Cooking with children is something I am very passionate about so thanks to Lisa for this informative post.
I’m Lisa, the Toy Hunter. I love crafting, cooking and gardening with kids and I am a firm believer in learning through play. I used to be a primary school teacher, I’m a mum of 3 and I own and manage what2buy4kids. I am always on the look-out for great quality and unique toys, gifts, crafts and activities that will educate and delight children.
I have always enjoyed cooking and baking with my kids from the time they were young. I firmly believe that the time spent cooking with a child is a valuable bonding, learning and creative experience for you both. Plus, there’s usually something delicious at the end- and that’s always a bonus!
There are huge benefits to getting kids interested in cooking including:
– the development of fine motor skills as they hold kitchen tools and learn to use them.
– seeing how numbers work by learning how to weigh and measure ingredients.
– the appreciation for ingredients and food that we use to cook.
– learning where our food comes from and how it tastes when we cook it. (Children are more likely to try new things and eat healthy foods if they cook it themselves)
– feeling satisfaction and pride as they taste and share the result of their hard work.
My advice is to get children engaged from the start of the cooking process. Make sure they have the right tools and equipment. Do they need their own mixing bowl and utensils? Or perhaps their very own apron and oven glove will get them excited? There are some great cooking tools on the market, perfect for little hands, that will be easy for them to use.
Take the time to plan a meal or a dish together and decide when you’re going to cook. Planning ahead will ensure you have enough time for the activity and your child is fully engaged for the time you have together. Perhaps you have a specific recipe book for children with easy to make dishes? Otherwise look online for ideas and inspiration. Let your child take the lead and choose what he/she wants to make.
Use this time as an opportunity to practice reading and writing as you find the recipe and make lists of what ingredients you need. Then practise weighing and counting as you prepare the ingredients and get ready to cook.
Encourage your child to use their senses- smell the ingredients, feel the textures, look at the colours, inhale their scents as the ingredients blend together and finally, taste the finished product (that can be the best part!) Do you have a child who doesn’t like mess or sticky fingers? Cooking together can help this as they will lean that sometimes mess is a part of cooking, but it doesn’t have to be stressful and we can clean up easily afterwards.
Cooking is creative, scientific, artistic and a wonderful learning time for children. Developing a love for cooking when children are young can create a lifetime of appreciation for different tastes and flavours. It builds their confidence and encourages them to try new things. Imagine the fun you can have cooking together and the satisfaction you will both feel as you are tucking in to a creation you both made.