What can children learn through cooking?
It is important to let your child to carry out as many of the cooking tasks as possible (excluding dangerous ones where sharp knives are involved). Obviously if there is a lot of mixing they could begin and you could finish it off as they may lack the physical ability. Tasks such as holding a spoon, mixing, beating, shaking, pouring, rolling or cutting will help to develop your child’s fine motor skills whilst encouraging your child to smell and feel the ingredients will help to improve his or her use of senses.
Emotional and Social Development
Food is a really good vehicle for communication. Children can learn to share and how to take turns, particularly if they make something with a friend or sibling. Then when the cooking is over, you can sit down and enjoy eating together.
Points to Remember
- Children have short attention spans so give them quick, simple jobs.
- Give instructions one at a time
- Expect children to spill things and make a mess
- Include cleaning-up as part of the activity
To sum up, cooking can be great fun for children. It can be a great bonding experience between child and parent and a great tool for learning. There is the additional benefit that a child is more likely to try new foods, for example vegetables, having been involved in the preparation. Set the ground rules first, supervise throughout and you should both enjoy the experience.
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