When searching for a new recipe to try out on the kidlets Nanny Ju Ju takes a hands on approach within all the steps of this experience.
Step 1. Muscles needed – arms, fingers and brains…First up the kidlets help carry all the recipes books out to the kitchen bench where we climb aboard our Thinking Ship and get comfortable as it is sometimes a long process choosing between all the recipes on display. We each get given some sticky notes to mark the recipes and pictures we like in our delegated pile of recipe books. Nanny Ju Ju reads out certain ingredients, methods and recipe names for the kidlets to share their opinion about and vice versa so everyone gets a choice of what they are eating that particular night. Once this process is completed and the recipes have been chosen, a shopping list is created.
Step 2. Time to get our hands busy…We get out the junk mail, pieces of A4 paper, scissors, a glue stick and a text each – personal colours chosen of course. On the sheet of paper we each number vertically 1,2,3,4,5….all the way to 10 and draw a line under each number horizontally across the page. This is where we glue each picture of the ingredients we need to make up our shopping list. Now for the messy part…as we flip through the junk mail we look for our ingredients and as we find them (and let each other know with a, “FOUND IT!”) we cut them out and stick them onto the shopping list. Sometimes there isn’t enough pictures of the one ingredient so we draw it on or Nanny Ju Ju writes it so we each have a completed list. *On occasion we have each had a completely different list of items so there were less arguments about who had what.
Step 3. The Hide n Seek Stage…Once our shopping lists are completed with our chosen list of ingredients for the yummy recipe we want to make, we mark off the ingredients we have at home in the fridge and pantry. The kidlets race around the kitchen standing on stools and opening cupboards for Nanny Ju Ju to find the desired ingredients. As for the rest of the ingredients a trip to the local shop is next. Depending on how many items were needed and how heavy the shopping bags would be as well as taking into consideration the weather, we walk to the shops which adds to the whole experience.
Step 4. Delegation is Key…First thing we always discuss/choose: who will grab the kid sized trolley from the trolley bay? This is a favourite for two of the youngest charges. We rarely need two kid sized trolleys and so Nanny Ju Ju has the delightful task of deciding who shall be The Chosen One to pluck the trolley. Nanny Ju Ju has a system! whoever displays the best manners, abides by the road rules (stop, look and listen) and is the kindest to their sibling wins this right. Nanny Ju Ju believes this rewards system is simple and fair for kidlets to understand. Some days it is an easy choice but lately it has been tricky because of just how good the little charges are so we have been taking turns during the week with Nanny Ju Ju hoping that we have to go to the shops more once. We discuss our jobs during the shopping trip – whoever is not pushing the trolley can pick up the items off the shelf and put them in the trolley. Someone can hold the list and the other can mark off the items once they have been found. Cute little questions seem to arise at this stage of the experience.
“Do we need this?”
“Julie, do you want some lollies?”
“Oh such and such needs these.”
“Can I pleaaaaaase have this?”
That last question Nanny Ju Ju does get a lot but being the carer and not the parent Nanny Ju Ju can get away with saying ‘no’ quite a bit and there is no tantrum in return usually – perks of the job!
The youngest little charges are 3 and 4 years old but when they were younger a much simpler method of shopping was done. They were happy to ride in the trolley, take turns at picking one item off the shelf and proceed to carry it for the rest of the trip. It is beautiful watching them grow and change and become so independent. One thing that hasn’t changed is the love of knowing what is coming up next. A routine if you will – yes yes it is only shopping but it runs so smoothly when the kidlets know what is happening and the enjoyment from it also, of being included – their little faces light up!
Step 5. Oh the Checkout…Turn taking is all Nanny Ju Ju says at this time, each kidlet gets a turn at making their item beeeep or to place it on the black magic carpet (the old skool check outs). The same method is used when collecting the receipt and any other collectable papers. All interest in shopping is lost then – where you really want the help – until we get home to cook the selected recipe.