Get Your Kids Talking About…Brinner

by Julie on May 4, 2011

Pancakes. Waffles. Bacon. Scrambled eggs. Mmm. Can you smell the syrup? Hear the sizzling?

Breakfast foods are crowd pleasers, so why not make them for dinner once in a while? Brinner. (Get it?) Preparing breakfast foods is easy compared to most dinner entrees, so brinner is a great time to involve the kids in the kitchen. Get them talking about the ingredients, the measuring, the shapes and smells. Here are tips for making this a language learning activity by age group:
Toddlers can scoop and stir ingredients with a little help. Talk to them about your actions. Narrate like a good Food Network star. “Now I’m scooping the flour. Flour is soft. Touch the flour.” Little ones learn by watching you, doing what you do, and repeating these events over and over in their pretend play.

Preschoolers are ready to count the ingredients and help with measuring. Two teaspoons of vanilla. Three eggs. Ask your preschooler questions like, “which one is sweet, sugar or flour?” Encourage taste testing to experience the difference. If you are making pancakes, consider thinning the batter a bit with water or milk and dispensing it from a squeezy bottle. Check out for inspiration to create shapes and interesting designs. Ok, that can be intimidating for the beginner, but you have to admit it’s pretty cool what he can do with a pancake.

School-Age kids’ first question is often, “Can I crack the eggs?” Since kids learn by doing, and learning is messy, encourage them to problem-solve when they blurp egg yolk on the floor or forget how many times they should stir the batter. If you’re cooking up eggs, exactly how do you know when they are done? Can you explain that to your child? What about the bacon? It splatters when it cooks. Talk to your sous chef about safety in the kitchen.

In the morning we are often pressed for time, but with a little planning, you can create a fun, family brinner-making experience that will encourage language that is both functional and meaningful.

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