The environment of back-to-school is adapting and may be different than the traditional ways. After being a student for many many years, there was one activity or and time of day I looked forward to. You guessed it, lunch! This allotted section of the workday allowed me to have a much-needed break from all the subjects and content I was learning.
Being realistic, I know that when it comes to preparing home lunches, simplicity is everyone’s best friend. With that, it is safe to assume that children will most likely not be defrosting a chicken or sautéed broccoli. Most likely, lunches will consist of a dish your kids can quickly put into a microwave, or even better a Sharp Countertop Microwave Oven.
While we love simplicity and efficient living at Simply Better Living, we also love and care that all of our readers (and the loved ones of our readers) take careful caution and measures when preparing some great bites. Knowing the microwave do’s and don’ts and passing them on to children is essential. Throughout this article, I will share some cool tips and activities on how to pass along microwave safety with your children. These fun and inclusive tips will make for a more productive and safe day.
As always, if you like what you see or find success in showing the kids, these tips feel free to let us know on social by using #SharpHome on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Whether you are a visual learner (like me) or learn best by conducting research, it does not hurt to try a bunch of different methods. The first activity I recommend is from “Family Consumer Sciences,” calling for a Microwave Interactive virtual assignment. With the guidance of a parent/guardian, safely follow the directions on the document. Your child will conduct web quests, word searches, view short video clips, and read a few articles covering microwave safety topics. To complete the activity, your family will need to have access to a computer or tablet with internet access.
I believe that this is a great way to start the conversation as the format of this assignment should is not too far away from the delivery of school assignments.
After completing this assignment, have your children put their newfound skills to the test, and use a hands-on component by preparing a quick microwave mug recipes. Feel free to check out our (Mmm)icrowave Mug Cake Recipes article to get inspired by a few quick treats to try out, getting you (and the little ones) excited. Also, this will be a great way to spend time together, as well as go over the importance of microwave safety.
Get Your Kids Involved In the Kitchen
Whether we like it or not, children are like sponges looking at our every move and, at times, try to mirror our behaviors. While it may take time for your children to fully grasp microwave safety concepts and understand the ins and outs, all adults have a responsibility to ensure we practice safety tips, as well as get the kids involved from the beginning.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Eat Right has released a “Microwave Cooking: Keeping Kids Safe,” showcasing useful tips on keeping the kids involved while preparing meals in the microwave oven. Giving little jobs may even get them excited about cooking and learning about microwave safety. First, have them wash their hands with warm water and soap, emphasizing the importance of sanitation. Here are a few examples of jobs you can give them:
- If you are cooking with vegetables, have them clean the ingredients using a vegetable scrub brush. This could allow them to participate hands-on, as well as overlook the cooking process.
- Measuring out dry ingredients using measuring cups will not only teach your children about food preparation but may allow them to practice and touch upon their math skills.
- If you plan on using the microwave oven to either heat up specific ingredients, ask your kids to watch you and include them in the decision-making process. You know the old saying, practice makes perfect!
While your kids may begin to become more curious after taking on some more kitchen responsibilities, as a parent/guardian, you may want to take a few additional steps to ensure that your child and home stay safe. It is recommended to unplug the microwave when it is not in use as an extra precaution.
Designate Space In Your Kitchen
Reorganizing your kitchen to help make it a safe place can be done at cost little to no cost, just a bit of time. To place a considerable emphasis on safety, you may want to designate a cabinet or shelf in your kitchen to microwave-safe containers if you plan or feel comfortable having your child use the microwave oven often.
Take the next free or rainy day as an opportunity to possibly clean out your kitchen cabinets and go through all your cups, pots, pans, etc. You may be surprised by what you have in the back cabinets.
With your little ones, go through all the plates and mugs and separate them as ones that may be deemed microwave-safe or not. Then, take some of the now free space in the cabinets near the microwave as a “Microwave Approved Zone,” helping the kids realize what is microwave-safe or not and reducing risk. Just make sure to double-check the new space whenever you plan on the children using the microwave, so nothing gets misplaced, and inform babysitters or grandparents on your new routine.
As an additional safety tip, it may be helpful to print signage or create a cheat sheet detailing all the microwaves do’s and don’ts for the kids to reference. The NEP (National Education Program) and the University of Nebraska Lincoln offer a Microwave Safety Informative List that compiles a bunch of tips to be used. Feel free to print this out and put it in your microwave station area, or take the tips customizing it to your liking. Overall, this would be a great point of reference to keep ensuring safety and peace of mind, especially when it comes to children’s safety.
Put Their Skills to the Test
If you want to put kids up to the test, give them one. See what I did there? The Just the Facts: Microwave Ovens Worksheet from “Learning Zone Express” offers a review that and a comprehensive list of questions in all different styles. This includes open-ended questions asking critical questions about microwave safety basics, as well as fill in the blanks, and a do’s and don’ts.
The informative and inclusive worksheet offers links to videos that touch upon microwave safety, as well as an answer key, so you know which topics to cover for the children to do well on the test.
To teach your children the answers they need, feel free to develop lesson plans while the kids are home. Incorporate some of their favorite activities, so it is not just studying, test, repeat.
Luckily, “Schoolyard” has compiled a list of Exciting Ways to Make Studying Fun for Kids. Instead of creating traditional flashcards, make a game out of it. Turn your living room into a television game show set with the parents as the host and the children as the contestants. Make teams and keep a scoreboard to bring out the competitive spirit. Also, this style builds great lessons involving good sportsmanship and working as a team.
If you are confident that flashcards are the way to go, don’t be afraid to decorate them with either crayons or colored pencils. Illustrations can sometimes be a great way to remember and retain information. The point is, there are many creative ways to study, and a test at the end may bring everything together.
Make a Movie Tutorial
This one may be a long stretch, but videos are a great way to teach kids new concepts. I recall the days from elementary school, where we would come back from recess time, and the television cart would be rolled into the front of the classroom. On those days, students have never been so captivated and interested in a subject. On that note, why not write, direct, and produce your informative film on microwave safety with the kids? This allows your children to practice microwave safety tips, study, and prepare lines that are facts about microwave safety.
This is a great and inclusive way to get the whole family involved. Assign everyone a role and create scenarios, and maybe include scenarios using personal connections. Tying the two together may help your children fully understand the concepts.
In terms of equipment, it is quite simple. Smartphones and cell phone cameras are very high quality; you could easily capture shoots (and they are easy to use). In terms of editing, there are numerous amounts of free editing websites and applications to help put your new masterpiece together.
After you have found which source of a camera to use and find the right editing software or website for you, gather your children or child and begin to brainstorm topics. Think about what the kids are interested in, a favorite TV show or theme? Incorporate costumes and make props if you want to spice it up. Feel free to use some of the handouts, links, or tips from throughout the article to add to your script.
And now, the best part? Host a viewing party. Once the movie has been completed and edited, gather everyone together. Make some popcorn using the new microwave safety tips you have learned throughout the process.