take her turn.

We had a blast cooking together and now she is super excited to share her dish with the family tomorrow - I hope your little one is too!

Happy Thanksgiving, and remember to have fun!

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