Cooking with Kids for Fun and Learning

This morning, Kia Robertson at “Today I Ate A Rainbow” shared a post from Tiffany McCauley at The Gracious Pantry about teaching kids to love cooking. Involving kids in the kitchen is a powerful way to develop some kindergarten readiness and life skills!

cooking with young childrenCooking, without doubt, is a highly sensory experience. There are different textures to feel; smells that range from the delightful one of bread in the oven to the urgent one of burning toast; all kinds of tastes; an endless variety of colors and shapes to see, and the sounds of voices and activity.

All that activity gets better with practice. Have you ever watched a professional chef? Their movements are like a coordinated dance. I confess I feel clumsy in the kitchen after that. Measuring, stirring, and even slicing a banana take brain power as well as muscles.

Cooking can help develop higher level thinking skills like doing steps in a particular order, observing, and following directions. One of the hardest activities is timing. This Goldilocks’ skill of having something cooked just right needs patience while waiting for something to cook enough. Not paying attention and procrastinating means the chance of something being overdone!

cooking with kids for fun and learningPlus there’s basic science, counting and measuring for math, using language purposefully, vocabulary, creativity and art– check out the carrot-guacamole-chips flower.

Tiffany included some wonderful reasons for “munchkin helper” such as: creating a connection and understanding with food, strengthening family bonds, boosting confidence and self-reliance, and encouraging healthy eating.

Cooking with young helpers isn’t always easy. We need to keep an eye on kids as they learn about safety in the kitchen. Our hands are double busy as we work and play together. Yes, cooking with kids can feel like play to them. There are so many exciting things to discover and explore.

For a play-of-the-day can you and your child cook up some fun and learning in the kitchen?  What kinds of recipes do you and your child make together?

(P.S. Thank you Kia Robertson and Tiffany McCauley. How can there ever be too many cooks?)

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