Gehan (father of Sam, Isaac and Faith): We get our younger ones to help with writing recipes. They might help to write down the list of ingredients and then our older son can help with doing things like measurements and figuring out - if he’s doubling a recipe, how much of everything that he has to put in. ‘So Isaac, we’re going to double the recipe. So can you read out the first ingredient?’ Then the little ones are, of course, watching that process. So I think there are nice skills in terms of literacy skills and numeracy skills that are being worked on, while we’re doing a fun family activity. ‘Can you read out the first instruction?’ ‘Whisk the eggs with one and a quarter cups of milk in a medium sized bowl until blended.’ ‘Okay, Isaac, remember it said to mix it with one and one quarter cups of milk? But we’re doubling the recipe. So what’s two times one and one quarter? Do you know?’ ‘Two and a half?’ ‘Very good. This is a whole cup. One whole and this is one half a whole cup.’
Amy (mother of Sam, Isaac and Faith): Faith is just learning to read. She’s just in prep and Isaac’s learning about measurements and that two halves make a whole.
Gehan: I think it’s really important that they learn that they can make choices and be in charge of their world, but also that they get guidance from us as to what are the appropriate range of choices. ‘Can we put blueberries in?’ ‘Oh yeah that’s a great idea.’ ‘Yum’. ‘Yum, mm-mm. Shall we start putting stuff away first?’
Amy: They really love to help so just seeing them be enthusiastic is really good.
Gehan: Yes I think, especially as they get older, they’ve been able to be involved in thinking about what they’d like to make and then seeing it through, from start to finish, mainly with our oldest. The younger ones watch and I guess they get enthusiastic as they watch and learn. ‘Ah that’s good. ‘This is going to be yummy pancakes.’ ‘Sam can I have the first one please?’ ‘Yes’. ‘Yummy.’ ‘Okay that one’s got your name on it.’
Amy: Sam wants to be a teacher and a role model. So doing an activity like that where he helps the little ones and can take on a leadership role, he loves. ‘Great job guys, these look fantastic, yum.’ ‘Shall we have some bananas on it?’ ‘Yes sure or if you want you can cut up some strawberries to put in it if you like’. ‘Oh yes, strawberries.’
Gehan: It’s really helped them to bond as siblings actually. Something like that they can really just go at it by themselves and we can step back and just keep an eye on the safety issues.
Amy: ‘Do you guys want to take them for school lunches next week?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘We can put some in the freezer.’
Gehan: But it’s really lovely to see them working as a team. It’s usually a very positive experience actually.