Creating Kitchens for Families
Further encourage activities by incorporating supplies into the kitchen. Keep pens, crayons, markers, paper, et cetera handy. If computers are a focus in your life then consider adding a small portable laptop computer to your kitchen and getting a wi-fi connection. Avoid the computer hutch as it usually faces away from the action and doesn’t encourage interactivity. Also, if you have little ones with limited computer access and you’re diligent enough to monitor their activity, letting them surf the net while you’re hovering nearby is usually a win/win situation.
Take the focus off of food. It may feel a little weird at first, but try to think of your kitchen as something other than a food place. Remove food pictures and other items you have lying around that focus on eating. If you’re going to have snacks out in the open, make them healthy ones. You don’t want your family to hang out in the kitchen, only to give them weight problems, you want them to hang out there and feel comfortable not eating.
And finally, encourage people to be interested in what you’re doing. Have cooking utensils (obviously not knives) in a place where little ones can get at them and feel like they’re a part of the meal making process or in the clean up.
Overall, create a family-centric kitchen by giving everyone a comfortable place to sit and work or play. Encourage others to help with kitchen tasks, but don’t make that the entire focus; bring in items that support other activities as well. Be creative in your decorating and redecorating so that every person is considered and feels welcome spending time together in the kitchen.